October 4, 2021

What is the Purpose of Faith?

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.Hebrews 11:6


Everyone lives by faith in something or someone. And the object of our faith determines the objective of our faith. Faith in Jesus Christ is different than faith in anything or anyone else. Maybe that’s why so many people misunderstand what biblical faith is. So what is the purpose of faith in the life of a believer?


Even though God is the “rewarder of those who seek Him,” reward should not be our objective. The problem is that we think of rewards in tangible, worldly terms. Some believe that the size of their faith determines their quality of life. They connect great faith with having a large bank account and a healthy body. That, however, was not the case with many in Scripture who God calls faithful.


There’s no better example than those listed in the latter part of the hall of faith—Hebrews 11. The same faith that enabled some to escape death by the sword enabled others to endure death by the sword (vv32-40). Some, such as Gideon, had faith as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) yet took part in miraculous events. Others suffered tremendous loss despite possessing great faith.


So, the purpose of faith is not to make life better. Nor is it to experience miraculous healing and deliverance, although God can do all of that. A core principle of Hebrews 11 is that we cannot fully trust the Lord as our rewarder until we see God Himself as our reward. In other words, the purpose of faith is to know God and to please Him in all that we do.


The question, then, is not whether you lack sufficient faith for healing or for overcoming your present difficulty. But rather, do you have enough faith to remain in those circumstances? The Bible doesn’t connect faith to what our lives look like outwardly but to how we live inwardly. We’re told repeatedly that faith goes hand-in-hand with righteousness (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38).


That’s why faith in Jesus is different than faith in anything or anyone else. As we follow Him, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). And He leads us to a life beyond the ordinary; a life whose primary reward is an intimate relationship with God Himself.