Faith in the context of this foundational truth can be defined as “having trust, assurance or confidence in another person and that person’s word”. Having faith in God involves an exchange of trust from self to Him.
How Does Faith Towards God Develop?
First, we need to have the right attitudes of mind. Faith is a persuasion. The word “faith” comes from the Greek word “pistis” which means “firm persuasion; strong and welcome belief; the conviction of the truth of anything”. We need to realize the futility of everything without God. Faith involves an attitude of humility and submission to the will of God and we need to confess this attitude.
Second, faith develops through our knowledge of God. You cannot trust anyone you do not know. The more we know God and His faithfulness, His love, His character, His ways, His greatness, etc., the more we will be able to trust Him. This is a basis for true faith towards God. We get to know God as the Holy Spirit gives us revelation of Him through the Scriptures, and through direct revelation to us that is in line with the Scriptures. This is reinforced through life’s experiences as we by faith, prove God. We cannot really get to know anyone unless we speak to them. Prayer, therefore, is a wonderful means of getting to know God. Prayer always manifests two things: firstly, a heart desire that all we do is in the will of God, and second, a confession of our total dependence on Him. Remember, God’s faithfulness is great, unfailing and eternal. We need to commit ourselves to His faithfulness, and we need to magnify His faithfulness.
Third, faith is a response to hearing. God communicates His thoughts through His Word. When He enables us to hear what He is saying to us by the Spirit, this would create within us the response of believing or being persuaded that what He is saying is indeed true and is for us. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17). As we confess the word of faith given to us and stand upon it and, when appropriate, act on it, we will find the creative power of God working in and through that word to bring to pass what has been promised. Jesus tells us that by faith nothing shall be impossible to us. (Matthew 17:20). Having faith involves an exchange from only relying on one source of knowledge, i.e. sense knowledge (which we need), to relying on higher source of knowledge, i.e. revelation knowledge.
“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality-faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.” (Hebrews 11:1).
Fourth, faith comes by experiencing God and His faithfulness. The more we have faith towards God, the more we experience of His faithfulness and the more our faith growths. God has also given us the gifts of healing and miracles etc., which should point us to Him and increase our faith.
Lastly, faith grows as we remember past faithfulness. Faith is not a mental attitude towards problems. It is the very nature of God. God is a faith God; He created the universe by faith. The person who is born again by the Spirit of God has received the potential of the nature of God. The old nature of every man is dominated by negative forces such as fear, doubt, confusion and error, but the new nature is God’s nature which is creative, bringing order out of chaos (Genesis 1:2), life out of death, health out of sickness, prosperity out of poverty, truth out of error, and righteousness out of sin. Faith is this new nature expressed (Romans 1:17).
Always bear in mind that faith towards God is the lifestyle of the disciples of Jesus.