The Bible says that God has given to everybody a certain measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) Everybody that is born again has general faith. General faith is different from the gift of faith. The gift of faith is one of the nine gifts of the spirit. Everybody does not have the gift of faith.

The gift of faith is a special faith that God will give you for a short time when you need it. For example, when Daniel was thrown into the lions' den, God protected him through the gift of faith. That was not ordinary faith that Daniel used. Daniel did not have this special kind of faith all the time. He only had it when he needed it.

Let me explain it like this: On your birthday, your parents might give you a present. Let's say it's a toy car! How many of you have a toy car? This present is something your parents gave you to keep forever. The toy car always belongs to you.

Now, let's say you wanted to build a small garage for your car. So you asked your dad for a hammer. Dad might say something like this, "You can use my hammer, son, but make sure you give it back when you're done with it." Dad gave you the hammer only for the time that you needed it. Dad gave you the toy car to keep forever.

God has given us faith to use for our whole life, but the gift of faith He will only give to us if we need it.

For example, you can use your faith to receive healing if the devil attacks you with a cold, but you need to use the gift of faith to raise somebody from the dead. That's why we just can't walk into a funeral home and start raising all the dead people up. We need special faith to do that.

When you use your own faith, it's something that you have to decide to do. But when God gives you the gift of faith, it's something He decides to do.

Source: Adapted from Super Church Curriculum Gifts of the Spirit
by Mark Harper
Excerpt permission granted by Mark Harper Ministries