I was chatting with a person who I hadn’t seen at JBC for some time so I asked them how they were doing spiritually. They responded by saying that they had lost their faith. I asked what that meant and how it happened. They then proceeded to tell me a series of stories about themselves that were basically stories of the hard things and trials that they had gone through for the last 6 months, and because of those trials they no longer believed in God, because according to their theology, God, if He existed certainly wouldn’t let those kinds of things happen. I said, “what about Jesus, and all the bad things that happened to Him?” They started mumbling things that strongly suggested that they weren’t interested in my reasons or my rebuttals of their theology.
Hebrews 11 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Jesus regularly scolded His disciples, and called them men of little faith. It is said of Abraham that he grew strong in his faith. Jesus tells His disciples that if they have faith as small as a mustard seed that they will be able to move mountains and nothing will be Impossible for them to accomplish. We are saved from an eternity in hell by our faith and if we don’t have faith there isn’t much reason to pray.
I know how to grow tomatoes, and I know it is pretty straight forward, not what you would call a mystery. I grow stronger and stronger in my faith in God by reading His Word. Faith is not an event or a burst of belief on my part, it is not something that I somehow crank up in my mind, Faith is a character trait, a quality of my soul, and I grow it by faithfully choosing to read the Bible.