What kind of faith do you have?
Many believers speak of having “big faith.” In our human thinking, our problems can appear to be larger than life so we look to something bigger; something supernatural to make ourselves feel big again and the problems small.
“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’”(Luke 17:5) Jesus then sized them up just right by saying that “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6) My friend, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke speaks on this verse quite often, pointing to the fact that Jesus did not say “if you have faith the size of a pumpkin!” And I also suspect that Jesus may have even been making a bit of a joke. A mustard seed is small; “super” small. Size of faith is not the issue, you either have it or you don’t.
The disciples somehow lost all faith even while Jesus was in their boat. Frightened by the surmounting storm around them, they were questioned by Jesus; “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) For sure, fear cancels out all faith. But where there is Jesus, we can have “great faith.” What are the keys?
Remember Jesus complimented a Gentile centurion on having “great faith.” (Matt 8:10) That man understood the role of authority and knew that if Jesus wanted to heal his servant, then that servant would be healed. He did not care “how” the servant would be healed by Jesus. He only trusted Jesus; the person having the authority to speak the orders and administer healing. His faith was great because that man understood Jesus’ authority. With Jesus, all fear and uncertainty dissolve into faith. It is not a matter of size.
So what kind of faith does the Bible describe? What type of faith is a believer to have?
The best reference for us follows the flames of Pentecost. Following Pentecost, we see the fiery faith of believers that is described by others as “bold.”
When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they realized that Jesus had indeed arrived at the right hand of God. He was alive, on their side and fulfilling His promise. He had sent them the Promise of the Holy Spirit!(Acts 1:4) God, the Holy spirit himself partnering with the human flesh of the believer! Could there be anything greater?! No. Certainly not. Instantly, their faith became “bold!” Indeed, Jesus had the authority and He had sent them “power.” (Acts 1:8) There was no more any reason to fear. There is every reason for faith.
The world “saw the boldness of Peter and John.” (Acts 4:13) They sought that “with all boldness they may speak” God’s word. (Acts 4:29) They were focused. Unashamed. Full of the Holy Spirit and love for Jesus. Failure or stature was not even considered among them. What mattered was the word of god going forward. They had touched the heart of God when they gained the Spirit of God and it drove them forward with the boldness of a bulldozer. They could not be stopped.
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”(Acts 4:31)
The Apostle Paul told how he “preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 9:27) “He spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists” while they attempted to kill him. (Acts 9:29)
This was not a passing emotional state. In Iconium, Paul and Barnabas faced many unbelievers in the synagogue. Their leaders had poisoned the minds of the people against them. So what did they do? “They stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3)
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2) “They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:5-6) “And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly.” (Acts 19:8)
Filled with the Holy Spirit; bold and believing. That is the faith of the Bible.
That also explains "unknown" tongues as being only some other languages spoken elsewhere in some distant lands. They spoke boldly in those other tongues, without being timid on account of not knowing those tongues/languages. They spoke boldly in those tongues as they had faith in God that they can speak even as God would give them utterance.