There are many promises from God in the Bible. Sometimes we can get grace from those promises, while sometimes God does not give what we ask when we think we have faith. Is there anything wrong with God's promise or our faith?
Rev. Tian Dong of Yanjing Theological Seminary, talks about this topic in a Sunday sermon. He pointed out that the real faith is not to look at ourselves but to appeal to Jesus Christ.
To explain this, he gave two example. The first story tells about a brother when he heard the story of Elijah who was fed by ravens, decided that he wanted to live like him. He quit his job the next day and strongly believed God would arrange ravens to feed his family. As a result, his family struggled to survive.
Another story tells about a couple who wrote a check of 200,000 yuan for their church and the church was not able to redeem the check successfully. When asked why they offered such a check to the church, the couple said they wrote the check by faith and believed God would transfer enough money into their account if they believed they had enough faith.
Then Tian shared two stories from the Bible. The first story is that when the twelve disciples met a furious storm, criticized as "men of little faith" by Jesus while Jesus calmed the storm in the end (Matthew 8). The second is that Jesus still healed the boy who was possessed by a deaf and mute spirit, when his father said to Jesus, "Overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9)
Tian says we should be quite certain that the faith of the disciples or the boy's father can't change Jesus' power and authority. It's not the faith of disciples nor the child' father who calmed the storm and healed his son but Jesus Christ’s. Similarly, our faith can't throw mountains into sea but Jesus Christ's authority can.
We may have fatih after the sermon or prayer, but we may become weak when looking at our reality. Our faith may be big for a while but can become small after only a short period of time. What does the changeable and weak faith count in front of God? Should we count on our own faith or on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith?
"God loves us and he never changes," he says. He is the God of his Word. If He changes often, we can't rely on Him. We may change, but God never change. His love is like a straight line to us but our love towards Him is wavy. When we think God doesn't love us or distances Himself from us, it is us who do not love God or run away from Him.
So the real faith is from Jesus Christ. Then why should we have faith?
Tian told another story: a pastor from the south came to the north of China. China Lake can freeze in winter. A believer walked on the ice bravely while the pastor stepped on it scared.
In fact, the believer wasn't safer than the pastor for it was the ice which supported their weight. But the believer felt more secure than the pastor. It is similar to our belief. We believe in one God who never changes His love to everyone. Sadly, we live differently according to our faith. We may see that there are always people who have in peace in adversity while others feel worried even in success.