Hebrews 11:6 reads, “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”
The people in Jesus’ hometown really struggled with putting their faith and trust in Him. Many of them had watched Him grow from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Although they must have known that He was someone special (for He was without sin), they could not conceive in their minds that this one who had grown up among them was the long awaited Messiah, in spite of the miracles He had performed in other places. I suppose that some were even envious of Jesus’ sudden celebrity status. Why should someone they had known all their lives suddenly become the most talked about individual in their region. Whatever their thinking or reasoning, the people of Nazareth rejected the Messiah-ship of Jesus – and the Bible says, “Because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them,” and that “He was amazed at their unbelief” (Mark 6:6).
Question – “Why is faith such a requirement from God for Him to work mightily in our lives?” Why is faith so important to God? It could be that the Lord knows that we live by faith in something or someone every day – and therefore we should be able to put our faith and trust in Him. Every time we open a can of food, we eat that food by faith, believing that the cans contents are not poisoned. We go to doctors whose names we can’t pronounce, who give us prescriptions we can’t read. We take them to pharmacists we don’t know, who give us medications we don’t understand. And yet we take them all by faith. If we can put our faith in just about anyone or anything, I suppose that the Lord feels that we ought to be able and willing to put our complete faith and trust in Him. The primary reason the Lord requires faith from us, however, is that it demonstrates our appreciation of Him, belief in Him, and confidence in Him. I have an acrostic for the word “faith.” It is: “Forsaking All I Trust Him.” When we forsake our own ambitions, beliefs, covetousness and dreams to put our trust in the Lord, it indicates to Him and us that He is first place in our lives – and when the Lord is first place in our lives, He rewards our faith.
Second Question – “Does the Lord have first place in your life – and do you live daily by complete faith and trust in Him?” You can know the answer to that question by examining how willing you are to give your time, talents, testimony and tithes and offerings to Him. Do you prioritize time with the Lord (daily devotion) and for the Lord (worship and service) more so than other activities in your life? Have you surrendered your gifts and talents to Him, and are you faithfully serving in the ministry of the Lord? Are you willing to daily share your testimony with others of how much the Lord means to you and all that the Lord has done for you – and do you consistently live without worry in your life? Do you cheerfully and generously give tithes and offerings to your church and through other ministries? If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you (like the people of Nazareth) are limiting what the Lord desires to do in your life because you are struggling in your “faith walk” with the Lord.
As you pray today: 1) Pray for the Lord to show you the areas of your life that are more “faithless” than “faith-filled;” 2) Repent of any lack of faith in your heart, and ask the Lord to impart to you a fresher and stronger faith than you’ve ever had before; and 3) Start living by faith by giving your time, talents, testimony and tithes and offerings to the Lord. You will be as amazed at what the Lord can do in response to your faith, as Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith He found in the people of Nazareth.