Do You Have Enough Faith?
by Luke Nix
Regarding unanswered prayers, I’ve heard quite often in the Church that people don’t have enough faith. There tends to be two different meanings to this statement. The first is that people are not trusting the evidence that they have that God is trustworthy when it comes to the unknown. The second is that people aren’t trusting God to give them what they want.
I don’t have a problem with the first; its the second that causes serious issues both inside and outside the Church. In the previous post (What is Faith?) I had mentioned the importance of knowing the nature of the person that we are looking to put trust in. If you don’t have a proper understanding of that person’s character, then any trust is likely to fail us. In the case of the second statement, if we believe that by placing faith in God we will be made healthy or rich, we are bound to have our faith in God shaken or even destroyed.
If we have a proper understanding of God (that He is more interested in shaping our character to be more like His for an eternal relationship with Him, than our current comfort level), then we will realize that pain and suffering are actually a boon. Unfortunately, the wrong idea of what faith in God should produce is coming from both inside and outside the Church. The entire culture is obsessed with the individuals’ existential pleasure. That obsession is reflected in our theology (See “God You Way, Right Away“). This cultural permeation of the Church has caused many to teach that God always wants us to be healthy and be monetarily secure.
Many Christians have recognized that this “health and wealth” “gospel” is a false gospel and have labeled it as such. However, the real danger comes when Christians who would not verbally accept that false gospel, yet tell people that the reason they are sick or are in a financial hardship is because of their lack of faith. Most of the time the implication is that if the person had enough faith, God would heal them or give them a truck-load of money to fix the problem. When the person is not healed or does not get relief from the economic hardship, they lose their reason to trust God, and I’ve seen some completely leave the faith…
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