Are you sinking?
Jesus asked Peter to walk on the water. He was walking on the water with faith and trust. But after seeing the wind, storm and depth of the sea he doubted God's presence, power and was fearful of the storm. Immediately he began sinking. Jesus saved him and asked "Man of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Mt 14:28-31). When we do not have enough faith and trust in Jesus we sink, consequently our downfall begins when we operate everything in fear and doubt.
What is faith?
Faith is an assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1). As we read in YouCat 21, “Faith is knowledge and trust.” Our faith is not a blind faith. For faith seeks reason and it is supported by reason, though real faith begins beyond the principles of all reasons. Therefore faith is also scientific knowledge. Above all faith is a trust in the promises of God. We believe, all that God has promised will be fulfilled in our lives. A poor lady came to Logos for a day’s retreat. She had no house of her own and lots of debts too.
That evening she got a phone call from her brother who was in USA. He promised her that he would pay of all her debts and would give her a house also. That night she was relieved from all her worries and she slept well, though the money did not reach her hand but only a promised had reached from a reliable person. This is the effect of knowledge and trust.
Faith has seven characteristics:
Faith is a sheer gift of God, which we receive when we fervently ask for it.
Faith is the supernatural power that is absolutely necessary if we are to attain salvation. Faith requires the free will and clear understanding of a person when he accepts the divine invitation.
Faith is absolutely certain, because Jesus guarantees it.
Faith is incomplete unless it leads to active love.
Faith grows when we listen more and more carefully to God’s Word and enter into a lively exchange with him in prayer.
Faith gives us a foretaste of the joy of heaven even on the earth - right away. (Y-Cat-21).
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen (Pope Benedict XVI Spe Salvi-7)
Faith has seven levels
Infant Faith: “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1)
Imitative Faith: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Heb 13:7)
Community Faith: They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31)
Personal Faith: Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Mt. 15:28)
Disciple’s Faith: Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?" (Mt. 16:8)
Apostle’s Faith: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Lk. 17:5)
Martyr’s Faith: “Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him” (Acts 7:52)
Faith is a gift from God. And God has shared his own faith with us (Rom 12:3). Therefore our faith is not small; it is big and great because we have received God’s own faith. The litany of faith is described in Hebrews Chapter 11. The model of our faith is the Blessed Virgin Mary, while the father of our faith is Abraham. But the source of our faith is Jesus Christ and the pillars of faith are the apostles. The Bible is the book of faith. How do we receive this faith? This faith comes to us by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). Therefore let us listen and study the word of God to have faith and increase it day by day so that we may not sink in our lives.