Faith to Overcome
1 John 5:4-5 NIV for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
There are a number of TV preachers today (sometimes called “faith preachers”) teaching a doctrine of “hyper faith.” The concept is that if you have enough faith that you can make any request and God will honor it (often called, “name it and claim it”.) It is suggested that, if you have enough faith, you can *know* that God will give you whatever you want. It is a very appealing concept to the materialist mindset of people today. And, these preachers often hedge their bets by blaming the seeker for not having enough faith when their request is not answered.
However, faith is defined as, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” Notice the primary synonym is “trust” – not “know”. That is a very distinct and significant difference. We are to trust God to provide what is best – rather than demanding that God give us what we want. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” No mention of getting what we demand. Indeed, verse 39 says that none of the list of “faith people” in that chapter “received what had been promised.“
If we want the faith to overcome the world, we only need to trust God and believe in Christ Jesus. In Luke 17:5, the disciples asked Jesus to “increase our faith!” Jesus responded that they only needed the tiniest amount (mustard seed) of faith to accomplish whatever God designed for them. It was His gentle way to tell them that faith is not measurable. You either have it or you don’t.
The best analogy I know for faith is the concept of a small child as her dad leaves for work. She does not tell her father, “Now you go to work and make money so that you can buy me presents and toys!” Instead, she *trusts* that her daddy will provide everything she needs. He loves her and she loves him and no demands are needed.
Let us hear Christ’s teachings (rather than man’s) and “receive the kingdom of God as a little child.” (Mark 10:15)