“The first sign of faith is love.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá promises, “if we have faith, “Nothing is impossible.” So to be clear, we can’t have faith without love, because love is the first sign. On this side of the sod, we sometimes experience doubt, worry, fear, and even despair. We want to believe, but at times, circumstances often become overwhelming. If that happens and we desire greater bounty from God, perhaps we may wish to ponder these encouraging words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
Nothing will be impossible to you if you have faith.”
BUT, WHAT IS FAITH?
“The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.” (1)
“For faith, which is life eternal, is the sign of bounty, and not the result of justice.” (2)
Bahá’u’lláh explains further,
“faith is an endowment from the Higher Kingdom and changes all beliefs into an aliveness in the spirit. The quickening of the soul renews the atoms of the body to the very marrow of the bone … The capacity for response to sorrows … has been heightened greatly. “(3)
ARE YOU GETTING GOOSEBUMPS?
Bahá’u’lláh said faith leads to “renewing the atoms of the body to the very narrow of the bone!!!! Meditate on that and these other meanings:
“Regard thou faith as a tree. Its fruits, leaves, boughs and branches are, and have ever been, trustworthiness, truthfulness, uprightness and forbearance. (4)
“Sincerity is the foundation-stone of faith. That is, a religious individual must disregard his personal desires and seek in whatever way he can wholeheartedly to serve the public interest; and it is impossible for a human being to turn aside from his own selfish advantages and sacrifice his own good for the good of the community except through true religious faith.” (5)
WHAT IS THE FIRST SIGN OF FAITH?
The first sign of faith is love. (6)
“To acquire faith man must cast out the ’stranger’ from his heart. To the extent that he succeeds in doing this, he will acquire faith. Once the spark of faith is ignited within the heart it must be allowed to grow steadily into a flame, otherwise it could die because of attachment to this world.” (7)
The Holy Bible describes it this way: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
But hope is not enough. Only through the power of faith, can we achieve the impossible, but not through just any old faith. ‘Abdul-Baha explains that we must also 1)rise up in the Cause, 2) be filled with the Holy Spirit, and 3)have faith that is steadfast as a rock!
“I say unto you that any one who will rise up in the Cause of God at this time shall be filled with the spirit of God, and that He will send His hosts from heaven to help you, and that nothing shall be impossible to you if you have faith. And now I give you a commandment which shall be for a Covenant between you and me: that ye have faith; that your faith be steadfast as a rock that no storms can move, that nothing can disturb, and that it endure through all things even to the end; even should ye hear that your Lord has been crucified, be not shaken in your faith; for I am with you always, whether living or dead; I am with you to the end.”
Bahá’u’lláh shares another critical ingredient for faith, SUBMISSION!
“Faith comes to a man through submission to God. The surrendering of the self with all its accomplishments renders the soul free of attachment to this mortal world. It drives the ’stranger’ away from the heart and enables him to receive the ‘Friend’ within its sanctuary.”
“Bahá’u’lláh states: O Son of Man! Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee… In another passage He reveals: O Son of Man! If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.” (9)
As you can see, the human spirit cannot become heavenly without faith.
“But the human spirit, unless assisted by the spirit of faith, does not become acquainted with the divine secrets and the heavenly realities. It is like a mirror which, although clear, polished, and brilliant, is still in need of light. Until a ray of the sun reflects upon it, it cannot discover the heavenly secrets. (10)
In conclusion, remember ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”s promise, “As ye have faith, so shall your powers and blessings be,” and that if we have faith, “Nothing is impossible.”
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (11)
1) (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156)
2)(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 129)
3)(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. vi.)
4) (Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 327
5) (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 96-97
6) (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 336)
7) (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 217-218)
9) (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 220)
10) (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 316)
11 (Matthew 17:20, King James Bible)