Even as I type the name of this gift, the words of the George Michael 80’s classic ring in my ears- ‘Gotta have faith, faith, faith, I gotta have faith’.
Now you might not be as old as me and you won’t remember that song but take it from me it was a classic and so catchy that even now I can still hear the chorus in my head and see him playing that guitar, looking all moody because it was shot in black and white!!
Anyway, back to faith and you may be surprised to know that faith is one of the spiritual gifts, as set out in the bible,
1Cor 12:9-to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
It seems surprising because surely, we must all have faith to believe in Jesus in the first place, right?
Yes, that is right, all believers, to become followers of Jesus have faith in God that they have been saved by his precious son. This is called ‘saving faith’ and is different to the spiritual gift of faith. We must have saving faith to become Christians as often because we don’t immediately ‘see’ visible signs of a change, even though we may feel different inside we may have doubts that we are actually saved.
Scripture is the living, breathing word of God and packed full of truths. It is so helpful in times when we may have doubts about being saved and in the book of Hebrews faith is explained so well;
Heb 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
That in a nutshell is what faith is. It’s not something you can necessarily see with your human eyes so you have to believe it in your heart.
Now, even though you can’t see faith with your eyes, anybody who knew you before you got saved will start witnessing the changes in you as they see you demonstrating the fruits of the spirit which are; chastity, faithfulness, generosity, gentleness, goodness, joy, kindness, love, modesty, patience, peace and self-control.
Matt 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
As I am writing this I feel there may be some of you who are having doubts about whether or not you really are saved. You may be feeling a sense of shame or even embarrassment about having these feelings at all.
Is that you?
If you are experiencing any doubts you need to be honest with the people around you and talk to someone about it so they can prayerfully support you through this. The worst thing you could do is to say nothing and let the thoughts lead you to drift further and further away from God. We are only human and doubt is a human emotion which the enemy would love you to experience to draw you away from the Father.
I urge you to talk to someone who can pray with you or confide in someone you trust at church so they can help you. Or if you’ve never done the Alpha Course before, try it out, you can go along with all your questions and any doubts you might be having and have a great discussion with no pressure at all.
So, back to the gift of faith, and this differs from saving faith because this is when the Holy Spirit gives you such a strong sense of faith and confidence in who God is, His power and presence, that you feel able to do amazing things for Him. You just know that without this sort of faith you would never be able to do it and that it is way beyond your natural ability, usual courage levels or confidence for it.
Hebrews 11 is known as the ‘Faith’ chapter and is often referred to as the ‘Hall of Faith’ (like the Hall of Fame) and lists all the biblical greats of faith including;
Noah, Issac, Rahab, Abraham, Gideon and Moses to name but a few.
These people with this faith gift would often do great works of faith like Noah. He built the ark, which was a massive project, taking a very long time, that most people didn’t understand because there wasn’t even a drop of rain at the time, let alone a mighty flood. To the onlooker he seemed foolish but that didn’t deter him because he had the gift of faith and was obedient to what God had asked him to do.
Heb 11:1-40 is such a faith building chapter and too long to post here but I recommend reading it if you want to be encouraged and stirred in your own faith.
Those with this gift of faith are given it to instruct or teach others, encourage and inspire fellow believers, with their unswerving confidence in God. It can help others have increased faith themselves for any given situation.
These individuals are so confident in God’s ability that they literally believe that no barriers will stop the advancement of God’s kingdom or whatever the situation is that they are praying for or wanting to see breakthrough in. These people tend to be fearless and having people like this in the church congregation (or in your life) can often do more for the kingdom than the most gifted of preachers.
At the moment I am really stirred to press into God to see people healed and I long to have the sort of faith I read about in Hebrews 11 so that when I pray for sick people they are healed every time. That is not my current reality but, I still choose to pray for people regardless and I do have faith that the time will come when I will see increasing breakthrough in this area and as that happens my faith will increase for even more. I do know this, that if I don’t pray for people to be healed I won’t see any healings so I continue to pray and that means taking steps of courage to ask people if they want me to pray for them. To be honest I still bottle out sometimes, but I am growing in confidence and will continue to push through any fear or awkwardness I might feel in the moment.
What do you need faith for today?
Ask God for this gift of faith because we need faith filled people all around us to encourage us and spur us on to greater adventures with God and to see His Kingdom advance across the Earth.
To read my other Gifts of the Spirit series;