Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:24)
Today’s big question: what does faith accomplish?
The Gospels record dozens of amazing miracles that Jesus performed. He healed the deaf, blind, and lame, drove out demons, and even raised the dead. When Jesus healed people, He often commented on the effectiveness of their faith with regard to the miracle. For example, He said to the woman with a flow of blood, “Your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22). When He healed the blind men in Matthew 9:27–31, Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And to the leper who was cleansed of his disease, Jesus likewise said, “Your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19).
The author of Hebrews devoted a large portion of the letter to extolling the benefits of faith. The whole eleventh chapter repeatedly reminds us of men and women who walked by faith—and were mightily used by God as a result. Consider this rapid-fire recounting of the effectiveness of faith.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. . . . (Hebrews 11:30–35)
These Old Testament believers trusted fully in God’s promises. As a result, they were despised by the world but commended by the Lord as people “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38). “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16). Wow! I encourage you to read all of Hebrews 11. It is certainly worth the time invested to strengthen your faith, which 1 Peter 1:7 describes as “much more precious than gold.”
Our faith is in the message of the Cross, which is foolishness to the world, but to us who believe it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18). The real question is this: do you believe?
Today’s big idea: through faith God’s people have the power to change the world for Christ.
What to pray: surrender your heart to God and ask Him in faith to do great things through you.