I have always had a curious mind as a young child. I always had a question about something, especially if it was a topic that I was familiar with. Of course, the reader will agree that this is normal and encouraged in the academic world. However, as I grew into my teenage years, I began to ask many different questions about God. Most of the readers are like me, who go up to their local pastor and inquire of them to gain the answer or answers that we need. But, it always seemed that one question simply didn’t get answered — that is, what is faith and how do we get it?

For many weeks and months, the question of how to gain faith has had me puzzled. I didn’t even know what faith was. I knew it was something that the pastors preached about a lot; and, I also knew that if we had enough of it, we would be able to move mountains. But I didn’t know how to get this substance that the churches called “faith”. It is always taught in many of the churches that we need this, but it is never taught what it is or how to get it. This observation has only caused more questions.

I have found the answers to these vital and important questions. I know of a few others who have had similar questions and have came to me for guidance with these issues. This is why I endeavored to write this article — that everyone may know the answer. Faith is what we need to be justified by God to begin with. Faith is also needed to please God — without it, it is absolutely impossible to please Him, as it is written:

Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The first step to learn how to gain faith is actually knowing what faith is. If you’re like me, then you will enjoy the concept of deduction (that is, saying what faith is not). Faith is not:

* An emotion

* A feeling

* A mental state of mind

* A physical substance

With the following in mind, what can faith really be? What is sad is that we go to everyone for the answer to questions regarding spiritual things — that is, everyone except God. We need to be like the Bereans, who diligently searched the Scriptures, as we read in the book of Acts, chapter 17, verse 11:

Acts 17:11 (KJV)
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Let us be like the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily to find the truth. With that being said, if we read in God’s Holy Word, in Hebrews chapter 11, verse one, we discover exactly what faith is:

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

By one verse, God answers us the important question of what faith is. It’s the substance of things hoped for, and it’s the evidence of things that are not seen. For most of us, this still may not be clear to us. We need more help, more assistance in this matter. With this being said, the best way to figure out something is by going to its source. What I mean is, we need to go to the root word (especially, the Greek) and find its meaning.

The Greek word for faith is, “Pistis”. It is pronounced “Pis-tis”, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (Strong’s number G4102). What it means is belief, believing, and assurance. So faith’s root word, Pistis, means belief, believing, and assurance. For most of us, it still may not click — with all of these meanings and definitions, how are we to apply it to our lives?

It is just as I said before — let’s go straight to the Word of God to get the answer. Let’s especially go to Hebrews chapter 11, which is often called the Hall of Faith, and read what faith really is by examples of those who lived by faith:

Hebrews 11:3 (KJV)
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith, we know that God framed the world. By this substance that we call faith, we know in our hearts that God is our Creator and that He was, He is, and He always will be.

Hebrews 11:4-5 (KJV)
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. [5] By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

By faith, these two have pleased God. By this substance, they were very pleasing to God and it was counted to them for righteousness. But these verses did not clear up all of the fog that surrounds faith, for me. What really made it clear was the following verse:

Hebrews 11:7-10 (KJV)
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. [8] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. [9] By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: [10] For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

From these very important verses, we observe the following:

1. By faith, Noah was warned of God. He was moved with fear and acted on God’s Word, though he didn’t see it with his own eyes.

2. By faith Abraham left his own home because God told him to. By faith, he stayed in the land of promise — which, by the way, was a strange land — and made his dwelling there. He didn’t look for any city except the one that God had made.

By these verses, I believe that it is safe to assume that faith is taking God at His Word. Faith is knowing that God cannot tell a lie, as we read in the Scriptures:

Titus 1:2 (KJV)
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Faith is denying the physical realm, like Abraham did, but accept the Word of God as true. Faith is taking God at His Word and knowing that He will never change it. Faith is knowing that God remains true and faithful to us. Faith is knowing that He will redeem us in the end if we remain faithful. Faith is knowing that He is our defender and our King.

Now that we understand that faith is simply trusting God and His Word, we need to address the issue of how to gain faith. How do we learn to trust God? How do we learn to trust His Word, no matter what the physical realm may offer? How do we learn to please God with this substance that seems to boggle our minds so often?

It’s just like we did before in the middle of this article: the answer doesn’t dwell in man, but instead the Word of God. We need to each read God’s Word and search it diligently to find the answers that we need. Let’s go to the book of Romans, chapter 10, verse 17:

Romans 10:17 (KJV)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It’s just like the other verse in Hebrews 11:1, the answer is straight forward and is clear in the Word of God. The Apostle Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If we want faith, we need to listen to God’s Word — that is, to read His Word. The more we will read His Word, the more faith we will get. The reader may comment about how simple it is to gain faith; the truth is, it is simple. All that is lacking is our motivation and our desire.

Dear friends, what we have discovered in God’s Word is that faith is taking God at His Word and knowing that He is true and always will be true. Faith is knowing that He will never change, but will keep every single promise to us. Faith is knowing that He will redeem us in the end if we stay faithful to Him, even to the very end. To gain faith, we have learned we need to read God’s Word — the more that we read His Word, the more faith we will get. This is because, of course, the more we read, the more promises we will know and the more changes will occur in our daily lives. I pray that each of you reading this will take that step of faith and read His Word. The more you read, the more faith you will get. I pray also that you will learn to walk in that faith. May God bless you and keep you.