What does it mean to have Faith? John Piper stated that “Faith is the currency of the kingdom”. In my last post, we learned how faith comes.
Roman 10:17 says, ” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The first time I ever heard the word “faith” was in a little church in the back woods of Louisiana. I sat on the front pew with my grandmother singing at the top my voice as the choir rocked the church to ” We’ve Come This Far By Faith”. I had not gone very far because I was only five years old. It would be years before I recognized what faith looked like and there would be times when I would have to be reminded about exercising my faith.
In the New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words state that, “Pistis (faith in the Greek) is used of belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same. ‘Faith’ means trust, confidence, assurance, and belief” (p. 1315). When I translate that in my heart it means I am entrusting something or someone over to God to allow Him to change, fix, solve, or transform a situation.
The Bible also defines Pistis in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
It seems I have been meditating on faith a lot and it is probably due to the “Faith Life” sessions that I’ve been studying at church this summer. I know that faith comes before a prayer is answered by God. If we have received what we asked for then it is evident that faith is not needed. One of the most memorable faith lessons I learned occurred in December 1996. It was not a life or death situation. It was a mother trying to fulfill her daughter’s Christmas wish. I want to paint a picture so let me give you some details.
In September 1996, the Nintendo 64 was released and it was in high demand. In fact, Time Magazine called the purchasing interest “that rare and glorious middle-class Cabbage Patch-doll frenzy.” According to Nintendo 64 sales data, the console sold 350,000 of 500,000 available units in the first three days of sale. If you have every seen the movie “Jingle All The Way” with Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) running around frantically trying to find Turbo-Man for his son Jamie, well, you get the picture.
Here I was running around frantically looking for a Nintendo 64. I would search the newspaper looking for stores that had shipments coming in, I would leave work during my lunch break and go to various stores and/or on the way home to find this evasive console. It got to a point where I began to prepare my daughter (Mom Knot Daughter) for the possibility of not getting this particular gift until after Christmas. Then one Sunday morning, after Sunday morning worship, I leaned over and told my sister that I was going to the altar for prayer to ask God to help me get a Nintendo 64. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I am going to the altar for prayer and ask God to help me find Keturah a Nintendo 64.
DJ: You are going to pray for a Nintendo 64 (disbelief)
Me: Yes, God knows my heart. Keturah doesn’t ask for much and just like the Father gives good gifts to us. I want to give this gift to her.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! -Matthew 7:11
As small as it might have seemed, I headed to the altar with my petition. If I was going to have any chance at getting this console I had to rely on God. My Pastor prayed with me and it was settled in my heart. From that day forward, I didn’t run around frantically searching for the console. Christmas was quickly approaching, in fact, it was one day before my company shut down for the Christmas Holiday (my company shut down for two weeks at the end of the year). There were Christmas spreads (food), gift exchanges, and hugs and happy wishes. It was almost time from me to go home when someone told me that Bobby (co-worker) was looking for me. I went in search of Bobby and this is how the conversation went:
Bobby: Marilyn, Are you still looking for a Nintendo 64? It was no secret everyone new I was looking for one.
Bobby: OK, this is what happen. My nephew’s parents bought him a Nintendo 64 and my mother bought him a Nintendo 64 (Chills were running up and down my arms). If you want it, I can bring it to you tomorrow, she has the receipt and bought a warranty. Do you want it?
Not only did God answer my prayer but he brought the Nintendo 64 to me; that is the kind of God I serve.
Me: Of course, I want it. I knew it was GOD! I was to excited beyond words. God demonstrated his love for me and my desire to do a good thing for my child.
I can’t say after God answered this prayer that my faith was always on point. But he showed me and my sister that there is nothing that God can’t do and there is nothing that we can’t ask him for.
Have Faith in God – Mark 11:22