What does “big faith” look like? What does “small faith” look like? The Bible is quite clear on both. We are constantly given examples of people with big faith. The Israelites had no idea that God was going to part the Red Sea. They were standing with an ocean in front and an army behind. Basically, it was a “how are we going to die” situation. They didn’t have big faith. None of us can see what God is going to do, but we need to have faith that He will do something. Moses reminded them later of what God had brought them through, not as a reminder to avoid those situations, but to remind them of times that God came through in a big way. We are also reminded of people with little faith. Matthew 8:26 shows that people on the boat had no faith that Jesus would save them. So how do we tell the difference between some of the finer points of big faith and little faith?
Big faith is confusing
Often, big faith is confused for over-dreaming, blindly jumping, or no common sense. We hear this mostly in finances. “There’s no money for it,” “the economy is slowing,” and other phrases attack big faith as a lack of common sense. As a disclaimer, sometimes they’re right. Sometimes people don’t think things through or pray enough to really say this is faith. Sometimes they didn’t use any common sense. But, there is often nothing common about what God does. It goes far beyond the reaches of common sense. If what God did was common, it wouldn’t require faith.
Big faith remembers things differently
Many times, I hear things like “I don’t want to go back to a time like that. Finances were bad then.” Or “I hope we never have to go through that again.” Granted, sometimes that’s true. We do need to remember bad times and learn from them. But big faith remembers those times differently. Don’t get me wrong. Big faith can still remember that those times were painful. However, big faith tends to paint those memories in a different light. Big faith remembers bad times as times in which God showed up big time.
Big faith dreams big
This tends to be where little faith will accuse big faith of not thinking things through. It does look completely unreachable. That’s because big steps require big faith. “Big faith steps” always look unreachable.
That’s because they are. Big faith steps can’t be taken without God. Big faith steps require us to trust something beyond ourselves. In fact, that’s where the term “leap of faith” comes in.
Big faith is in the minority
Big faith makes no sense to us as humans. Even those with big faith are confused by it sometimes. So, human nature tells us not to have big faith. That puts the big faith people in the minority. Look at the 12 spies in Numbers 14-15. There were only 2 of the 12 (that’s 16.6% for you polling people out there) that had big faith. It’s tough for 16% to get the ball rolling. But, ironically….that takes big faith.