The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
Does God grant us faith? In other words, is faith granted by God? If so, then how do you reconcile that with the fact that without faith it is impossible to please God? To please God, we need something that only God alone can give? If that is true, then why does he hold us responsible for not having faith when it is He that gives it?
I think you might be looking at this in the wrong way. Why not say “Isn’t awesome that the only thing we need to please God is something that He freely gives us?!”. I think the difference in perspective lies in what you think about God. If you think that God loves you and wants what is best for you then my more positive view makes sense. If, however you think of God as someone who sets traps because He is just itching to smite you the second you step out of line, then I can definitely see where your distress at the idea of God-given faith comes from.
I am not calling you out or picking on you, because this happens to everyone. If we forget about the fundamental things about who God is and how He see us, then it is easy to get some wires crossed. This often happens when people look at more theological issues that can be complicated, like faith. My high school english teacher had a term for this: “losing the forest for the trees”, which simply means getting so zoomed in on the details that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
There we see the reasons that the only thing that pleases God comes from God: so we can do the good things God has for us, and so that we can do them without getting a big head about it. Both of these things require keeping that big picture of who God is and who we are in him.
When Jesus admonishes people for lack of faith in the gospels, it is often the disciples. The result of them not using their faith is not that He gives up on them and cast them into Hell, it is that He bids them to remember who He is: that He loves them, and protects them and has plans for them. That is what out faith is about. It is a gift, not a trap.
-Matt from The Bridge