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We Are to Live by Faith

by Gordie Coffin

George Muller, the 19th century English pastor, is best known for his orphan ministry, where his faith in God allowed him to build five orphan houses and care for over 10,000 orphans. In his autobiography, Muller cites the primary reason for establishing this ministry was that “God would be magnified because the orphans under my care will be provided with all they need through prayer and faith.” The autobiography cites numerous examples of Muller’s prayers and faith in God to provide for the needs of the ministry.

Upon reading his biography, one may be left feeling as though their faith is inadequate in comparison. However, the same power that allowed George Muller to live by faith is given to every believer. In Galatians 2:20 the Apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” God is the source of faith and He equips every believer with the ability to live by faith.

The “New Unger’s Bible Dictionary” claims that faith is “…not simply the assent of the intellect to revealed truth; it is the practical submission of the entire man to the guidance and control of such truth.” We can know God’s Word, but that does not correlate to having faith, as even “the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19).

I recall as an unbeliever in high school telling a friend that I would believe the Bible if someone could show me Noah’s Ark, or if I could witness a miracle firsthand. But there are multiple occasions where Jesus refuted the idea that such miracles would produce faith. This is because biblical faith is not founded on evidence. It is founded on belief in God. The object of Abraham’s faith was not God’s promise to him, but rather in God Himself.

In Hebrews 11:1, faith is defined as, “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith provides a guarantee for the wonderful things we long for written in God’s Word and offers proof for those things we cannot see. The Apostle Paul elaborates on this in 2 Corinthians 5:7 where he wrote, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Although you may feel that your faith pales in comparison to that of Abraham, the Apostle Paul, or of George Muller, the reality is that every believer has been equipped by God to live by faith. Faith gives believers the assurance that what God has revealed to us in His word is true, and we are to live in light of that revelation.