A VISIONARY WITH PASSION, GATHERING FRAGMENTS AROUND NATIONS
THESE THINGS WE ALSO SPEAK, NOT IN WORDS WHICH MAN’S WISDOM TEACHES, BUT WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES
……I CORITNTH. 2 : 13 (NKJV)
ELEMENTS OF FAITH : Evangelist Kunal Mukherjee:
‘FAITH’ is a commonplace terminology used by all and sundry irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Etymologically, ‘FAITH’ denotes Trust, Belief, Loyalty etc.
Characteristically, ‘FAITH’ is much above the etymological depiction although its basis relates to the natural definition of the word itself. In its character, ‘FAITH’ has a supernatural emblem. That is the very base-line of Godly living. The very essence of the teaching of ‘FAITH’ by Jesus Christ the Lord.
The Greek word of ‘FAITH’ is “PISTIS”. As per New Testament setting, ‘PISTIS’ is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust and reliance in God and all that He says.
When Jesus said to His disciples in the Gospel of Mark, chapter eleven, verse twenty two : “HAVE FAITH….”, He wanted or rather instructed His disciples to throw a supernatural approach to their existent natural faith. The same message He has been continuously rendering every moment to His New Testament Church today through His Holy Spirit: “ HAVE FAITH….”;-- ‘FAITH’ which even though may be having the stature of a MUSTARD SEED, yet, can remove the MOUNTAIN (Matt. 17:20a). ‘FAITH’, “ WHICH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN”…(Heb. 11:1). ‘FAITH’ which enables us to believe that God knows all about us. He wants to fulfill all our heart’s desires, provide all our needs, give the best. AND NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM..
Now, if we talk about “SUBSTANCE OF THINGS”, we must know that each substance is the constituent of certain ‘ELEMENTS’. So is the ‘FAITH’ as well. Faith as ‘Substance of things’ has certain ELEMENTS. Those are the salient features of ‘FAITH’.
Bible speaks about three important ELEMENTS OF FAITH:
NATURE OF FAITH
MEASURE OF FAITH
CHARACTER OF FAITH
IN THESE SERIES OF “WORD WEALTH”, WE ARE GOING TO DEAL WITH THE FIRST ELEMENT, that is, : “ NATURE OF FAITH”.
This situation is recorded in the three synoptic Gospels; Matthew, Mark & Luke. If we take an overview; we find this passage also is describing a ‘paradox’. The seemingly contradiction in the Person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - - one side His humanity, and the other His deity. The human Jesus was tired, wearied, fatigued- - no doubt he overworked,- - so much so that He went off to sleep. Got subject to infirmity. A Man in the body and flesh like rest of all mankind.
Now, there was the God Jesus- - the second Person of Trinity, the Eternal Son, the Savior, the blessed Redeemer, the compassionate and merciful Master; Who took upon Him the human nature and dwelt among us, yet had the authority over heaven and earth.
What a unique identity –THE GOD-MAN !
Think of the disciples for a moment ! They had been moving with Jesus continuously. Had heard his teachings. Had witnessed many miracles done by Him. Nonetheless! Their ‘NATURE OF FAITH’ began dwindling ; wavering when suddenly the situation went contrary. In that particular moment of raging of the sea, or waves having been tumultuous, they were running helter-skelter, confused, puzzled, nonplussed. THEY HAD THEIR ‘FAITH’. They knew the Savior was around ,Who would rescue them at time of trouble. But in that particular moment they could not hold to the ‘Nature of Faith’ that was required to overcome the situation. They ran to Jesus,-- but with an attitude of complaint ( ….do you not care that we are perishing…? –Mark 4 :34a). What were they lacking ?.... THEIR ‘ NATURE OF FAITH’ WAS NOT UP TO THE MARK.
THIS IS REPREHENSIBLE.
Jesus was fully aware of what He had to do. At first, He never spoke anything as because their faith was not steady in nature. He knew it would happen for every flesh and blood His prime concern was that they were in trouble and needed His intervention.. He allowed them to come to Him when they were in jeopardy. Immediately He got up and rebuked the storm and the tossing of the water was ceased, THERE WAS A CALM. (V.24). PRAISE THE LORD !
Now, He comes to the disciples and shows His contempt for their weak ‘Nature of Faith’….. “WHERE IS YOUR FAITH…?”
The scenario now….! The sea was silenced. The disciples marveled--- “What manner of Man is this?” ---- He is the Lord of the nature and of the creation. He is the Lord of the universe. Man, yet obviously God. He could command the elements. He could silence the wind. Could stop the raging of the sea ! Hallelluyah !
That is the reality of Jesus Christ ---God and Man, two natures in one Person. Two natures unmixed, yet resident in the same person.
The unchanging Jesus ( Heb. 13 :8) asks us the same question, when we waver in our faith because our ‘Nature of Faith’ becomes feeble.….. “WHERE IS YOUR FAITH…?” ………meaning ;
“ WHY IS YOUR NATURE OF FAITH SO WEAK ?; SO FRAIL ?; SO FRAGILE …? … CAN YOU NOT RETAIN IN YOUR MIND THE FACT THAT I AM ALWAYS WITH YOU..? AND THAT I HAVE THE AUTHORITY OVER HEAVEN AND EARTH ? EVEN IF YOU GO THROUGH ANY ODD SITUATION , WHATEVER MAY BE THE VOLUME OF YOUR PROBLEMS; I WILL BALE YOU OUT ? DO YOU TEND TO FORGET THAT MY PROMISES ARE NEVER FAILINIG? …..WHY , WHY DO YOU ALLOW THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN?”
He is reminding us even at this point of time, when we are passing through problems which seem to be unbearable or uncontrollable, that, He is there with us to silence the storm of our lives; to ensure a ‘CALM’ in place of the ‘RAGING’ of the sea.. HE WANTS US TO HAVE A FAITH WHICH DOES NOT GIVE ROOM TO ANY DOUBT OR CONFUSION.
In the context of this passage, when we draw some principles of Faith, ( which are inherent in the ELEMENTS OF FAITH), we may call this incident as a “TRIAL OF FAITH”. In the book of Hebrews, the writer of the epistle in chapter eleven speaks about ‘Faith’ of many Biblical heroes. The most striking fact is that everyone of them was ‘Tried’. The Christian life is full of Trials. If anyone assumes, once accepting Christ as Savior means there will be no trial, no hassle anymore; it’s a delusion. In fact, God permits ‘Trials; He allows storms and billows in our lives In Philippians 1:29 Paul affirms to the church of Phillippi that ‘Faith’ in Christ also calls for the suffering with Him. That is why Apostle James encourages us through ‘James 1: 2’ that : “Count it all joy, when you fall into various trials”. More than the first century apostles, Jesus Himself gave us His powerful verdict that in the world we have to undergo various Trials. But we have to be confident of His everlasting presence with us by His RESURRECTION which enables us to be of good cheer and overcomer of the ‘Trials’ (John 16: 33). More the ‘Trials of Faith’, steadier the ‘Nature of Faith’. PRAISE THE LORD !
Friends, a Christian should not be agitated. Never be at one’s wit’s end. Never be in a condition in which a Christian has lost control of himself.
That is the first element of the fundamentals of Faith--- The steadfast Nature of Faith… Paul in his epistle to the Church of Colosse writes; “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast”….(Col. 1: 23). We, as Christians, should never be depressed, agitated, alarmed, frantic, not knowing what to do. These are the typical reactions to trouble of those who do not know Jesus. We should not be carried away by our feeling.
In my personal life for thirteen years as Born-Again Christian, I have in many such situations, first wavered in my ‘Faith’, then marveled at His power of rendering solution to the problems (His grace indeed !) – and finally got to be convicted that our ‘Nature of Faith’ should under all circumstances be established DOUBTLESSLY in Christ Jesus --- “ THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH” ( Heb. 12:2).
Paul the Apostle poses a very vital ADVICE to this day New Testament church through his second epistle to the church of Corinth … “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” ..(II CORINTH.13:5).
Friends ! let us Finally take note of certain aspects of “Faith” in terms of its “Nature”:
‘Faith’ by ‘nature’ is not a mere matter of Feeling. Feeling is changeable.
‘Faith’ takes up the whole man including his mind, his intellect and his understanding.
‘Faith’ is not something that acts automatically. ‘Faith’ does not act magically. It is generated by nature; grown by commitment and is established by Grace of God in the power of the Holy spirit.
‘Faith’ is a form of activity. It has to be put into action.
‘Faith’ is a refusal to ‘panic’.
BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IF ANY OF YOU FEEL, YOU ARE FALTERING IN FAITH. THERE HAS BEEN A SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION; YOU ARE CONFRONTING A TUMULTUOUS SITUATION IN LIFE , YOU ARE CONFUSED, RESTLESS, PUZZLED, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO LIKE THOSE FIRST CENTURY DISCIPLES; THERE IS AN ANSWER FOR YOU : THE HOLY SPIRIT,-- THE TEACHER, THE COMFORTER, THE INSTRUCTOR WHO IS WORKING ON BEHALF OF JESUS THE LORD TODAY ON THIS PLANET EARTH. HE WILL TAKE YOU TO JESUS AND YOU WILL MARVEL AT THE WORK OF HIS HAND FOR A REVIVAL IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT AWAY.
Let us pray together :
Heavenly Father, we come before Your throne of Grace in the name of Son Jesus the Lord to acknowledge the nature of faith that you have given to us. But, Lord, we confess that because of our weaknesses we have not been able to exercise our Faith in time of contrary situations. We pray now Lord, may our nature of faith be steadfast and strong by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and enrichment of Your Words so that we never again waver in our Faith. Pray Lord, our Faith be grounded in You alone. And You alone take the glory.
In Jesus name, Amen !
Copyright © 2008 Evangelist Kunal Mukherjee Ministires