Will the Son of Man find faith in you?
If faith is the currency of the Kingdom, how much do you have? What is your level of faith today, right now? The Scriptures assure us that ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God’. (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus asked: ‘when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:8) If we don’t have faith, there is no way for us to please God, or to make it in life. Sometimes we must take a good look at ourselves in the mirror of the Word. Today, with help from the Word, I will outline five different levels of faith. This will help you to do a self-assessment, and work on your faith where it is needed.
No Faith (Mark 4:40)
Jesus and the disciples had sent the crowds away and were crossing the sea of Galilee in a boat when suddenly a great windstorm rose up. Jesus was asleep in the stern and the disciples woke him up saying, Rabbi, do you not care that we are perishing? Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind, and ordered the sea to be calm. Then he said to them:
“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Faith comes by hearing the Word (Rom 10:17). The disciples had been with Christ, and had been hearing the Word day after day. They walked with him, talked with him, and had seen the miracles he was capable of doing. They were supposed to have faith. Yet in the midst of their storm, they dropped what they had heard and were found without faith. The problem they were facing brought doubts and panic. Despite spending so much time with Christ, they had not embraced the faith of the Word they had been hearing. So Jesus had to ask them that question – how come (after all your studying, after all your hearing) that you still have no faith?
You might think that you have faith, because you go to church, pray and do everything that Christians generally do. But when the storms of life hit you, will you really stand in faith? Will you pass the exams of your studying? Today many people believe in God, walk with God, pray, study the Bible and take notes, enjoy hymns and praise God. But when they come to exam time – i.e. problems, testing of their faith – they end up with failed results. How is it that believers live their lives without faith, while they are fully engaged with the person of Christ, who gives faith? The problems have disarmed them. They are called by God – but when they face problems, they drop what gives them faith. And so Jesus asks again: how come that you still have no faith?
Little Faith (Matthew 8:26)
Matthew’s gives us a different angle of the same story of the disciples in the storm. Here Jesus asks:
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”
In this version, it seems the disciples were reluctant to wake him up at first. Perhaps they said to themselves ‘we are fishermen, we know the sea better than this carpenter – why should we wake him up?’ Later, when he had rebuked the winds and calmed the sea, they asked themselves – what kind of man is this? But that is not what concerned him. Instead he rebuked them, saying ‘you of little faith – why do you want to do your own effort and only when it doesn’t work you wake me up? Do you not see that it takes much longer for you to do things by yourself than if you wake me up in the first place?’
A person of little faith is someone who does not grow. A person who wants to grow thin must begin to eat very small portions of food, so that their stomach will shrink and they will grow thinner. A person who wants to grow in size needs to eat more – they need to have a big appetite, and look to grow their stomach. A person of little faith has the stomach of a baby. It cannot digest much and does not receive enough nutrition to grow. Since the disciples had joined Jesus they had seen many miracles, but their stomach of faith was still not growing. In the storm they tried to wake Christ – but only after they have done their own effort, in their own strength, seeing themselves as the answer.
As a person of little faith, you have Christ in your heart, you are a Christian – but you first follow your human way. You feed your human feelings and your flesh. Once you have done this, and it doesn’t work, you might cool yourself down and call on God. Or when your own method does not work you might have become really afraid. Christ should be your first call – but as humans we want to do things our way, and only then we allow him to come in and to save us from the mess we are in.
Note that people of little faith often mix their calling on God with complaining and pointing fingers: ‘Lord, do you not care that I am perishing?’
Weak Faith (Romans 4:19)
And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
A person with weak faith is someone who has faith, but it’s too weak to function well. They consider their own fleshly emotions, their own limitations, their own ability, rather than to consider God’s ability. A person of weak faith does not take responsibility, does not want to change, and resides in a world of complaints and self-pity, always blaming and accusing others for their own mess. If they do not change, they eventually begin to blame and accuse God.
As a person of weak faith, you think about yourself a lot, and little about God. You think a lot about other people, on their faults, and how they have hurt you, with the song of ‘if you had not done this to me I would not be in this mess now, it’s your fault’. Any little emotional storm that hits you causes you immediately to feel broken, and you feel that you must show the other person that you are hurt and upset, rather than to take responsibility and admit that ‘yes, this is my fault and I am so sorry’. You run away from the responsibility given to you. You keep the focus on yourself, rather than look to God who is capable of restoring you to the divine potential placed inside you. It’s this potential that makes you to be a person who walks with God, with a big part of Himself in you, which causes God to say that ‘the just shall live by faith’.
Errors and problems make us human. The problem is when we don’t admit our own error. When we blame others, or even God. The responsibility of faith is this: let man be man, and God be God. A great person admits when they are in a wrong place and accepts correction. People of strong faith admit fault, ask for forgiveness, and learn from their errors. A person of weak faith walks with pride, does not admit error, and always cover themselves up. If they do not learn to accept correction, it will become a habit for life and the Word of God will pass them by.
If you recognise that you live in this kind of world, know that the Bible requests you to change. You must recognise that it is by your own choice you are living in a life of weak faith, while God wants you to live victoriously.
Strong Faith (Romans 4:20)
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God
The Word met Abraham at a time when nothing had materialised. Naturally speaking, there was no hope for him and Sarah to ever have a child together, both were so old and worn out physically. Abraham could have chosen unbelief, as the scripture suggests, but he chose to give glory to God, to believe in the promise despite the lack of evidence, and he was strengthened in his faith. Strengthened – because there was some human weakness, there was a problem, a situation. God knows we are at battle, that sometimes we can be close to giving up. When Joshua was preparing to attach Jericho, the angel Michael came to strengthen him. Why? Because he was tired, weak and needed encouragement. God’s Word always comes for a reason.
Those who want to go far in life always look at the promise of God before they argue or go to the level of human emotions and limitations. They look at themselves before pointing at someone else. They look first at what the Words says and understand why the Word comes out right at the time when they are wounded.
When you are broken is when God wants to fix you. When you are wounded, it’s when medicine needs to come out for you, to strengthen, heal and help that part that is wounded. Because we are at war, as I wrote recently. People with strong faith don’t blame others when they face problems, because they are encouraged through the promise of God. They seek to fight the good fight of faith, to live in the promise God’s Word gives. This is all while still knowing ‘I am a failure in myself – without God’s Word I’ll go down’, that ‘I am a Christian, I must live by faith’. They are not perfect, but they trying to do their best. Though they are not strong in themselves they look all the time to the bank that makes them people of faith. God will strengthen and reward them for that.
Great Faith (Matthew 8:10)
Here we are dealing with the Roman centurion who wanted healing for his servant, and told Jesus that He did not need to come with him to the house, to perform a healing in person but said: ‘only say a Word and I know my servant will be healed’.
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
We learn that Jesus was amazed by the centurion’s faith (the Hebrew indicates ‘much faith’ rather than ‘great faith’). If you have great faith, you look at the promise with your eyes of faith. You are not bound by the limitations of what your natural eyes tell you, what human logic dictates. You don’t need constant reassurance and affirmation by other people. You don’t need to see to believe – you trust in His Word. And when God’s eyes are attracted to your faith, He moves towards you, and works on your behalf. People of great faith are hungry for the Word – ‘just say the word and I will be alright, I will be saved’. They know they depend on His word.
In this world, we will always have problems. Storms will come – the question is: how do you react in your problem? ‘What did you learn from Me’, God will ask you? ‘Do you have faith?’ That is what matters to God. When people behave so badly to you, how do you react? You can’t live in this world without a problem. But what is important to God is not who started the problem, or who did what to you, but what you do in your situation. God says to you: ‘but you are with Me – where is your faith?’ Problems can bring out the best in you. If you choose to stand in the promise rather than in your own emotions, your faith will increase and you can become known to Heaven as a person of great faith.
Change your level of faith
If you identify with these words, if you see yourself in some of these descriptions of weak or little faith, do not be offended and do not be hurt. Instead, thank God and seek to change. You have to know where you are now to be able to change. God is with you, ready to restore you, to help you. Pointing to others will not help you, but looking to Heaven will. ‘For I will restore health to you; And I will heal your wounds,’ says the Lord (Jeremiah 30:17)
Faith does not argue or feed your pride, but listens. It is always patient. Faith is different from sight, which always seeks self. Faith always takes the places of dying to self to save others. ‘The just shall live by faith’ the Scriptures affirm in Habakkuk 2:4 – and in living by faith you will die to self and gain eternal life.