“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit…” I Corinthians 12:7-9.
The gift of faith mentioned here as one of the Gifts of the Spirit is not specifically defined in Scripture. This gift is to be distinguished from saving faith given to all believers and is apparently a gift whereby the Spirit provides Christians with extraordinary assurance that God will answer their prayers and allows them to take heroic stands for God’s work in the church. It is a supernatural capacity for believing God. Hebrews Chapter 11 lists many examples of persons with this gift including Noah building the Ark at God’s command when, up to that time, no rain had come.
One of the best examples of the gift of faith was the life of George Mueller who refused to publicize the needs of his ministry and through prayer and faith alone obtained funds to build five orphan houses that accommodated over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime. Although Mueller himself did not feel that he had the Gift of Faith, as he believed any Christian had the ability to receive answered prayers as long as the prayer was related to something that God had shown was his will, his life surely stands out as a person with supernatural faith in God to deliver.
There are many examples of Mueller’s faith producing miraculous outcomes. One example was where the children in one of his orphanages were dressed and ready for school but there was no food for them to eat. Mueller had the children sit at the dining table and proceeded to thank God for the food that he believed God would provide. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door and said that he could not sleep the night before as he somehow knew the orphanage would need bread that morning and had gotten up and baked three batches. Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked Mueller if he could use some free milk. Mueller smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.
Hudson Taylor was another example of a person with the Gift of Faith. He believed that God could win the Chinese people of his day and felt called to that ministry. Without any money or support and while refusing to ask for money he founded the China Island Mission and had the greatest work in the history of that nation based solely on Faith. John McArthur, pastor of Grace Church credits the amazing growth of his ministry to persons who were way beyond him in their faith and whose faith was the engine that activated God’s power beyond obstacles when he would have held back.
Christians should be inspired by these examples of persons that have deployed the Gift of Faith. We can also know that God will answer our prayers up to the “measure of our faith” (Romans 12:3). While some persons are uniquely gifted to deploy supernatural faith all Christians can expect God to answer any prayer about any matter that is shown to them as the will of God and made in faith.