Sunday, September 2, 2012

Genuine, Childlike Faith

By Bridgette O'Hare

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

When I was pregnant with my second child people would often want to know if I was having a boy or a girl.  Since I wanted it to be a surprise I never asked the doctors to tell me.  However, my four year old son, Patrick, was certain that he knew.  Whenever someone would ask if I knew, my faithful little boy would pipe in boldly saying, “It’s a boy.   I know because I prayed and asked God for a brother.”  He was confident that he was going to get a little brother. He believed God for his promise that if we ask, we shall receive (John 16:24).   He had an attitude of faith that his request had already been granted even though he could not yet “see” this physically. James 4:2 states, “You have not, because you ask not…” Patrick asked and, low and behold, his little brother arrived.   Granted, we do have to be careful what we ask for sometimes.   There have been moments when I heard Patrick mumble “what was I thinking?” and other times, when Patrick is rather annoyed with Dade, the little brother he so faithfully awaited, I hear Dade quickly remind him “well, YOU prayed for me!”  (There’s nothing like brotherly love, is there?)

This childlike faith is required for us to receive the blessings that the Lord longs to give us.   When we pray and make a request of God we shouldn’t murmur to ourselves “I hope this works out.”  We should have the confidence in God that little children have. We should believe that our prayer has already been answered and wait patiently for God to bring it to us in HIS time.  At four years old, Patrick had no concept of the amount of time he would have to wait for his little brother, though he did often ask “how much longer?”  He simply believed that God would send him his request.  Never once did he question God.  I can’t lie, I found myself wondering how I would explain it to him in the event that his little brother turned out to be a little sister instead. My faith was not as genuine as Patrick’s was. Thankfully God took care of that one for me.

Looking back I realize that I simply lacked confidence in God.  And who am I to question the dependability of God? He has always been there for me.  Genuine faith is not professing that you believe… genuine faith is actually believing what you profess.  It is having confidence in the dependability of God...and who is more dependable than He is?

Our Christian lives begin because of our faith in Jesus Christ, they are lived by faith and they end in faith.  Our faith is strengthened by spending time in God’s word, if we do this... it is guaranteed that our faith will grow and we will have more childlike confidence to ask the Lord for the blessings we long for…even the ones we think may be too much to ask.  Maybe it’s time that we stopped insisting our children grow up and start thinking about learning to be a little more like them...childlike in our own faith.

Hebrews 11:1 is a well known verse.  Many Christians can quote it fluently, but quoting it isn’t you live it?  Do you truly have faith in God for the things you are hoping for, but cannot yet see?  How childlike is your faith?