Can’t Measure Internal Faith by External Results
How can we measure faith? One way in which some attempt to measure faith is by looking at the results. They say that if a sick person is not healed, then they don’t have enough faith. Or, if someone is praying for something that they are not receiving, they are not receiving it because they don’t have enough faith. I’m pretty sure that the people who say or teach things like this don’t read the entire Bible, just bits and pieces of it. I’m convinced that we can’t really “measure” faith. Whatever measuring of faith needs to be done is done by God. We cannot trust the external results to measure internal faith. One of the greatest examples of this is from Hebrews chapter 11. Here are verses 30-40: 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
The external results of the people mentioned in these verses are vastly different. Some had really great results like turning to flight the armies of aliens and having dead raised to life. Yet others were stoned, sawn in two and slain with the sword. Those are incredibly different results. Yet, in verse 39 we read that “all of these, having obtained a good testimony through faith…” They all had faith but the external results were different. God wants us to trust Him. He wants us to have faith in Him and His word. That’s all that matters. You can have faith in God regardless of the outcomes of your prayers or whether or not God heals you or provides for you in the way you think He should. Faith is about relationship not results. Remember, you can’t measure internal faith by external results.
I hope this day is filled with faith in God!