HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF? (not rolaids) Trade the R for a B.

and you have the word belief. In the original Greek language in the Bible, the two words faith and belief come from the same Greek Word.

Romans 12:3 This is Paul's letter to the Romans:

"For the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself (or herself)* than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a MEASURE OF FAITH." *emphasis mine

In 2001 our home church had begun planning for a building project. Pledges had been given, blueprints drawn up. Then . . our Pastor told us he was being moved and soon. We as a church were stunned. The next Sunday one of the men in the church addressed the congregation. He asked a question: "Are we a people of faith?" Then he followed with this: "If we just turn two little words around . . the sentence becomes "WE ARE a people of faith!"

Listeners and blog readers . . Do YOU have faith in God?

In this church I taught children Sunday school 1st - 3rd grade. After the Bible story, I would hold out 3 x 5 cards upside down and let the kids choose one. The cards said these words: WHO / WHAT / WHEN / WHERE / WHY / HOW?? Then they would answer their card's question about the story.

WHO. Who has faith? Everyone has plain every day faith. Even an atheist planning to go out to eat has faith that A) his car will start B) the chair at the restaurant will hold him when he sits down and C) the food he eats will not make him sick . . otherwise he would not even leave the house. We use faith every day. If you had zero faith, you might pick up the Sunday paper and think . . oh . . I can't believe anything written here . . no faith in that paper.

But we are talking about faith in God. Who can have faith? Whosoever will states Romans 10:9-10. 9 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Remember though . . "the Lord knows those who are His". 2 Timothy 2:19

WHAT. What is faith? The only definition in the Bible is Hebrews 11:1. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Example: Suppose an elementary teacher shows her class that 2 plus 2 equals 4 and Bobby gets it. Then the bell rings. Bobby goes out to lunch and recess. Even if he comes back to class with a stomach ache or he has a fight with his best friend at recess, he will still answer 4 when the teacher asks what is 2 plus 2. Feelings do not change a conviction. Feelings do not change faith.

WHEN. When does faith come?

It comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17. Faith can be increased and often is by trials. See James 1:2-3 / 1 Peter 4:12 / 2 Thessalonians 1:3.

WHERE. Where does faith start? Romans 12:1-2. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The Living Word renews our minds and feeds our spirits. We are to meditate on the Word and obey what we learn. Titus 3:5 states the Holy Spirit does the renewing. Then with the heart we believe (Romans 10:10), we pray and are given the assurance of hope, then the evidence of things not seen.

WHY. Why faith? We are to live by faith (Galatians 2:20) / walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) / It is impossible (not just difficult or hard) IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). In times like these, what is more important than faith in God? How else can we survive the uncertainty of this world's events?

HOW. John 6:44. This is red letter . . Jesus speaking: "No man (or woman)* can come to me except the Father which hath sent me DRAW him, and I will raise him up at the last day. The Holy Spirit draws us to the Father. God is always, always, always the origin of the relationship. Left to ourselves, we would just go our own way until we died. *my emphasis

Bottom line, we cannot trust ourselves. Only Jesus is perfect. He is the only perfect man who walked the face of this earth. If you are not saved . . stop, look and listen. God may be drawing you and giving you a measure of faith. Use that measure to grow in the Word, grow in Him.

Matthew 9:27-29. As Jesus went on from there, two blind followed Him, crying out "Have mercy on us, Son of Davidf". When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him and Jesus said to them "Do you believe that I am ready to do this?" They said to him, Yes, Lord. Then He touched their eyes, saying "It shall be done for you according to your faith. And their eyes were opened.

s. This is what I would like us all to do today, before you go to bed or in bed before you go to sleep: Picture yourself standing in front of Jesus. Name your pain, your stress, what is upsetting you the most. Talk to Him about it, then wait for His answer. What do you think He would answer you? Would He, could He answer as He said to the 2 blind men "It shall be done for you according to your faith. And their eyes were opened.

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