“According to Your Faith,” II

Matthew 9:27-34

WORLDS of possibilities are wrapped up in our Lord’s statement to the blind men in Matthew 9:29: “According to your faith be it unto you.”

Men go from book to book, from lecture to lecture, seeking a more abundant life. Weak Christians devour devotional literature, always expecting that the next page will unlock the mystic secret. But here is the key: Faith grows as we exercise such faith as we have. The measure of the life abundant is in proportion to our faith. God’s resources are ever available to faith. If we make our check small, we have only ourselves to blame.

Observe that it is not “according to your fate.” The Chinese have a proverb: “We make our fortune and call it Fate.” Some of us excuse our laziness under the guise of predestination and say, “What is to be will be.” Nor is it “according to your fortune.” Lands and goods are not the measure of life abundant, for “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). It is not “according to your fame,” for celebrities are often most miserable. As Johnson said, “Fame usually comes when we are old and can’t enjoy it, solitary and can’t share it, independent and don’t need it.” Christ did not say, “According to your friends.” Popularity and “pull” cannot bring us life abundant. Too many friends are like shadows; they follow us only on sunny days. Nor did our Lord say, “According to your feelings.” Here is the commonest mistake in looking for a better life. We confuse it with certain emotional ecstasies and are discouraged when feelings rise and fall—and moods change like April weather.

It is “according to your faith.” But here we need to examine just what sort of faith this is, for faith itself has been made a fetish by those who think faith is sufficient no matter what we believe. The value of faith depends upon its object. If the object of confidence turns out unworthy, the one who believed is in worse condition than before, no matter how worthy his faith may have been. Popular teaching which puts the emphasis upon faith itself makes it purely subjective, while the real virtue lies in the object.

The only faith which brings eternal life and a more abounding daily experience is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, for only He is worthy of absolute trust and able to meet every need of the believer. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” was the early message of the apostles, and simple faith in Christ as Son of God and Savior is the condition of salvation. In addition, more abounding life and growth are “according to our faith.” If we believe only to a small degree, our experience will be commensurate to that faith. Every believer has experienced that as far as he has trusted, he has found the promises true.

So, do not look for something magical about this matter of faith. Your experience will be in proportion as you take God at His word, in spite of all appearances! But the value of faith lies in Him whom you trust, not on the quantity nor quality of your faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth”—if he believes in Him with whom all things are possible.

Here and here only is the way to life victorious and abundant, for “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

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