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Why I Couldn’t Have Faith

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 4 Comments

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I’ve been camped out in the book of Hebrews for a while now. I keep reading the same chapters over and over, and for whatever reason, I can’t seem to move past this section of scripture. And I don’t want to either.

So much is packed into this book. There are so many nuggets to be mined, and I honestly feel Jesus speaking a powerful word over my heart about faith.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:6 goes on to tell us that “without faith it is impossible to please [God],” which tells me that it’s not about what we do––though that does matter––it’s primarily about what we believe.

Faith is believing.

“You just need to have faith,” Travis would tell me during the trials we went through before I became a Christian. Without trivializing the situation, Travis lovingly pointed out that our trials would be so much easier to endure if I could believe that it would all work out in the end.

He was right, but his words didn’t fit into my paradigm.

I didn’t have faith. And in fact, I couldn’t have faith. And the words intended to console my anxious heart only angered me. “I can’t just have faith,” I’d say. “Faith is not something that I can just magically create.”

I wanted faith. I wanted to believe. But for so many reasons––reasons I cannot even begin to list here––I couldn’t. 

Here’s the thing. We can’t do anything without the grace of God. Nothing.

All is grace.

It is by grace and grace alone that we live. [Tweet that] Each breath we take is God’s outpouring of grace. It all begins with grace. We are upheld by grace. And at our end, we too will find God’s grace ushering us into the life to come.

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” My pre-Christian self was wrong about just about everything, but I was right about one thing. I couldn’t conjure up faith within my own power.

Faith comes only when given. Hebrews 12:2 calls Jesus the “founder and perfecter of our faith.” Grace comes first. A seed of faith is planted. And then we begin to see faith grow.

The first step of faith is believing truth. It’s believing that Jesus is who He says He is, for the object of our faith is very important. Faith is not about believing all will work out in the end, neglecting the One in control of the outcome. [Tweet that] A mere belief in something does not make it true. [Tweet that] I can have faith in just about anything, but this kind of faith is not only misguided, it leads to destruction.

The real question––the most important question you’ll face––was the one Jesus posed to Peter. He asked, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What’s your response?

Who is the object of your faith? 

Someone once said that the most important thing about a person is who he says Jesus is. I believe this is true. Faith in Jesus is the only way. There are not many ways to get to heaven as many have been deceived to believe. There’s one. And His name is Jesus.

What goes through your mind when you hear Peter confess Jesus as Christ?

If you’re still investigating, what are some of your objections to Christianity? I’d love to address them in future posts. Perhaps they’re some of the same objections I had. 

Share in the comments.