When we ask people to "believe in Jesus" or "put their faith in Jesus?" What does that mean?
When I tell someone that "I have faith in you" I'm not telling them, "I believe that you exist," but instead, "I trust your promises - I believe that your abilities will be able to accomplish this task." Having faith in God amounts to exactly the same thing.
When we are given a new heart and we put our trust in Jesus what are we saying? We don't just believe that He exists, but that his words are true. Maybe not these statements themselves, but a very similar content -
We've fallen short and offended a holy and righteous God.
We are dead, unable to lift a finger towards saving ourselves or setting things right.
But God who is merciful and gracious has stooped down to earth and appeased his own wrath through a substitute, Jesus.
Thus we are no longer under wrath but have a new lease on life.
And as we grow, what deepens our faith? Statements like this -
"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you."
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
"For nothing will be impossible with God.”
“Your son will live.”
"And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
"it is finished."
(just some scattering of verses that has crossed my path the last few weeks)
As I think about faith, I remember that faith is a "faith in something." That something (or someone) is Jesus Christ. If I want more faith, I need more promises. Either I need to learn more about Scripture and thus have more promises of God in my head, or I need to remember the promises that I do already know and apply them to more and more situations.
I still do pray "increase my faith." It's a gift from God and only He can give it. Along with that prayer, I'm praying, "teach me and remind me of your precious promises!"