“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, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:7–11, emphasis mine).
The gift of faith is a supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit that gives us the faith to believe for something that our personal faith could never accomplish. The Amplified Bible calls it “wonder-working faith.”
It’s important to note that all of the gifts of the Spirit work through a believer and that believer must exercise an element of personal faith; that is, the one that the Holy Spirit is working through must exercise his personal faith by being obedient to do what the Spirit leads him/her to do. They must yield to the prompting of the Spirit with their own faith.
Simple (general or personal) faith that a believer has can grow. In Galatians we read of the fruit of the spirit. Faith is one of the fruits. Fruit grows and is a product of an inward working. The gift of faith doesn’t grow as does our personal faith. The gift of faith comes as “the Spirit wills.” Our personal faith grows as we know and act on the Word of God (Romans 10:17; James 2:26). We can operate our personal faith in God as we will, because we know God’s will through His word. Personal faith in God is how we get our prayers answered. The gift of faith comes as the Spirit wills.
The gifts of wonder-working faith and the working of miracles are similar — they both produce miracles — but faith receives a miracle and working of miracles performs a miracle. They often can overlap and work together just as the other gifts of the Spirit.
Daniel In The Lions Den
“So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God” (Daniel 6:23).
In Daniel chapter six we read of Daniel being thrown to the lions. Many believers throughout history have been fed to the lions and other torturous events for their faith. How is it Daniel was saved from certain death? It was the gift of wonder working faith. God supernaturally gave Daniel the faith for peace and safety.
In Hebrews 11:33 it says, “[By faith they] stopped the mouths of lions.” Daniel’s experience comes to mind. But where did he get the faith to cause God to send His angel to “shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me”? It was the gift of faith.
Daniel didn’t do a miracle, but he did received a miracle.
When the gift of faith is in operation, it often manifests in a sustained or continuous miracle. That is, a miracle that continues for a period of time. Daniel was kept safe through the whole night. But the next day, Daniel’s enemies didn’t even reach the bottom of the pit before the lions were on them. The lions were just as ferocious when Daniel was in the den as when his enemies were killed.
Another lesson we see from Daniel’s experience is that the gift of faith is often used for protection.
When we read of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we will see them bless their children. These blessings would come to pass, sometimes over many decades. How were the patriarchs able to do this? Through the gift of faith.
When the gift of faith is in manifestation, God is honoring the word of man as if it was His own. Throughout scriptures we see this occur for blessings and cursing.
When Joshua commanded the sun to be still, it was still for about a day (Joshua 10:12–14). This was the gift of faith in operation: Joshua didn’t do a miracle, but he received a miracle; God honored Joshua’s word as His own (vs. 14); This miracle was sustained over a period of a day, and is outside the realm of an individual’s faith. If Joshua’s personal faith was at that level, he would have done many more miracles.
Moses in Egypt
Many, if not most, of the miracles Moses did was through the gift of wonder-working faith. Felt darkness lasted for three days. Locust came from the east, etc. In some instances, both the gift of faith and the working of miracles were present. Often, it can be hard to distinguish between them.
Often times when a prophet spoke it released the gift of faith. Somethings wouldn’t come to pass for years. Other times it was a continuous miracle for sustainment.
We see the gift of faith in operation in Elijah’s ministry when he said there would be no rain until he gave the word, when he was continually and supernaturally fed by the ravens, and when the oil and flour didn’t run dry (1 King 17).
We see the gift of faith in Elisha’s ministry also. When Elisha pronounced the barren woman would have a child, it was the gift of faith (2 Kings 4:8–17). She received a child. God honored Elisha’s word as His own. Why? The Spirit of God inspired Elisha to speak and gave him the ability to believe something he otherwise couldn’t guarantee with his own faith.
As we study the scriptures, we find this gift manifesting many times by the prophets.
The Apostle Paul
We see this gift at work in the Apostle Paul’s life. In Acts chapter twenty-seven, we read of the hurricane that Paul and his companions were in. In verse twenty we read, “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.”
Everyone had lost hope of escaping the storm and living.
But God, through an angel, spoke to Paul saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me” (Acts 27:24-25).
Because of this word from God, Paul could believe beyond his personal faith and believe God with a wonder-working faith for deliverance.
Things to take note of: (1) Paul and company had given up hope for deliverance, (2) Because of a manifestation of the Spirit, Paul had a vision and the faith to believe for deliverance, (3) God saved all persons aboard the vessel and not just Christians. God wants to bless as many as He can, (3) Faith, even the gift of faith, is often times a process. Paul had to ride out the storm, but God kept them safe and answered their prayer. Whereas, with the working of miracles, Paul may have just commanded the storm to cease.
These are but a few examples of the gift of special faith.
The manifestation of the Spirt of the gift of faith may very well be the most prominent power gift in the Bible. It is probably the most important of the power gifts. We see it manifested throughout scripture.
The gift of faith is used to bless, curse, deliver, and protect. It receives from God that which a person cannot obtain by their own personal faith.
Personal faith comes by hearing God’s word. It can grow and become stronger, or it can become weaker if not fed by God’s word and exercised. Whereas, the gift of faith doesn’t grow because God’s faith doesn’t need to grow. The gift of wonder-working faith is God joining His faith to ours that we may receive a miracle.
Stay strong and prepared!