Have you ever struggled to have faith? Have you desired to have something so badly and brought it continuously before God in prayer and then struggled to believe it would come true?
Is this the meaning of faith? Having faith our prayer request will come true or is faith something else?
Whatever it might be, we know that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
If faith — absolute faith — is required, where should we place our faith?
Where to Place My Faith
Because of this level of absolutism, over the years, I’ve struggled to understand where to place my faith. I have sometimes wondered if my prayers were not being answered because my faith wasn’t strong enough or I didn’t have enough depth in my belief.
Yes, I knew I needed to have faith, but faith in what?
Should I wish hard that my prayer request would come true? Should I speak, without doubt, that I was going to get the thing I prayed for? And what if I had a moment of doubt? Would I get a mark against my request if that happened?
James 1:5-8 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
I wanted so badly to have faith, but I didn’t know what I should anchor my faith in.
The confusing part is that at the same time as I’m trying to figure out my faith journey, I’ve noticed that society also promotes an idea of faith. Especially in the entrepreneur / boss babe / go-get-your dreams section of the internet and it’s called manifestation.
One of the most popular types of faith being promoted by the world these days is manifestation, which involves imagining the world you’d like to have, placing the picture in your mind and somehow creating the reality with your thoughts, intentions and words. By continuously putting these desires out to the universe, they believe you will miraculously see your desires become real.
As I type this, there are 9.6M posts on #manifestation, 8.1M posts on #manifest and 3.6M posts on #manifesting on Instagram. As I just looked these hashtags up, some of the posts are dark and clearly associated not just with a nebulous universe but with sorcery and witchcraft.
Manifestation promotes having faith in the object of your desire and in your ability to create it. And in some ways, it must be effective because we often see people celebrating about how they’ve manifested their dream life, dream house, dream car or dream husband into existence.
In a world where our answers to pray are left up to God and we don’t always get what we want, does this mean that manifestation is more power than faith in God?
Is Our Faith Strong Enough?
On the one hand, you have a group of people imagining their worlds and sharing with evangelistic-level enthusiasm about how they’ve conjured their world into reality, down to the most minute details, and you have some Christians who feel as though they pray but they don’t always see the answers to what they pray for materialize.
Does that mean that our faith is weak? Does it mean that our God is weak and unable to answer our prayers? Does it mean that the power of thinking things into reality is most powerful?
How can we be called to have faith but then when we attempt to have faith, not see be guaranteed to see the realization of what we ask for?
Or are we being called to have faith in something else?
In a world of instant gratification, where the world calls us to be the master of our own destiny and where we are invited to imagine the reality we’d like to have around us, I believe that we, as Christians, are being called to something deeper.
The Bible does call us to have strong, unwavering faith that does not doubt, and unlike the world, we’re not called to have faith in what we wish for but in things that are long-lasting and unchanging, like the next six things I’m about to share with you.
You Can Have Unwavering Faith in:
1. Have Faith that God is Who He Says He Is
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God is calling us to believe that He is who He says he is. Even when He has an encounter with Moses, in the wilderness, He identifies himself saying, “Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Exodus 3:6.
When Jesus has the encounter with the woman at the well, he says to her, “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58. God is very interested in people knowing, and believing who he is. So the first thing I believe we are called to place our faith in is God’s identity that He is who He says He is.
2. Have Faith that God Will Do What He Says He Will Do
One of the next things we need to have faith in is the strength of God’s word and His commitment to doing what He says He will do.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
If you need a reminder of how God will do what He says He will do, take a moment to write down all the times in the past you’ve seen God come through and fulfil his word and do what He says He’ll do. Write down as many answers to prayer that you can think of and read them back to yourself as much as you can to reinforce your faith in God doing what He says He will do.
3. Have Faith in God’s Timing
Whenever I am doubtful of God’s timing, I like to revisit the story of Creation in Genesis. In this story, we see the world being created with intentionality and precision. Each piece of the world was put into place before the next. It was done deliberately and precisely.
We can have faith that God is just as intentional with His timing in our lives as well.
4. Have Faith in God’s Sovereignty
If you look at the story of Job you can see God compare Job’s humanity to God’s divinity. You see, God asked Job, how he is called the world and to be he asks Job if he has any explanation for it.
I Chronicles 29:11-12 says, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
As much as we like to be in control of our worlds, if we’re honest with ourselves, there’s so much of life that’s not in our control. It’s that contrast between humanity and divinity. This is something in which we can have faith
5. Have Faith in God’s Love for You
One of the things that we can have assurance in is God’s love for us. When we place our requests, desires and concerns in the context that God has immense love for us, we can relax and have assurance that He will make all things work together for our good.
I John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
6. Have Faith that God is Working Things Together for Your Good
Sometimes we come to God with just the thought of wanting to get something and it’s our first approach and attempt to connect with God is in that moment of what your need and are often believe that God honors those requests. I think as our faith matures, as our relationship with God deepens, we don’t always see what we ask for come to fruition. We don’t always see it happen.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”