Faith, Paul and Matthew both wrote about it. What is it? How can we define our faith? Jesus said that Peter's faith was too small. Paul tells us faith is in our hearts.
Paul takes it a little further when he says, “...before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent.”
So, it's easier to believe if someone tells us about their faith. I believe our souls are longing for intimacy with the Word. We know God is there but we have doubts and struggle with believing until...someone shares their story with us about how God reached out for their hand when they called for help.
Peter had “some” faith but it didn’t really show until he was sinking in the waves and knew he couldn’t tread water long enough to keep from going under. It was only when he realized he was going down fast that he called for Jesus to save him. Does that sound familiar?
Some might think that Peter showed his faith when he stepped out of the boat and I agree that took some courage to do that. But he didn’t throw his leg over until he was sure that it was Jesus who was walking across the water towards them. Don’t you wonder what he was thinking when he did that? Anyway his faith didn’t really show itself until he was sinking.
So, let me ask you a question. When does your faith become apparent? I would bet that most of the time our faith isn’t really seen until we find ourselves sinking and cry out, “Save me Lord!”
On the other hand Paul says that is tells us in Scripture, "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart." He tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved.” And he reminds us that…"Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed."
What else is there to say? Faith is believing that Jesus is God’s Son and that God raised him from the dead. Faith is trusting in God and his promises. Faith is having God’s word in our hearts and trusting in the power of God to save us when we are drowning.
To be honest we all struggle with our faith, even those we think have an unshakable faith have moments when their faith wavers. That’s why I think what Paul tells us at the end of today’s passage is so important, “… before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent. It is written, ‘How beautiful is the person who comes to bring good news.’”
So, good friends I pray that if you hear or feel God calling you to share your story with someone, that you will listen to his voice and do it. Because this is the only time they will have the opportunity to hear “your” story. And they can’t believe until they hear “your” story. So, when God asks you to go, do it and don’t be afraid to tell your story because there’s no other story like your story.
When we share our faith, when we extend a hand to someone else, we give them the chance to hear the word and believe. And God’s kingdom on earth grows with the addition of one more believer. Thanks be to God. Amen.