Examples of Faith

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This is a section giving stories that show faith in action.

Faith Can Move Mountains

When I was much younger I would read the verse that said, "... Faith can move mountains..." and I thought that if I could just "muster up enough faith" then I could say, "Mountain, go into the sea." Of course, I could never muster up enough faith to make anything happen.

In recent years I've come to understand that concept of "moving mountains" entirely different. I think of one man with a shovel and wheel barrel. He looks at the mountain and says to himself, "I will move that mountain!" He sets out at the base of the mountain and puts his shovel into the dirt and digs out a shovel-ful. He dumps the dirt into the wheel barrel. Then he takes another shovelful and puts it into the wheel barrel. This cycle continues over and over again until the wheel barrel is full. The man then pushes the wheel barrel to the new location and dumps the dirt on the ground. He goes back for another load of dirt, then another and another. On and on it goes, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. As the new pile of dirt grows, and as people see the excitement of the man moving the mountain, people come to help. Each of the new people bring shovels and wheel barrels. Soon there are hundreds of people loading up their wheel barrels and moving dirt.

The point of this message is to show faith in one of it's finest forms. Faith combined with hard work and perseverance. Now, let's look at that verse that says, "Faith without works is dead." Here we can see that if that man just sat in his chair trying to "muster up enough faith" to move the mountain, nothing of value would ever have been accomplished.

So, the definition of faith we will use in this situation would be: Intention + having a plan + putting plan into action + perseverance = Faith in Action.

How does this apply to my life and to your life. If we believe God has called us to some task or goal, get up and get busy. Do whatever is set before you without complaint. Grumbling and complaining can destroy even the strongest faith. Instead of complaining "this is too big", start dreaming and planning how to make your dream happen.

 

 

Faith Without Actions is Useless

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It has been said, "Faith without works is dead." I'd rather translate it so it is clearer. "Faith that is not put into action is useless and meaningless." We can't say that we have faith and then not do the actions that our faith proclaims.

A person can have faith that he can be a great doctor, but if he doesn't put in the actions (going to school, diligently studying, etc), his "faith" is useless.

The Decorator and the Cornice

I'm and upholsterer (since 1966) and have been making upholsterered cornices for one decorator for over 10 years. We have a real good working relationship. I respect her integrity and her professionalism. She respects the quality and preciseness of my workmanship. She and I have talked through and planned out the making of many cornices.
Today I'm making another cornice, which will be covered in a vine pattern, with branches coming off the center vine. I called her to discuss where to place the vine pattern. Since she wants to vine to run horizontally across the face of the cornice, she has three basic choices. I had previously laid the fabric of each choice on the cornice to see what each choice would look like:

  • a.) Put two vines running horizontally. With this pattern placement, the pattern is too wide to have a full width of both vine patterns. So part of the upper pattern will be cut off along the top edge and part of the lower pattern will be cut off along the bottom edge.
  • b.) A second choice would be to center one vine horizontally in the middle  of the cornice height. Since the branches of the vine pattern are much longer on the top side of the cornice than on the bottom, the width of the pattern would not be centered. Also the branches on the adjacent pattern, top and bottom, would be longer on the bottom than on the top.
  • c.) The third choice would be to center the full width of the vine and branches horizontally across the cornice. This would mean that the center vine would not be center, but be below the center of the cornice. However, the branches on the adjacent  patterns would be evenly spaced an even amount top and bottom.

After I had explained her 3 options she asked me for my recommendation. I told her that I liked choice c, and I explained why. She told me that it sounded good to her and that she would go with my recommendation.
In a very real sense she would acting on faith. She couldn't see what the pattern placement would look like, but, because of long association and her having seen the results of my work all these years, she had faith in my recommendation. I know her and I made a recommendation based upon what I thought would give her client the best job.
Her faith in me wasn't something that she instantly decided to "have faith" with no substance and no history of proven quality and trustworthiness on my part. Her faith was based upon something real.