Until I watched a You-Tube video the other day, I thought faith and belief were the same thing. Michael Pearl, from “The Door,” explains the difference.
You either believe or you don’t. I would go a step further and also say, either you love God or you don’t. You don’t have degrees of belief. It’s either there or it isn’t.
Faith, on the other hand, has degrees or amounts. Jesus tells us that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. How many mountains have you moved lately?
It might be a good thing we don’t have faith like that. It would be a freaky world if people were going around moving mountains, etc. whenever they felt like it. Maybe God only gives that kind of faith to people who can handle it and not abuse it? Not sure.
The disciples’ believed Jesus was God, but they couldn’t do miracles until Jesus sent them out for that purpose. Also, after Jesus’ death, he sent the Holy Spirit to them and that’s when they could speak in tongues and they continued to do miracles. I’m starting to think that the amount of faith we have is a gift.
I’ve often wondered why prayers don’t always get answered when the bible clearly states that whatever you ask for, believing you received it, it will be given to you. It is because of our lack of faith. We don’t have the faith of a mustard seed. Perhaps that kind of faith is only possible if God gives it to us???
Honestly, I’m not sure how we get the faith of a mustard seed. Do we ask for it? Is it only given to those whom God choses, because he gives each of us different gifts? Or do we grow in faith over time? Hmmm.
Mathew 21: 21-22 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
I think the reason I got off track on this issue is because sometimes the bible uses the two words interchangeably and other times it’s obvious they’re two different things. It probably has to do with how things are translated and I’m not educated in the other languages to figure all that out. I’m going to blame my previous lack of understanding on that.
Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.
James 5: 15-16 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Acts 16: 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved; you and your household.”
The above verse says you need to believe to be saved. It doesn’t say you have to have a certain amount of faith. So, if your prayers aren’t always answered and mountains aren’t moving for you; don’t worry. You’re still saved. You will still get to heaven.
Now, I have just one more spin to mention on the word “believe.”
James 2: 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder!
I think this is referring to two different ways to believe. You can believe with your head like the demons do. They know Jesus is God but they don’t love him. The other “believe” is when you know with your head and you know with your heart; you love God. That’s a whole different thing. You have to believe in God with your heart to live with God in his kingdom. Why would God want people who hate him there?
I’m going to provide the link for that sermon just in case you want to hear it without my added thoughts muddying it up. Here it is:
All this is a new thought process for me, so if you have comments to add; feel free! I would love to hear them.