Hebrews 12:2 tells us Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. Our faith begins in and through Him and as we grow in Christ, He will perfect our faith. Therefore, our focus is not how we can increase our faith, but rather it’s how we can grow in Jesus.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” –Hebrews 12:1-3.
This scripture reveals 3 keys for growth in Jesus:
- Laying aside all that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us.
- Run with endurance the race set before us. Never giving up, no matter how hard the journey gets.
- Fixing our eyes on Jesus. He is our goal, our example, and our leader. He goes before us preparing our path, setting our pace, and fighting all obstacles in our way. All we must do is follow Him, trust Him, and obey Him.
As we grow in Jesus, He will perfect our faith. The word ‘perfecter’ comes from the Greek word ‘teleiōtēs’ which means finisher. Jesus Christ gives us all a measure of faith. Matthew 17:20 compares faith to a seed. So when He plants the seed within us, He will finish the work He started. We yield to Him and He cultivates and prunes and perfects the faith He placed within us.
Do you realize this revelation takes away all pressure? Pressure to perform, pressure to always do the right thing, pressure to always say the right thing – all pressure – is lifted from our shoulders when we grab hold of this truth.
Have you ever felt this pressure? When my Dad was sick, I put myself under so much pressure thinking that if I prayed the right way or studied the word more or attended a particular church service that God would answer my prayers and heal my Dad. So, what I was doing was focusing more on what I could do to perfect my faith and what I could do to heal my Dad rather than what Jesus already did to bring healing to my Dad.
Faith cannot be bought. Faith cannot be earned. We cannot manipulate God into answering our prayers. Jesus paid the price and as we grow in Him we better understand His love and His will towards us which is always good. We trust and obey and rest in Him.
It’s not our perfection that moves mountains, it’s faith which is perfected by Jesus! It’s by faith we’ve been saved, not by works so no one can boast. And if we’re going to boast, let it be about Jesus because it’s in Him we live and move and have our being!
Zooming out from this scripture, we can see Hebrews 11, the chapter before our verses above. This is the faith chapter of the bible. All the great heroes of faith are mentioned here. Let’s look at a few examples.
- Enoch – Wow! He must have been a man of great faith because he didn’t even taste death. He was just walking with God one day and up to heaven he went. Impressive!
- Noah – Ah, the only righteous one in a world full of wickedness. But what about the time he got drunk and naked? I would think that’s some questionable behavior, don’t you think?
- Abraham – The patriarch of faith, right? He was going to sacrifice his own son at the command of God until God faithfully provided a ram. But if I remember correctly, he lied about his wife Sarah saying she was his sister just so he wouldn’t be killed. Hmm…
- Sarah – The mother of nations all because God healed her barrenness. But didn’t she laugh and mock God when He said her descendants would be as numerous as the stars? Naughty, naughty.
- Jacob – The great deceiver who stole his brothers birthright and inheritance.
- Rahab – A harlot.
- Samson – A wild child.
- David – Committed adultery and murder.
How did all these people make it into the faith chapter??? These people messed up. Big time. Just like you and me, right? These are real people with real problems, but they are listed in the faith chapter because they let Jesus finish what He started in them.
They took a risk. They dared to believe. They took a leap…
…of faith. And Jesus caught them, carried them, and placed them into their destiny! Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith because He alone is FAITHful!
In conclusion, I want to show you a powerful illustration:
Imperfect faith —> Impossible
Imperfect faith makes things impossible. This happens when I feel like I’m responsible for producing faith. But when we take ourselves out of the equation…
I’mperfect faith —>
and we yield to Jesus, we get…
Perfect faith —> Possible
Jesus perfects our faith and makes ALL things possible! Amen!!!
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” –Matthew 17:20