Lifelines: Faith is not a ‘rebate’ program
by BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
May 03, 2013 | 465 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” Matthew 17:20 (KJV).

Jesus was answering the disciples’ question, “Why could not we cast him out?” concerning the lunatic child who was brought to them by his father. “(It’s) because of your unbelief,” Jesus told them. And He goes on to tell them what the results would be if they “have faith as a grain of mustard seed.”

God recognizes faith. But we are not rewarded for our faith — we cannot earn benefits and blessings from the Lord. It is not a “rebate” program. Faith’s reward is being brought into a relationship with God and giving Him place to do marvelous works in our lives.

Just think about it — why would God be expected to reward us for the faith which He gave to us in the first place?

Through His grace, God “dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), so there would be no boasting of “great faith” and works — not to elevate the person, but to humble him.

God only is to be glorified in the church. “... not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

He wants us to live a life of faith — not ups and downs in experiencing His blessings. Spiritually, we were not intended to ride a roller-coaster or play on a see-saw.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:15-18: “Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”

This we know: Faith in God is manifested by the actions it prompts.

Faith grows stronger through trials and is tested to prove the acceptable will of God as we live this “life of faith.” Some lines from a poem by an anonymous author say it well:

“When God wants to drill a man,

And thrill a man,

And skill a man,

When God wants to mold a man

To play the noblest part;

When He yearns with all His heart

To create so great and bold a man,

That all the world shall be amazed,

Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects

Whom He royally elects!

No wonder Job could say with such faith in God: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15).