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- Jacob Ninan
Jesus said that those who believed without seeing were more blessed than those who believed because they had seen (Jn.20:29). Jesus was not referring to those who came to beieve in Him after seeing a miracle and others. He meant simply that those who can trust Him even when they cannot see any tangible proof of His power towards them are more blessed than those who demand that unless they see Him or His miracles they cannot believe.
Faith in God is based on the knowledge of God. We get to know God through His word, the Bible, and through our experience with Him in line with His word. (Of course we can't trust our "experiences" if they are contrary to His word.) If someone says he has faith, and his 'faith' is not in accordance with what is revealed about God in the Bible, God does not accept that faith. We can't just believe something and call it faith. That would be 'blind' faith.
The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Ro.10:17). There are two ways of hearing. The usual way is to hear what someone is speaking, in a physical sense. But what brings faith is what we hear from God in our spirit, something that comes "alive" in our heart. The New Testament uses a special Greek word for this kind of word, "rhema". We receive faith when something becomes "rhema" for us. Then we are sure, certain, and convinced about what we have heard (He.11:1).
But we have a tendency to imagine that we have 'faith' because we very much want something to happen. We try to convince ourselves that it is going to happen, and we may even quote Bible verses to prove to others that we have faith. But if God has not given us that faith, it is no use however we may express it.
Faith is not like a substance that we possess (He.11:1 KJV uses old English) with which we can bargain with God. We cannot decide by ourselves that "we have faith for" something and claim it. We can claim only those things that God promises us in His word or directly to our heart.
When we have faith in God we know that He is a good Father who wants to give the best and He is able to do whatever He wants. So we can ask Him whatever we need. But it will be good to remember that He also knows what is good for us, and then to leave it to Him to decide what to do. Not my will, but Yours!
Let us honestly ask ourselves some questions if we have "faith" for something. 1. Has God promised this in His word? 2. Is this in line with Biblical teachings and principles? (If we are thinking of supporting verses, are there other verses against what we are thinking?) 3. Does this go against commonsense? (If it does, we need to be extra sure it is from God.) 4. What do mature, godly people have to advise us? 5. Will it bring honour or ridicule to Jesus? 6. Do we have a good reason for wanting it? 7. Are we willing to take a "No" from God?