Imperfect faith is enough

Imperfect faith is enough

You need to have faith in Jesus to be saved. That is a refrain we see in many places in the New Testament. Repent and believe. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household (Acts 16:31). We need faith in Jesus who died and rose again in order to be saved.

That’s true, and wonderfully so, but it can lead to some misunderstandings. It does sound like being saved depends on us believing enough. As if we have all our theology right, and we believe hard enough, then we will be saved. It makes it sound like it all depends on us.

Some take this idea to the next level and apply it to physical healing. If you only believe enough, we are told by some, you will have your diseases healed! After all, there is a strong connection between faith and healing in the gospels. It seems to be a reasonable conclusion.

Like all destructive lies, this is a half-truth. Yes, healing is often connected to faith. But let’s have a closer look using an example from Matthew 9. Jesus healed a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She thought that if she touched the tassels on his garment, she would be healed. That’s pretty superstitious. She was healed by Jesus, even though her faith was a little confused. This lady couldn’t pass a theology test, she had the wrong idea about things, but she believed that Jesus could heal her, and he did.

To get a more rounded idea of this, consider that in many healing cases, no faith is recorded for us. And there are clearly many believers in Jesus’ time and today who suffer diseases and disabilities, and who are not healed. It is more than possible to have faith and not be healed from our diseases. Jesus doesn’t promise that all who trust in Him will be healed; he does promise that all who trust in Him will be saved.

We must not focus on our faith, trying harder and harder to believe. No, that won’t work. On our bad days, we will never be confident in our ability to believe. What we need to focus on is Jesus. The One who our faith is in. Jesus saves us; our faith rests on Jesus. What matter is not how much you believe, but Who you believe in.

I find this a wonderful comfort. Jesus doesn’t expect perfect faith from us, for he knows that is not possible. He knows we have all kinds of things wrong and are imperfect in many ways. He accepts all who trust in Him. Even with faith the size of a mustard seed.

Look to Jesus. Not to yourself.