We must have faith in God, and not doubt, if we expect to be heard in prayer and answered. But what does it mean to have faith and not doubt?
TRUE FAITH IN GOD
Let us suppose that a son does not believe his father is truthful. The boy doubts that his father loves him, and does not trust that his father will take care of him. So the son asks his father for a large amount of money so that he can set up his own bank account. This boy has decided he’d rather take care of himself. How is a father to respond to such an expression of deep distrust?
How much more unfounded it would be for us to make this kind of request of our all-loving, perfect heavenly Father! And yet many times, that is the type of request we bring to God in prayer.
Belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is much more than just acknowledging their existence. True faith in God and His Son means a complete belief in who they are: their character as pure; their nature as love; their words as absolutely true; their salvation as sure; their love as certain; and more!
Our faith in God should not be based on what we think He might be like. Our faith should be based solely on the truth of Who God actually is! We can learn the truth about Who God is from the Bible, which is filled with revelations and truths about God.
For example, if our earthly father was harsh and cruel, we may be afraid to trust our heavenly Father. We may be afraid to admit our failures to God for fear of His punishment. But the Bible assures us that God is loving and trustworthy (Deut 32:4; 1 John 4:8). He is merciful toward those who repent, and He quickly forgives (Ps 86:5; 103:1-5). God loves His children and has only good gifts for them (Matt 7:9-11).
FAITH IS ABOUT WHO WE BELIEVE IN!
True faith is not an issue of quantity; it is not about how much faith we have, or how great our own faith is. Jesus taught us that even very small faith can accomplish great things (Matt 17:20).
We do not have to strive and work up “great faith”. We just need to remember how great God is, and put our faith in Him!
Faith is not about how hard we try to believe. It is about Who we believe in! Jesus said it simply but powerfully: “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
Do you know that every Christian has faith? The Bible says, “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom 12:3). God imparts to us faith; we cannot produce faith for ourselves. Faith is already given to us; but we must choose to receive faith and to properly use it.
We properly use our faith by putting it where it belongs – in the Lord! We can choose to wrongly put our faith in ourselves, in other people, in money, in circumstances, or in many other things. OR we can choose to put our faith in the True and Living God!
HOLDING FAST TO OUR FAITH
Just as we must receive and properly use our faith, we must also choose to refuse doubt. If we listen to doubts about God, they can “smother” our faith, like a wet blanket placed over a fire.