The just shall live by faith…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God…I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him. (Romans 1:17; 10:17 and 2 Timothy 1:12)
The entire Christian walk is designed to be lived by faith. “The just shall live by faith.” In every step of every day, in every issue that we face, we are to rely upon the Lord. This path of trust accesses grace. Faith allows us to receive and respond to the grace that God desires to shower upon us. Remember, faith is what corresponds with grace. “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace” (Romans 4:16). Trying our hardest does not ensure God’s grace working in and through us. Attempting to be passive does not bring forth a display of His grace. However, humbly trusting in the Lord, whether taking action or patiently waiting, will always result in His grace undertaking for us.
Yet, how does one specifically learn to live by faith? “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As we get into the Scriptures, desiring to hear from the Lord, faith has opportunity to grow. Through the word, God speaks to us about Himself and His ways. He tells us His plans and purposes. He provides insights into reality. He drives away illusions and misconceptions. He offers promises and assurances. As we are thereby getting to know who the Lord is and what He wants to do, we are stirred to trust Him to work these matters into our lives. We face trials or opportunities, and we trust Him to be faithful. We learn of our own inadequacy and are driven to His sufficiency. We look to the Lord in daily personal issues, and He proves faithful. Through it all, our faith continues to grow in response to what the Lord is revealing to us and is doing for us. This is God’s grace at work, because His word is “the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32).
This process illustrates the relational reality of faith. Faith is not something we can produce. It results from getting to know the Lord more and more. Paul spoke of this pattern in part of his testimony. “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him.” As the years passed, Paul was getting acquainted with the Lord in whom he had first believed. Then, as this relationship with Christ developed, Paul was increasingly convinced of his Master’s ability to handle any matter entrusted into His hands. All the while, Paul’s growing faith was drawing upon the resources of God’s grace.