God desires that we come to Him in faith. If I am to write a mathematical equation for faith in God it would be:
Belief in God + Obedience to God = Faith in God
This is faith that enables us to have the assurance of things hoped for and proof of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). This faith is always accompanied by obedience to God regardless we see His answer or not. It is not a mere belief that is never demonstrated in action. It is not a blind belief governed by mere emotions which lacks true intellectual and spiritual understanding. It is not also a religious principle, a religious tradition, or a specific practice confined to a select group or church. Faith in God involves a true understanding of who God is and what His Word says. It is a fruit of the Spirit of God working in our life through our own works of obedience.
God desires that we approach Him in faith and that we walk in life by faith. In every occassion where Jesus met people who needed Him to help them with a need or heal them from their sickness, we could notice how Jesus would always point them towards having faith in God.
“Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening, he shall have whatever he says. Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.”– Mark 11:22-24 (WEB)
“Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.”– Hebrews 11:1 (WEB)
God helps us in our growth process of faith. It is an irony that the very thing God requires of us seems to be the exact thing we find difficult to do. Why is it so difficult to have faith that when God says He will do, He shall do it? Why is it easier for us to doubt God?
It is difficult for man to believe without seeing, hearing, and feeling it. Our nature is based on our senses. Even in this we could see how great and perfect is God’s wisdom that He allows faith to work independent of emotions and senses. For if faith could depend on what man sees and feels, then man would miss what God has been teaching us all along — full reliance on God.
God knew how fearful Gideon was yet He used Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites and the Amalekites. He knew that Gideon had doubts but Gideon’s doubts did not deter God to use Gideon and demonstrate His power as the God of Israel.
Because Gideon was afraid and doubtful, he tested God to know if truly God will give Israel victory through his hand. The first test he did was he asked God to let the fleece of wool he placed on the threshing floor be wet with dew while all the ground dry (Judges 6:36-38). When he woke up early the next day, he “wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water” (Judges 6:38). The second test he asked of God was to turn the fleece dry but all the ground wet with dew (Judges 6:38-40). And, “God did so that night; for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground” (Judges 6:40).
How often have we felt ashamed and fearful for losing faith? How often do we feel guilty that our faith is never enough? God does require that we walk by faith and that we grow in our faith but when we lack faith, His grace never diminishes. That grace He gave to Gideon is still the same grace He gives to us today whenever we lack faith. His grace assists us through the process of growing only if we come to Him like Gideon did and ask Him to help us overcome our unbelief. He does not turn away from us because of our lack of faith but He helps us to be strong in faith.
In the New Testament, the father of the child with the dead and mute spirit asked Jesus to help him in his unbelief.
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, ‘I believe. Help my unbelief!’”– Mark 9:23-24 (WEB)
And Jesus healed the child. How great and how deep is the grace of God for us that He is always with us to help us in our weaknesses. When we lack faith, He sustains us and helps us through it by strengthening our faith.