Faith is probably one of the most misunderstood realities of the Bible. Some people have the idea that faith is to be utilized only for receiving salvation. Others think it's to help us accept that whatever bad happens to us is God's will and that it's ultimately good for us. Then there are those who believe that it's a magic formula for getting whatever they want. Well, none of those are totally correct. Faith is certainly necessary for receiving salvation, but it's not just for receiving salvation. Moreover, it's a fact that we're going to confront bad things, but that doesn't mean they came from God (James 1:13-15). They're simply the result of us having allowed Satan and sin into this planet. What Adam started at the beginning, we're left with the consequences of now. And, although faith has been given for the attaining of many things, it has not been given just to get whatever we want from God. More than anything, faith was given to attain what God wants for us: His righteousness, His will and His promises.
There is a distinct need to understand how important faith is to us. First of all, without it we can't get our prayers answered. Mark 11:24 says, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."God loves moving on our behalf. He loves showing Himself strong to His children. He wants us to know that He's there, and there's no better way to show it than by answering prayer. However, even in answering prayer, God needs us to do our part - and our part is faith. As it says in the above verse, "whatever things you ask when you pray, BELIEVE that you receive them, and you will have them." Right here is where most people fail in their prayers. They ask, and ask, and ask. But they don't really believe that they'll get it. So, God can't answer their prayer. You must realize that Jesus is the one talking in Mark 11:24. He's the one saying we have to believe that we receive what we ask for if we want our prayers answered. That's what faith is about. It's about believing that God heard you and that God is granting what you asked. You have to actually believe that God heard you. 1 John 5:15 says, "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." Too many people walk away from their prayers wondering if God actually heard them. As long as you wonder if God heard you, you won't put much faith in your prayer. And, according to Mark 11:24, if you don't put faith in your prayer, you won't receive what you asked for.On another level, faith is critical because without it we can't please God. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." If we're going to come God, it won't be by our good works, or by our righteousness. It will only be by our faith. However, it's not some generic faith that will please God. There are two things that we have to come to Him believing: one, that He is - that He exists and that He's there; and two, that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.