Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith in God is obviously imperative for all Christians; And He said to them, "...if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." (Matthew 17:20); For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28); And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
By faith we are justified, sanctified and glorified and without faith it is impossible to please God. Christians must live and pray by faith in God. Yet there is still much false teaching and misunderstanding about faith. What does it mean to have faith in God and why and how does faith work? The Bible gives us a simple definition of faith in God in Hebrews chapter eleven; Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
First, to understand the "what, why and how" of faith, we must understand and acknowledge that the object of our faith is God alone. Faith in the promises of anyone or anything other than the true God is, at best, naive because God alone has the power to make and keep all of His promises. We hear people say that they are "men or women of faith" with no particular regard for the object of their faith. If the God of the Bible and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not the object of your saving faith, your faith is worthless-- You are not saved.
Jesus said that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move a mountain. And yes, He was referring to a literal mountain! How is this possible? Because nothing is impossible for God and He can easily move mountains! When we come to God in faith, there are two aspects that finally determine of the assurance, conviction and reality of our faith. Even a mustard seed size of faith in both God's ability and in His willingness can move a mountain. I have total faith that God can move a mountain, but I may or may not have the faith that it is His will to move that mountain.
Most of our prayers are like this. It isn't a matter of not having enough faith in God's ability. We fully understand and believe that our God has the ability to always answer our prayers in the affirmative, but it may not be His sovereign will to do so. Our faith then is that with God, all things are possible and that He always does what is best to His glory and our good; And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) So then God may not always answer my prayers in the affirmative, but that is not because I have too little faith in Him. My faith is in Him and His will, not in my prayers.
Furthermore, because of our faith in both His ability and His will, we know that when God makes a promise, He will always keep it; For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes... (2 Corinthians 1:20a) Maranatha!