Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” – 2 Peter 1.1From David King:
How impressive is your faith? If you were to score it on a scale of 1 to 10, what mark would you give it?
On what did you base that judgment?
When I look at my faith, I see the times when I have doubted, the times when I held back from talking about Jesus because I was afraid of what people would think, the times when I didn’t take a particular path God wanted me to because I thought it too costly. I think of the compromises, the denials and the failures and I begin to wonder if I can go into negative numbers for my score. From all the evidence, my faith appears to be a weak, frail, unimpressive thing. How about you?
But Peter says differently. Look at the opening of his letter. He says that our faith is of equal value to his faith. He doesn’t stop there though. He then throws in the other apostles. This seems incredible. And yet, it is God’s word speaking through Peter. So where has our understanding of faith gone wrong?
“Received”. Faith is not something we muster up, or try to create, it is something that is given to us. Think about that. If you give me a present – nothing I can do will change its value or its strength – its value and strength has not been chosen by you. So it is with the faith God has given us.
And this comes on to the second point about your faith. “It comes through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” The righteousness of God is a rich and full theme of the Bible. We don’t have to go into detail here about it though, we simply need to note that it is a characteristic of the eternal Father and Son, not of you and me. So the value, strength and power of your faith is not generated by you, it is given to you as a gift and guaranteed by the very character of God.
Why then does our faith appear weak and pathetic? It’s simply because we don’t lean on it. When things are hard, we become frightened for it, we try to protect it. When challenges are great, we pack it away in case it breaks.
Once though we see it for what it really is – an infinitely precious gift from God’s own character – we start to let it stretch its legs. When a doubt hits, we know that we have the faith of the apostles – it cannot fail. So we no longer fear that this doubt, this weak weapon of the enemy, can harm our faith. Instead we hold onto the faith, because we know that even if we can’t find an answer right now, and in fact may never do, we can trust in the one who died for us.
How impressive is your faith?
It’s an 11/10.