Faith isn't natural

Faith isn’t natural for us. Doubt is, fear is, and pride is, but faith in the words and works of another isn’t, and for that there’s grace.

God hasn’t just forgiven you—praise Him that He has—but He has also called you to a brand-new way of living. He has called you to live by faith. Now, here’s the rub. Faith is not normal for us. Faith is frankly a counterintuitive way for us to live. Doubt is quite natural for us. Wondering what God is doing is natural. It’s normal to think your life is harder than that of others. Envying the life of someone else is natural. Wishing life were easier and that you had more control is natural. It’s typical for you and me to try to figure out the future. Worry is natural. Fear is natural. Wanting to give up is natural. It’s natural to wonder if all of your good habits make a difference in the end. It’s normal to be occasionally haunted by the question of whether what you have staked your life on is really true. But faith isn’t natural.

This means that faith isn’t something you can work up inside yourself. Faith comes to you as God’s gift of grace: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Not only is your salvation a gift of God, but the faith to embrace it is His gift as well. But here is what you need to understand: God not only gives you the grace to believe for your salvation, but He also works to enable you to live by faith. If you are living by faith, you know that you have been visited by powerful transforming grace, because that way of living just isn’t normal for you and me. If your way of living is no longer based on what your eyes can see and your mind can understand, but on God’s pres­ence, promises, principles, and provisions, it is because God has crafted faith in you.

Could it be that all of those things that come your way that confuse you and that you never would’ve chosen for yourself are God’s tools to build your faith? By progressive transforming grace, He is enabling you to live the brand-new life He calls all of His children to live—the Godward life for which you were created. You don’t have to hide in guilt when weak faith gets you off the path, because your hope in life isn’t your faithfulness, but His. You can run in weakness and once again seek His strength. And you can know that in zealous grace He will not leave His craftwork until faith fully rules your heart unchallenged. He always gives freely what we need in order to do what He has called us to do.


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