It is the earnest desire of the Lord that His saints be men and women of faith. Jesus expressed this when He said:
“Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22 NKJV).
There is something about faith that gives God great pleasure. In fact, it is the one quality that God requires from His people, when they come to Him with their needs. The writer of Hebrews wrote:
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).
Notice that he didn’t refer to love or hope, although they are important qualities. Instead he wrote that faith was that one quality that was essential for pleasing God.
This is a lesson that I learned very early in my walk with God. I realized that if I was going to receive anything from God, I had to receive it by faith. God only answers the prayer of faith! So many believers who cry and beg and plead with God to answer their prayers, fail to realize that this is the one vital quality that God is looking for. God is moved by your faith, not by your needs!
A beautiful example in God’s Word, that illustrates the unique importance of faith, is found in the story of the woman with the flow of blood. In The Gospel According to Mark, we read that a synagogue official, named Jairus, came and implored Jesus to come and lay His hands on his daughter so that she would be healed.
As Jesus followed him to his house, a great multitude of people joined them and pressed in on Him. In that crowd there would have been many people who needed healing. Many reached out to touch him, but they were not healed. However, in that throng of people there was one woman who had a touch different from everyone else. We read:
“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment” (Mark 5:25-27 NKJV).
When I read this passage one day, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to the fact that someone had told her about Jesus. What do you think this person told her? I believe the person told her what he or she had seen, such as the scene in the following verse:
“And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all” (Luke 6:19 NKJV).
This woman believed the report of what she heard about Jesus, and began saying to herself:
“If I may only touch His clothes, I shall be made well” (Mark 5:28 NKJV).
The Greek suggests that she was saying this to herself over and over again, as she stepped out in faith and began to search for Jesus. Although there were many people pressing in on Him, it was her touch of faith that made a demand on the power of God within Him.
“And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ ” (Mark 5:30 NKJV).
His disciples were incredulous! The whole crowd was pressing in on Him to touch Him, and He wanted to know who touched Him? They had no idea that one touch had been different from every other – it was the touch of faith! Yes, it is the touch of faith that will cause God to overlook hundreds of people and meet the need of that single person.
“But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came down and fell before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’ ” (Mark 5:33-34 NKJV).
This woman didn’t even ask for Jesus’ permission. She just believed the word that someone told her, declared it with her mouth, and then pressed through the crowd to take her healing. Now that is faith! That is also the kind of faith that pleases God. It is the faith He wants to see in His saints.
Faith is simply believing God’s Word, declaring it with your mouth, and showing it by your actions. When we show God how much we believe Him, that pleases His heart. In the same way, when we don’t believe His Word, it grieves His heart. Those who desire to live a holy life, always seek to please their heavenly Father. There is nothing that pleases Him more than a heart full of faith.
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]