For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
I have heard that faith is like a muscle that gets stronger as we use it. On the other hand, the Bible talks about faith as a gift. What do we make of that?
It is evident that some people have been given the gift of faith. These are see God’s will as basic fact; they don’t question what God is doing and don’t struggle with the doubt that many of us seem to. The Bible is full of such people…Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, and Job to name a few. There are also people in my life who are an inspiration with their faith in God through all sorts of troubles. They never seem to doubt what God is doing in their lives.
In my own life, I have seen God’s faithfulness towards me through difficult times, such as when I was unemployed and underemployed for almost 2 years. I questioned God’s purpose for me often, and when I was at my lowest point, and crying out to God for help, He provided the opportunity that got me back on my feet. For me it was a true miracle.
And therein lies the connection between faith as a gift, and faith as a muscle to be exercised. The more I’ve gone through experiences in which my faith has seemed to fail, the more I’ve seen God’s faithfulness towards me, building my faith, so that when I got through the experience I would not only see that my faith was stronger, but that it was God’s gift all along.
I pray that I can draw on that experience in the future, to continue building the faith that God has given me!