“….and without faith it is impossible to be pleasing, for it is necessary to have faith coming to God since He also becomes a rewarder to those seeking Him out” (Hebrews 11:6).
Biblical faith is misunderstood, particularly by Christians, and for this reason, Christianity, as it is practiced today, fails to make any impression on a world that is desperate to believe in something. In the western world, Christian faith has devolved into one of two models; fanaticism or rationalism. Neither speaks to the seeking heart; neither finds a response in the spirit that cries out for contact with eternity.
Faith cannot be found in common sense; they are antagonistic to one another, for faith is only made sense by divine revelation, not by scholarly application; faith reaches the shores where common sense fails.
There is faith that is understood and faith that is experienced; faith must be tried before it can be found in actual experience. While the doctrine of the faith tells us that “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God” etc., we don’t really know it until we have trusted God’s providence in an area and seen Him deliver; then the ideal of faith becomes an actual reality based upon our experience.
To turn ideal faith into a personal possession based upon experience is always a struggle; it involves our letting go of self to give God room to move, even when we could take steps in our flesh to help ourselves. The sooner we let God have His way in these things the better, for God will so direct our circumstances, in spite of our own will, as to educate our faith and make its object real.
Immature faith focuses on gratitude for what God has done for us; then we come to a place where we think that God rewards us for our faith; both of these responses of faith are wrong. Many Christians never progress from a place where their faith rests on gratitude for God’s goodness in providing a way of salvation and putting things right where we have made them wrong. But this is to be engrossed with self, whereas everything that God does for us is meant to bring us into a right relationship with Him, a place where we will see Him as He is and worship Him for Who He is, rather than for what He has done for us.
We cannot earn anything by faith; on the contrary, God often has to knock us down in order to get us into contact with Himself. This is the trial of faith, and its purpose is to bring us to a life of experienced faith as opposed to a life of sentimental enjoyment.