Faith is such an important part of our spiritual lives. As Christians, we believe that we’re saved by faith through grace. But despite all its importance, the way we look at faith can be pretty abstract. What does it really mean to have faith in God? It’s not just believing in God’s existence–the Bible makes it clear that isn’t anything special in and of itself. These verses help clarify the aspect of faith we don’t often focus on as much: the trust that God deeply cares about us and gives us what we need every day.
How often do you ask God for big things? Not earthly possessions, but spiritual needs such as peace, wisdom, insight or selflessness. Maybe you regularly do, but if not, ask yourself why. For myself, I get it in my head that those gifts are for me to find on my own, and that asking God is pointless if I can’t find them myself. But what I’m doing in those cases is limiting God to my own powers, and instead relying on my ability, exactly what Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to do. In these moments, my faith is weak. James 1:7 says someone who doubts when asking “should not expect to receive anything from the Lord,” so I’m setting myself up for failure from the start.
Truly believing, with no doubt, that God will answer our prayers and give us what we need isn’t easy. We’re used to other humans failing to live up to promises and letting us down, and unfortunately, those experiences cloud our trust in God’s goodness and ability to provide. But to truly have faith is to put more trust in God than we do in the world and know that if we really believe God will give us what we need, then He will. It may take unlearning the cynicism we’ve picked up in our broken world, but through God it is possible.
Holy God, remind us that You’re a far better provider than anything or anyone. Let us pray to You full of faith that You can give us what we ask, and that You earnestly desire to. Amen.
Written by Preston Thiemann
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Preston Thiemann and his wife, Rachel, live here in Lincoln. He is the Web Content Coordinator for the ASEM Marketing team at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he’s worked since April 2015. At Sheridan, he also plays guitar on the Praise Band and is active in Sheridan’s 20s & 30s ministry, Second Quarter. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with friends.