“Give Us More Faith”
FAITH is an essential ingredient in human living. It is necessary in almost everything a person does. You would not ride in a car, a train, a ship or a plane if you did not have faith in these vehicles. You trust them. You have confidence that they will take you safely to where you want to go. The same trust or faith is shown when you walk into a building. You have faith in the strength of the structure, trusting that it will not collapse upon you. Living would become a nightmare of fear if a person did not have such faith. It is nonsense, therefore, when anyone claims that he is without faith. He cannot live without it.
It is just as essential for a man to have faith in his Creator. Unless he can have faith in the Supreme Being his life is empty and without purpose. He needs to trust in a Power that is superior to him. His eternal welfare hinges upon this trust. It is written that “without faith it is impossible to win his good pleasure, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Heb. 11:6) Jehovah’s good pleasure is worth seeking because it means security, peace, contentment and eternal life.
It is difficult to have faith in God or even in other people while living in a world that is corrupt, a world in which deceit and dishonesty predominate, a world that is without faith in the Creator. Its bad influence can ruin a person’s faith.
Having faith in God means to trust him. But this is not possible unless a person learns about him and about his dealings with mankind in times past. He must also learn about Jehovah God’s just laws, right principles and wonderful purposes. He must learn that God has never failed to fulfill a promise, that he has never lied and that he has never acted unjustly. With such knowledge a person will not find it difficult to exercise faith in that supreme One even though he lives in a faith-destroying world.
There is ample evidence testifying to God’s existence, just as his own Word states: “For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are understood by the things made.” (Rom. 1:20) This evidence can help build your faith if you are willing to recognize it.
The apostles of Christ saw the need for a strong faith in God and in his promises, so much so that they said to Christ: “Give us more faith.” (Luke 17:5) They knew that Christ could give them the knowledge that would build up and strengthen their faith.
Christians today live in the same hostile world as did the apostles, and they have the same need for more faith. It is a world that has no interest in obedience to the laws of God. It is unsympathetic toward those who want to obey and serve him. It is indifferent to his kingdom and to his purposes for having the earth ruled in justice and righteousness. It abounds with people who do not make even a pretense of having faith in him. Such surroundings can shatter a weak faith or make it extremely difficult to build up an initial faith in God. That is why Christians today must ask for more faith, just as the apostles did.
It is by means of God’s written Word that a person can gain the knowledge needed for building a strong faith. But if no effort is made to take in that knowledge, how can a person expect his prayer for more faith to be answered?
The gift of life is not given to anyone who tires out and who ceases to trust God and to have confidence in his promises. It is given only to those who endure the test of their faith. Regarding this the apostle Peter said: “In this fact you are greatly rejoicing, though for a little while at present, if it must be, you have been grieved by various trials, in order that the tested quality of your faith, of much greater value than gold that perishes despite its being proved by fire, may be found a cause for praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”—1 Pet. 1:6, 7.
Faith can be likened to the shield of a warrior of ancient times that protected him from enemy darts, arrows and sword thrusts. Like that shield, faith protects the Christian from the continual shower of lies with which Satan bombards him. It protects him from the folly of human philosophies and theories, as well as the corrupting influence of false religion. It is described as a protective shield at Ephesians 6:10, 16: “Finally, go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength. Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles.”
We can believe what God tells us in the Bible about the things we cannot see because all that he has said about the things we can see have proved true. Here, then, is a test of our faith. Are we willing to trust him in all that he says even though it contradicts the philosophies and theories of this world? This absolute trust in God’s written Word and in his integrity is what a person must seek to build up and to strengthen constantly. It is a protective shield that will preserve his life.
Regarding those people of ancient times who endured many hardships and frightful experiences because they trusted God while living in a world that did not, the Bible says: “They had witness borne to them through their faith.” (Heb. 11:39) Their faith brought God’s approval and that will mean for them a resurrection to eternal life.
Of all the things in which general faith plays a part in human living faith in God is, without doubt, the most important. We must trust him implicitly. Our happiness, security and life itself depend upon it. It is, therefore, with good reason that we today should repeat the request made by the apostles: “Give us more faith.”