Full of Faith Like Stephen
Many Christian know what faith means, Hebrews 11:1. Believers also know the source of our faith, Romans 10:17? However, many Believers do not know how to be full of faith like Stephen, Acts 6:8.
Any person can hear the word of God just once and receive faith in God. However, to reach that point where a Believer is full of faith he has to experience many tests of his faith. We are only full of faith when we pass our test of faith.
Let us examine how Jesus’ disciples became full of faith by looking at Jesus and his disciples. First, Jesus would give his disciples a word by teaching in or out of the synagogue. Then Jesus would demonstrate this word by miracles. For example, after Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 – 7, he did a series of miracles. Some of these great works of wonder include:
• Jesus healed the leaper because he was full of faith
• Christ healed the Centurion’s servant because he was full of faith
• He healed Peter’s mother in law
• Jesus spoke to the sea and calmed the storm
The disciples shared in all of Jesus’ miracles but failed to believe in him. After all this, Jesus summarized them as fearful and “of little faith,” not full of faith but little faith.
Did Jesus disciples have faith in him? Of course, they did for we all receive faith by hearing the Word of God. However, what happen to that word of faith that we heard depend on many things! If you become full of faith or not is in your hands!
One of the factors, which affects our faith, is how we receive the word of faith. This is he who receives the Word on stony ground, Matthew 13:20-21. For the Believer’s faith in God to grow he must endure and not be offended by tribulation or persecution.
Mustard Seed Faith vs Full of Faith
Observe how constrained Jesus becomes when his audience is unbelieving? Jesus went to Capernaum to heal the Jews but they did not receive his word. Only one person got healing because he believed the others were doubters.
After we hear a word of God and believe then comes persecution for the word’s sake. The persecution does not come because of you but because of the Word, you receive. With no faith in your heart, you are no threat to the Devil. Therefore, his duty is to steal the Word SOON after you receive it before it starts to grow. That word of faith is growing because you have overcome obstacles. Who is as dangerous to Satan as a Believer with a hot word of faith in his heart?
In other words, everything starts to happen contrary to the Word of God that you believed. The purpose of the persecution is to try the Word. The Word of God is tried. By accumulating pressure after pressure on you, contrary to the Word, you are tempted to release your faith in the Word and declare faith in the Word of God does not work. But if you do, you have just given Satan the victory.
However, if you just hold on to that Word, a while longer you will see your persecution is just for a time and faith in God NEVER fails.
Having successfully weather the test of your faith, your faith is now stronger in God.
Jesus told his disciples they only need “mustard seed” faith to move mountains, Matthew 17:20. He said with “mustard seed” faith “nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
If “mustard seed” faith is so awesome what could not Believers do being full of faith?
In closing, look how Simon Peter, one of the Lord’s inner circle of disciples, has grown until he is full of faith. He was the only disciple to show any sign of promise, and it was pathetic. Jesus asked them, “how is it you have no faith?” Mark 4:40.
Fast forward to, Acts 3 and you now witness a different Peter and a different John too. These men are charged with faith, they are full of faith but they did not start out that way. But by overcoming each persecution and trial for the word’s sake, your faith in God will grow and you will become full of faith, but you must pass the testing of your faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.