“You’re just going to have to trust me! I’ll catch you.” How many movies have used lines similar to this? A scene in a film I watched recently showed a little girl on the roof of a burning building. At only two stories, the building was low enough that she wouldn’t have far to jump into the arms of her father. But he still had to coax her off of that roof. He had to remind her that she could trust him, that he loved her, and he wouldn’t let her fall. Within seconds of his reassurance that he would catch her, the little girl jumped from the roof, and into his arms. She was safe, and just moments later, the building was completely engulfed in flames. There was no way to know for sure that her dad wouldn’t fall, or that he wouldn’t miss her somehow. She had to trust him without being able to see the outcome. What if she had waited? What if she hadn’t trusted her father when he said he would catch her? What if she hadn’t jumped?
Sometimes you and I are so much like that little girl. You’re afraid to move from a place that’s no longer safe, because you’re not sure what will happen once you jump. You’re pretty sure you’ll be okay, but there are no guarantees. So you hesitate or never even jump, only to get caught in the flames; and then, oh how you wish you’d had enough faith to jump into the arms of your Father. Why is it so hard for you and I to trust that God knows what’s best for us? Why is it so hard to trust Him, period?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
See also: 2 Cor. 5:7, Ps. 33:4
There are two different Hebrew words for faith used in the Old Testament. The first is aman, which describes something that is absolutely reliable, stable, or trustworthy. Yare’ is the Hebrew word for fear. Not the “I’m scared” kind of fear, but reverential awe of God. In the New Testament, writers used the Greek word pistis, which denotes trust and an unwavering belief that something is true.[i] All of these definitions really hone in on the word “trust”. Faith is impeccable, absolute, trust that God exists and that He will do what He says.
Faith shows our complete confidence in God, that even though we can’t physically see Him, He is there. Faith shows our trust in God to do what He promised, to do what’s best for you even when you don’t understand, because you can’t see the whole picture or the end result. Faith is saying, “God’s got this” no matter how scared, or worried you want to be. You can trust that He will come through.
Journal question: What does it mean to have an unwavering belief or unconditional trust? Do you feel that way about God, do you trust Him?
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Mark 11:22
See also: Is. 61:8, John 14:1-4, Acts 27:25, Romans 4:16, 1 Cor. 1:9, 1 Thess. 5:24, 2 Tim. 2:13
Jesus trusted God all the way to the cross, and commanded His disciples to trust God as well. You can trust God to be who He says He is and carry out all of the promises He made. God doesn’t speak to you and I the same way He spoke to the prophets, but He still speaks to you through His word, and guides you by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it can be really difficult to have complete trust in God because you can’t see Him physically. But remember the things you can see—remember how His faithfulness to you in the past, look at the Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillments, watch the changes He makes in the hearts of those around you.
God didn’t lend you a map of your entire life, but that does not mean you can’t trust Him to guide you through it. He wants your trust; He’s not going to break it. He will come through for you, no matter what. Even when it seems like you’ve waited forever, even when you’re hurting and can’t see a purpose for your pain, even when it doesn’t seem that your family or friends will trust Him with their lives—God is still worthy of your trust. He will get you through whatever happens.
Journal question: What does trusting God look like to you? What are you holding onto? What do you need to let go of and give to Him?
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
See also: Prov. 16:6, Acts 15:9, Rom. 3:25, Heb. 11:6
Did you know that faith is essential to your salvation? Well, think of it this way—you have to trust that God sent His son to pay for your sins. Because you and I were not yet born when Christ died on the cross, we have to trust what God says to us in His word. Though you may experience the benefits of salvation because Jesus died and rose from the grave, you didn’t actually see Him do it. Even beyond that, saving faith means trusting that Jesus’ death does all–saving you from death and giving you eternal life, as well as freeing you from bondage to sin—God said it would do.
Journal question: What does it mean to have saving faith? Write down all the reasons you can trust what God says about Jesus.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
See also: Acts 3:16, Eph. 2:8
Where do you get your faith? God reveals Himself to you through His word, and guides you by His Holy Spirit and through your prayers. God sent His Son to for your sins. He gave us the gifts of His Spirit and freedom from Sin. You know that now, but how did you find out about Jesus and salvation? More than likely you heard the gospel from someone when you asked God to forgive you and save you from your sin. Maybe your parents are Christians and raised you up in a godly home, maybe a youth pastor reached out to you, maybe a friend told you about her relationship with Jesus, or maybe someone gave you a Bible and told you where to look—but somehow God’s message of salvation through Christ was shared with you.
It would be difficult to accept a message you never heard. No one has an excuse for not knowing God exists, but how will people know Jesus and His salvation if they do not hear the message? Once you know the gospel message, don’t keep it to yourself; go tell others so they can understand salvation through faith in Christ, too.
Journal question: How did you hear the gospel? Write it out.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17
See also: Luke 22:32, Rom. 1:17, Rom. 10:10, Gal. 2:20
You hear or read the word of God, believe what God says is true, and you ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Now what do you do with your faith? You can’t just sit on it and expect it to grow. Yes, trusting God will help you through the rest of your life, but what else can you do with your faith? Share it. It’s easy to be afraid to share—afraid of rejection, afraid of what people will say about you, afraid to speak up period. But you can’t let fear take over.
When you’re really excited about something, you want to share it, right? For example, if you like volleyball, you talk about it, you know the right way to play the game but you always try to improve your skills, you want to play the game as much as possible, and you want others to get involved and love it, too, right? God wants us to feel the same way about the gift He’s given to us—salvation. He wants us to talk about our faith even when we’re afraid. He wants us to study His word to learn more about our faith and grow it deeper. God wants us to do things for others that demonstrate His love, and show that we believe we can trust Him. When others hear the gospel message and see the changes God has made in your life, maybe they’ll want to know Him too.
Journal question: Can you think of anyone you know personally who doesn’t know Jesus? How can you share your faith with those people? What will you tell them? How will your faith push you to act differently?
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
See also: Matt. 9:22, Eph. 6:16, 2 Thess. 3:3
Don’t be afraid to use your faith, to trust God to do big things. God can do so much more than you know, or even imagine. Sometimes, our faith is weak and flimsy. You don’t want to ask God for too much. I have a question, is there anything that’s too much for the Creator of the Universe? God is big, let’s stop trying to make Him so small. If you believe that God is the God of the Bible–that He could make a nation from a barren womb, rescue His people from a powerful nation (several times, actually), make a king out of a shepherd boy, send His Son to be born of a virgin, and then to die on the cross for all the sins of all people for all time and then be raised to life—you need to think big.
God didn’t give you a small faith. He wants you to ask for things that allow Him to demonstrate His power. He wants us to ask Him to be big and trust Him to follow through. He wants us to have faith that moves mountains. If you believe God can do anything, it’s not crazy or stupid to ask Him to do the impossible; it’s called having faith.
Journal question: If you could ask God to do anything—what would it be? Ask it. And trust that He will answer even if it’s not the answer you expected.
[i] Trent C. Butler, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Holman Reference: Nashville, 2003), 547-550.