Romans 10:17 “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Be careful what you pray for. When I first married, I asked God to make me a man of faith. I thought that was the thing to do. Then…
- … he allowed us to experience a deep financial crisis;
- … he led us to serve twice in places that couldn’t support us;
- … he allowed us to lose children in three pregnancies;
- … he allowed me to be unemployed on 3 different occasions; and
- … he allowed me to enter a surveilance mode for cancer (though still clear after 6 years).
And there’s more. But you’ve got the picture.
Faith didn’t arrive because of those experiences, but faith in God was enlarged as He led us through those experiences. In each circumstance I found myself driven for direction and comfort in God’s Word. And on each occasion God spoke to me in new ways even when reading familiar passages.
Faith cannot be exercised until we know what to trust God for. We can read the Bible and not hear God. But when we turn to the Scripture with a burning thirst for direction and help, He speaks!
Faith is a response to what God says. Hearing results from the word (literally “utterance”) that God impresses on your heart as you pour over the pages of the Scripture.
When God speaks, my life changes, even though my circumstances may never change to my liking. Would I pray again to become a man of faith?
In a heartbeat! I would not have wanted to live those experiences without a vital faith rumbling around in my soul — a faith driven by encounters with God in His Word.