Summary: Faith is not a one time activity for a believer. Rather, its a continuous and progressive aspect in christian life. From the word of God, God taught me 7 stages of the progressive faith.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian life is based on faith. It is by faith a person is saved, made right with the God and attain the undeserved privilege of heavenly inheritance. We know that the faith comes from the hearing of the Word of God (Romans 12.6) and without faith a person cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). We are even known as "believers" because we believe in something which cannot be seen by bare eyes and put our hope in something which cannot be comprehended by human logic.
Bible teaches us that a person in Christ has to continue in and grow in faith till the last day. Faith is not a one time activity for a believer. Rather, its a continuous and progressive aspect in christian life. From the word of God, God taught me 7 stages of the progressive faith.
1. NO FAITH.
This is the bottom level in the ladder of faith. No, its not about the unbelievers or people who have not yet been in Christ. Scripture points finger at us, the Christians, about being in this position. Although we may tend to justify ourselves saying that we are believers, the truth is that many of us 'often' have NO faith in God especially on the face of THE most trouble in our lives.
In Mark 4.35-41 and Luke 8.22-25, we can see the story of the storm Jesus calmed down while Jesus and the disciples sailed across the lake.We can see that the disciples were screaming with terror that they were going to be drowned! These are the same disciples who have seen several miracles done by Jesus. They knew He was the son of God and the Messiah they were waiting for. If he is Messiah, how can he be drowned! Still, when the waves were breaking into the boat, when they saw that the water began to fill the boat, all their hopes were gone and they had NO faith that the Messiah could save them from that storm. Their faith in Jesus has already been drowned in the fear of death! After calming the storm, Jesus scolds them:
Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” - Mark 4.40
In our life, when the trouble breaks into our peace, when we are filled with the terrors of uncertain matters, often we lose faith even in God and ends our hope. There might be several instances in our lives where God reached out His mighty hands for us. Still, at times, we tend to visualize the problems or the troubles larger than our God! The improbabilities are calculated as impossibilities by human logic. No faith is displayed in those situations where we end all our hopes and momentarily forget that nothing is impossible by God.
2. LITTLE FAITH
We find ourselves on this step of the ladder either when we limit our God's ability to 'easier' things or when we try to 'help' God by taking certain things into our own hands.
An example to the former category is Israelites on their way to Canaan.
True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?” - Psalms 78.20
For them, getting water from the rock was comparatively an easier task for God than giving meat for His people. They wanted to test God's ability to give "free meat" for them! They had only a little faith in God. When they 'analyzed' the situation they were in, they could not find a possibility where God can give them bread and meat out of the sands in that desert!
In our life, we rule out certain things from our prayers thinking that praying for such miracles is foolishness. Sometimes we even justify it with the word 'Common Sense'. We think that it doesn't make sense to ask God for those matters because, it simply can't be done!. That is where we display our little faith.
To diagnose this type of little faith in our lives, lets turn our attention to the miracle of Peter walking over the sea. When Peter saw strong wind and raging waves, he was terrified and doubted Jesus which ended his stroll on water because he started 'analyzing' the situation he is in. When he started walking, he did not notice the high tides and strong waves. However, after some time of walking, he started concentrating more on his environments which made him tremble with fear.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” - Matthew 14.31
This type of Little faith leads us to doubt which in turn cause the sinking of spiritual life. We may start our walking over the troubles in our life by trusting God, but if we have only little faith, we will take our eyes off our God and watch the problems ahead of us, which makes us terrified like Peter. This ends in doubt and sinking. Do we analyze the environment around us? Are we terrified of the troubles or problems we face today? If so, its time to pray to increase our little faith to a strong one.