by Rev. Gayle Claxton

What is Faith? Is it a feeling? It is a mystery? Why do I sometimes feel like I have faith and other times I feel like I am so empty and faithless? 

Faith is a real part of life, and it goes through stages – just as we, in our emotions and in the realities of life, go through various degrees of pain, hurt, joy, failure and accomplishment.

So, what makes faith important and a very needed part of our lives as Christians?  So often we hear sermons and talks on what we need to do but getting there is a different matter altogether! As believers we have received some outstanding gifts from our Father and one of them is the precious Holy Spirit who is our helper, comforter, encourager. But how does this make a difference to me?

Let us look at faith as the Bible defines it.

Hebrews 11:1 “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see.“ (NLT)

And in verse 6 …” without faith it is impossible to please God.”

So from the Word of God we see that faith must have a place in our daily lives. Scripture then goes on to say that as this faith is in our lives it opens doors that we would never have imagined possible, because where we have faith, we are able to see the invisible and we are able to believe the incomprehensible. We can hear the inaudible, feel the intangible, expect the impossible, and reach out for the hope of the imperishable.

You see, in order for this to happen, you and I need to know that God wants us to possess and own faith. This eventually becomes part of life as we respond and act in ways that build faith – It comes by you and me learning to live and practice it in our daily lives.

How many times do we say or hear people say things like “I’ve got faith in this doctor,” or “I have faith that you can do that.” The question, however, that I must ask myself is “Have I got faith in Jesus?”

You and I have all been granted faith in some measure for when difficulties and circumstance we cannot control arise. Even worse, we sometimes sense a storm is quickly approaching on our horizon, wondering what to do. This is the exact moment when we can begin to practice our faith because it is the practicing of this faith that will bring you and me through all storms of life.

Sadly, if you and I don’t practice that faith we won’t be able to make it through as God planned for us. We will struggle to stand on that firm foundation because our faith will be too weak. If we don’t use our muscles and train them to help carry our weight, we will soon know and realise that we do not have the strength to make it through the day. Faith works in the same way – we need to exercise it! My dear friends, I cannot say it enough – you and I have got to practice faith! We need to build our faith and strengthen it through practicing it and walking in it. The only way to do this is by getting ourselves positioned into a place where faith is preached and to live where faith is.

We cannot allow our faith to become like a spare tyre on a car- we only reach out for it when we have an issue and cannot carry on. Faith is not just an “emergency button” that we press when there seems no other way out.

No matter what kind of faith we have, it is of no use unless we position our lives to be able to use that faith in all circumstances – the good, the hard and the extremely difficult. Using our faith will be enough to carry us through. “Why do I say that?” you may ask. Because the Bible teaches that faith without works is dead! This means for me to live in the promises, blessings, protection and goodness of God, I need to have practise my faith. It’s not about the quantity of faith we have, but about actively living out our faith and making conscious decisions is to activate our faith into that which we don’t see, knowing that God is at work on our behalf as we worship and trust Him and believe that His word is relevant to us in our every day!