Faith Comes by Hearing

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
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The gift of faith

My son is visiting from Northern Ireland this week, which is a real blessing, as we don’t see enough of him. It is his birthday at the end of the month, so I have a gift ready so he can take it back with him. He will be pleased to receive a gift, but the only way for him to be really blessed, is for him to open it. Then to make good use of what we have given him. What a waste it would be if he took the gift, and put it away somewhere without ever opening it! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We first receive the gift of faith, when we hear and respond to the word of God. That is just the beginning of our journey.

We have all been given a gift or gifts, and a measure of faith distributed by God. We are enabled to fulfill the role that we have been called to, in the body of Christ, according to the grace given to us. (Romans 12:3-8)

Use the gift!

Consider the story of the widow of Zarephath. A woman who responded to the word of God with obedience, and by faith used the gift that she had been given. In 1 Kings chapter 17 God directs Elijah to a town called Zarephath, during a time of drought. He directs a widow there to provide for him. This woman has endured a season of great difficulty, she has a young son to look after and the country has been hit by famine. By the time she meets with Elijah, she is collecting fuel to cook the small amount of food that she has left. This is going to be their last meal.

Yet her heart is still soft, and she responds with obedience to the word of God spoken by Elijah. She recognises him as a man of God, and when she hears the word of God through His prophet, she responds – not just with words but with obedience. She was listening well…. Listening Skills

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

2 John 1:6

Faith multiplies!

She is willing to take the little she has and offer a meal first to Elijah, and then by faith to believe that there will still be enough for her and her son.

It should be easy to give and to share out of our surplus, but how much harder is it to share out of our own portion, when we are called to give sacrificially…

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
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She only has a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug, such a small amount. The word of God for her at this time is to believe in His supernatural provision. What she has will be sufficient, her supplies will not run out, until the drought has ended.

Her jar and jug would be made of pottery, not glass, so she would not be able to see what was in there. Each day she was to trust in God that when she put her hand in the jar there would be enough flour and when she went to pour from the jug there would be enough oil! Truly walking in faith, and daily depending on God, to exercise her gift of hospitality.

Our faith is strengthened and grows in use, it does not grow in storage!

Faith is not a feeling, it is taking God at his word.

We can be honest with God about our feelings, but despite how we are feeling, take him at His word. When we do and put our trust in God, he provides not just for our physical needs, but also for our emotional and spiritual needs. Fear is replaced by faith as we start to step out and use the gifts that He has given us.

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:6-7

Faith is:

  • Received by hearing and responding to the Word of God.
  • Choosing to obey and trust in God, even through the difficult and desperate times.
  • Willing to use the gift that we have been given in the service of God.
  • Sacrificial giving – with a generous spirit.
  • Confidence in God – in His goodness and faithfulness to us.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Prayer: Lord help me in faith, to choose to take you at your word. Help me to trust in you in those times when I can’t see the way forward. Release me from the restrictions of fear into the abundance of your grace and the freedom of your love. Help me to be willing to respond to the needs of others, and to use the gifts that you have given, for your praise and glory. Amen.

Some other link-ups I join can be found here.

15 thoughts on “Faith Comes by Hearing

  1. Sharon, thank you for this reminder that faith comes by hearing … and obeying God’s Word, His prompts, His promises.

    A needed reminder right about now.

    Blessings …

  2. What a great reminder of the importance of both hearing and obeying the word of God. And I love that you mentioned ‘a confidence in God’. It helps me to keep a gratitude journal of the many evidences of God’s grace, especially in tough seasons when it is so much easier to complain and assume everything in my life is hard. It feels unnatural (to my flesh anyway) to sit down during those seasons and look back at the past few days for things I am thankful for. But when I do, WOW, it encourages me and replenishes my faith in God’s love.

    Hopping over from Inspire Me Mondays. Here is a recent post on Psalm 23, if interested: https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-shepherd-looks-at-psalm-23-part-8.html

  3. The story of Elijah and the widow is one of my favourites. So often we see God at work only after we have been willing to step out in faith. I hope you enjoy the time with your son!

  4. This has always been one of my favorite Old Testament stories, Sharon. It would have been SO easy for the widow to say no to Elijah, but think of what she would have missed out on if she had. Such a good example for us to follow.

  5. What an encouraging post you have shared here, Sharon. Thank you for visiting my site today and your kind words regarding my dad. I want to walk in faith each day, trusting my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is my hope. Blessings to you and yours, sister.

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