In Romans 1:17 Paul says, ".....the righteous man shall live by faith." In the New Testament Paul was quoting from Habakkuk 2:4. However, when we look at Habakkuk it actually says, ".....but the righteous will live by his faith." That sounds a little more like the responsibility falls on me! We know according to Romans 14:23 that "whatever is not from faith is sin." I then begin to question myself, "How do I acquire faith to please Him?"
In the church we have made statements like: God will solve almost all your problems if you just have enough faith; Well, to be healed all you need is a little more faith; You need more faith for that miracle; or She had great faith therefore God answered her prayer. It might behoove us to define what is faith?
According to Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In Romans 10:17 Scripture states: "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." The Greek translation of the word (of Christ) is "Rhema" defined as "that which is uttered by the living voice," implying a relationship with Christ. Another way of defining faith would be, "hearing, believing, speaking and obedience or simply, trust in and obedience to." Randi Lechner has taught us that faith has been used as a noun, because "faithing" as a verb does not translate in our English language. However faith is a verb with action. "Faithing" probably explains the relational process better. Skip Moen also states that "Faith is my active attitude and behavioral reliance on His trustworthiness. My action is putting myself in His care regardless of the circumstances I see. I may declare or recite written Scriptures, but without relationship, there is no faith."
When I came to Christ as a believer I entered a covenant relationship with Him. I just did not realize the depth of what the relationship really meant. In a covenant made with God, there is an exchange process that continually takes place. The stronger party exchanges with the weaker one in the covenant. Guess who the stronger party is in this relationship? There is an exchange of names, position, character, nature and responsibility. In this relationship I choose to trust Him or not trust Him. In a relationship we do not just "think" about the person, but we engage and participate with the person. Faith is received in an exchange; a covenant exchange. I do not have to work to receive it. I receive in a relationship of trust. I rely on God's faithfulness.
Jesus is the model of intimacy. He spent hours in prayer with His Father, so He could be connected to the Source of Life. I do not think He was begging for blessings and power. He was enjoying what it meant to be human and one with the Father as He entered in to the covenant. The Father imparted all HIs life and character to Jesus, just like He is doing with us today.
So yes, faith comes by hearing, but it comes from an intimate rhema word, an intimate word from prayer and God imparting His voice to us. Then, we choose to believe we have heard from Him in our covenant relationship, and we begin to line up our communication with what we have heard and then we obey. We can trust Him because He is trustworthy! Therefore, we can be content and joyful in our relationship of covenant faith with Him, not necessarily looking at our current circumstances. I'll share more with you in my next writing. Until then, may you enjoy receiving more faith in this beautiful covenant relationship designed by Him.