Posted by: Nito | July 9, 2017

Mathematics of Faith – Part 4 (The Power of Faith)

For some time I was confused with one group of preachers using Romans 12:3 to say that God gave each one of us the same measure of faith, which is the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2:20) and the other group using 2 Corinthians 10:15 to say that our faith is increasing or Philippians 1:25 to talk about our advancement in faith.

Like, if we are given the same spirit of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13), which is the Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave (Romans 8:11) and we have the common faith (Titus 1:4), why do we have to develop faith?

Why is 1 Thessalonians 3:10 giving the possibility that there may be a lack in our faith? How come Paul is praising Thessalonians because their faith is growing exceedingly (see 2 Thessalonians 1:3) and why is the second group of preachers saying that our faith is like a muscle, and we have to exercise it to grow it?

So, which one is it; are we all given the same measure of faith or it’s all about making our faith effective (Philemon 1:6)? If you read part 1 of this series you know that both of these premises are true!

We are all given the same measure of ‘Faith’ (with a capital ‘F’) but our effective ‘faith’ (with a lover-case ‘f’) is affected by our unbelief. Therefore, we came up with the following mathematical formula to express the effective faith:

In part 3 we identified fear and doubt as the forces that cause unbelief:

Hence, our effective faith could be expressed as:

That formula is showing the unchanging measure of ‘Faith’ in opposition to the individual components of unbelief, which clash and reduce its productivity creating variations in each man’s effective ‘faith’.

Furthermore, in this post we are talking about the power of faith. Power in physics is defined as a rate at which some work is being performed. This is expressed with the following formula:

By expressing the work as a product of force and displacement:

We get the following:

So, if we make the same assumptions, as introduced in part 1, that faith is a force and we also label the spiritual and physical changes (i.e. displacement) that occur in man’s life as a ‘mountain’s move’ (see Matthew 17:20) we could write the expression for the ‘power of faith’ as:

This formula tells us that the power of our faith is proportional to the size of our effective faith and the size of the change observed, but it is inversely proportional to the length of time it took to produce the given change.

Immediately it becomes obvious why miracles are considered so ‘powerful’—they are either instantaneous or very quick to unfold. When we see an instantaneous change in a person after we just prayed for them we talk about ‘awesome’ miracle.

In other words, when the “mountain” (problem, sickness) that was troubling somebody is removed quickly, over a very short period of time, we experience a great power of faith. The smaller the required time for the change is the greater is the power of the effective faith that was exerted. That’s why I like to refer to miracles as the “time compression events”, where a lot of things that would normally happen over a long period of progressive time, would happen simultaneously in very quick succession, compressed together as if they are one and the same thing.

On the other hand, the bigger the change that occurred, or we could say the bigger is the problem that was removed, the greater is the power of faith that was exerted. So, miracles don’t have to be instantaneous to fill us with awe. We can conclude that the power of faith is also great when we see a huge problem progressively removed over a not-so-short period of time. Therefore, the power of faith is proportional to the size of the change observed—the bigger the removed problem is the greater is the power of the effective faith that was exerted.

But, what about the size of our effective faith? The above formula indicates that the size of our effective faith also matters, where bigger effective faith wields a greater power, but how big does it have to be in order to perform any miracle?

Jesus said that our effective faith doesn’t have to be too big to remove big mountainous problems (see Matthew 17:20). Actually, He said that if our effective faith were the size of a mustard seed nothing would be impossible for us. In another account, Jesus explains that a mustard seed is smaller than all the seeds on earth, but it grows bigger than all the herbs and becomes a tree that could host birds and their nests (see Mark 4:30-32).

The point is that our effective faith doesn’t have to be big in order for God to manifest His goodness. What we have to do is to curb our unbelief, which becomes obvious if we include unbelief into the above formula for the power of faith:

Or, if we include the individual components of unbelief:

This formula is showing how our combined fears and doubts can suck out all the power from the measure of Faith God has given us. If we wouldn’t fear and doubt we would be as powerful in our faith as Jesus is.

But let’s also remember that the numerator part in the above formulas represents the ‘work of faith’ as discussed previously. So, we can also say that if we would not fear and doubt we would do the same works of faith as Jesus did, just as He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV).

Before we close this chapter let’s further examine the following part of the formula (either in the ‘work of faith’ or in the ‘power of faith’ formula):

This is the “chicken line” that everyone has to cross in order to see his or her effective faith at work. The “chicken line” is best expressed with the following types of questions, “What if it doesn’t work? What will people say if nothing happens?” That type of attitude is the only thing that separates the “chicken” Christians and “let-somebody-else-do-it” Christians from the modern day disciples of Christ and “fire-breathing” Christians that are doing the Lord’s work. There are really no other qualifications for the powerful faith apart from stepping over the “chicken line” of fear and doubt.

We qualify to do the same and greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12) by believing that He not only can do it but also will do it. Jesus is same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and because He perfectly reflected Father’s will (John 14:7-11), why wouldn’t our prayers work?

After all, Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14, NKJV). Why do you think it won’t work? Father’s will is to heal, save and deliver everyone, so if our prayers have the purpose of glorifying the Father, why do you doubt? Are you calling Him a liar (Romans 3:4)?

On the contrary, be His fearless ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and powerful representatives of the heavenly Kingdom, whose citizens you are (Philippians 3:20).


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