The question of whether faith in God is a “crutch” implies that believing in God is a sign of weakness or inability to cope with life’s challenges on one’s own. However, the Bible presents a different perspective on faith in God.
According to the Bible, putting one’s faith in God is not a sign of weakness, but rather an acknowledgment of our human limitations and need for divine grace and strength. The apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Rather than being a crutch, faith in God provides spiritual power and resources to face the trials of life.
Additionally, the Bible makes it clear that we were created to be in relationship with God. We were made for worship, fellowship, and reliance upon our Creator. Rather than denoting weakness, living by faith fulfills God’s intended design for human life and flourishing. As Augustine famously prayed, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Faith connects us back to our purpose.
At times, faith in God may look like a crutch to outsiders. People may wonder why believers pray so frequently, trusting God to handle situations rather than just trying to solve problems themselves. However, prayer and other spiritual practices are not intended to replace human responsibility and action. Rather, they undergird it. By connecting with God, believers receive wisdom, comfort, strength, and guidance for the tasks at hand.
It is true that during seasons of extreme hardship, trauma, or loss, faith in God may function as a crutch in the sense of sustaining those who are emotionally and spiritually devastated. Turning to God as a source of comfort, hope, and inner healing is a path many take when human resources are not enough. But this too displays spiritual wisdom in accessing divine help in desperate times.
Additionally, while faith provides support in difficult seasons, it is intended to propel growth over time. As Charles Spurgeon stated, “Faith is the leg of the soul by which it may walk along the road of the commandments.” Mature biblical faith is active, spurring transformed thinking and Christlike living.
In summary, according to the Bible, faith in God is far more than a crutch. It connects humankind to their Creator and to the purposes for which they were made. It brings spiritual empowerment, inner resources, and access to divine help. While it may provide comfort and stability in times of extreme need, biblical faith is meant to stimulate human flourishing and spiritual growth day by day.
The source of true life and strength
The Bible clearly presents God as the true source of life, meaning, and strength – not a mere crutch, but the foundation for human flourishing. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). A branch detached from the vine quickly withers and dies. By abiding in Christ through faith, believers are joined to the One who gives abundant life (John 10:10).
Followers of Jesus testify that their relationship with God does not diminish their personality or strengths, but enhances them. Human beings still have responsibility and capability for action. But by walking closely with God, their gifts and passions find direction and empowerment beyond human capacity. The apostle Peter called believers “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), indicating that God’s life and Spirit within equip people for tasks far beyond natural resources.
This supernatural empowerment relates to what Paul described: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). By faith, believers can tap into spiritual resources that exceed what this finite world offers. God’s presence and power within enable His followers to overcome challenges, endure suffering, love others, and radiate hope.
The object of biblical faith
In calling believers to live by faith, the Bible also provides the object of that faith: God Himself. Biblical faith is not nebulous self-confidence or positive thinking. It involves entrusting oneself wholly to a trustworthy, capable God who has supreme power, wisdom, and goodness.
The Old Testament describes many acts of faith by people who trusted in God’s character and abilities. For example, through faith Noah built an ark to save his family from a coming flood. Hebrews 11:7 notes, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark.” Noah trusted God’s warning and acted on it, despite no evidence yet of a flood.
Abraham provides the premier example of faith in God according to the Bible. With no child in old age, God promised Abraham innumerable descendants and a land of his own. Romans 4:20-21 says of Abraham, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Again, the object of Abraham’s faith was God Himself – His trustworthy character and unlimited power.
The New Testament continues this theme, pointing to Jesus Christ as the ultimate object of faith. The book of Hebrews particularly emphasizes Jesus as completely trustworthy – both willing and able to bring salvation and eternal life to all who believe in Him. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
Biblical faith rests in the capable hands of an all-powerful, loving, promise-keeping God as revealed in Jesus Christ. This provides much more stability than faith in oneself or natural resources. By relying on Him, believers gain a foundation that cannot be shaken amidst life’s unpredictability.
The courage faith provides
Rather than denoting weakness or inadequacy, the Bible often associates faith with courage. Trusting in God empowers believers to act boldly, take risks, face opposition and endure hardships in the service of God and others.
For instance, many biblical figures courageously spoke God’s truth to hostile audiences at risk to themselves. The Old Testament prophets regularly pronounced divine judgment or correction to wayward kings and nations. Jesus’ disciples also boldly preached the gospel in the face of persecution and death.
Commitment to God through faith gave these messengers courage to speak truth, no matter the consequences. As Peter told religious leaders, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot help speaking of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). Their confidence came from God.
Likewise, faith fueled courage for believers facing other types of adversity. Writing to persecuted first-century Christians, Peter urged, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Faith in God strengthened believers to patiently endure unjust suffering.
Additionally, the assurance of eternal life through faith lessened the fear of death itself. Writing as an old man awaiting execution, Paul said, “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7). His faith in Christ freed Paul to fulfill his calling without fearing death’s power.
Believers throughout history can likewise attest to supernatural courage to act, endure, speak truth, and face death without fear – courage that comes from confidence that God will never abandon those who trust in Him.
The example of Jesus
Some may argue that faith acts as a crutch because Jesus seemed to avoid pain, difficulty and death by exercising abundant faith in God. However, Jesus Himself fully experienced human hardship and limitations.
Right after His baptism, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). He endured a grueling 40 days without food and water while being tested by Satan’s relentless temptations. Rather than avoiding all hardship, Jesus entered it in reliance on divine resources.
The Gospels also record Jesus experiencing exhaustion (John 4:6), grief at a friend’s death (John 11:35), betrayal (Luke 22:48), excruciating pain (Matthew 27:46), and of course crucifixion itself. He trusted God while enduring the full range of human experiences – including hardship, sorrow, and deep suffering.
Jesus’ faith provided perseverance and courage to fulfill His messianic mission, not escape from all difficulty. As the book of Hebrews notes, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross” (12:2). Jesus’ unwavering faith in God enabled Him to endure the cross and accomplish redemption for all humanity.
So while Jesus demonstrated full reliance on divine resources, He did not thereby avoid hardship or death. His faith upheld Him through human experiences of weakness – not from them. And His resurrection proved that God’s power overcomes even death for those who put faith in Him.
Benefits of faith in trials
God often allows His faithful followers to experience trials and adversity, not to punish them, but to ultimately aid their growth and maturity. As James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3). Through tests of faith, believers develop perseverance and Christlike character.
God sometimes permits hardship and suffering to humble believers, highlight sin or misplaced priorities, refine virtues, and deepen their dependence on Him. Thechallenges prune away spiritual complacency. David wrote, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71). Through difficulty, believers gain wisdom and a more resolute faith.
Hardships can also increase compassion for others who suffer. Paul wrote that God “comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Shared suffering produces empathy and care for others in need.
God also uses trials to develop perseverance and confidence that He will fulfill His promises. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4). As believers witness God’s faithfulness through various hardships, their hope and assurance in His trustworthiness increases.
So unlike a mere crutch, faith during trials strengthens character, deepens divine connections, creates compassion, and builds confidence in God. Believers experience firsthand that His grace and strength are sufficient to uphold them.
A journey of growth
Biblical faith is always oriented toward growth – in godliness, wisdom, obedience, virtue, hope, and love. The life of faith should reflect Paul’s words: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12).
While faith provides comfort and stability, passive reliance on God stunts a believer’s spiritual growth. Oswald Chambers wrote, “We have to develop godly habits and character, not simply enjoy spiritual experiences. In the spiritual life, contemplation and activity must go together.”
Mature biblical faith manifests itself in righteous living and good works, while also continuing to trust fully in God’s grace. James argued against passive, intellectual faith saying, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).
In summary, faith provides confidence in God’s presence and provision that empowers believers to joyfully walk the path of discipleship. They can obey Jesus’ commands without anxiety, knowing God will sustain them. This fosters steady growth in Christlike virtue with the Spirit’s help.
The apostle John beautifully depicts this lifelong process. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Biblical faith motivates purification and growth.
A temporary need?
Some may concede faith provides stabilization and growth during seasons of hardship or trial, yet argue believers should graduate beyond needing it long term. However, the Bible depicts faith as an ongoing necessity, not just a temporary aid.
Human limitation remains constant in this earthly life. No believer reaches a point of complete maturity or self-sufficiency. Christians continually wrestle with sin and finite perspective. As Paul lamented, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Moral and spiritual progress is incremental.
Life’s trials and uncertainties also remain. No one can control suffering, tragedy, or adversities. As seasons change, new challenges arise requiring renewed faith and reliance on God. Thus believers regularly reaffirm the psalmist’s declaration: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Hardships return.
Additionally, glorification awaits future fulfillment. God has promised to perfect believers’ nature and remove all sin when Christ returns. Until then, sanctification is partial and flawed. Paul said, “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12). The fulfillment of our hope requires persistent faith.
So although faith may seem like a crutch during acute crises, even mature believers walk by faith during seasons of growth and stability. Close connection with God remains the source of spiritual life and power day to day.
Biblical examples make clear that faith provides much more than a temporary crutch during hardship. It constitutes the very foundation of the Christian life – essential for growth, obedience, and endurance from beginning to end. As an ancient hymn declares:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
This hymn captures the absolute necessity of ongoing reliance upon Christ. Even spiritual maturity cannot replace childlike faith resting in the promises and character of God. Jesus taught that receiving the kingdom requires childlike trust (Luke 18:17).
The author of Hebrews concurred: “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith remains indispensable for walking with God. It constitutes the conduit through which His life and power flow.
In summary, according to the Bible, faith is no mere crutch for the spiritually immature. It forms the irreplaceable foundation of relationship with God across the entirety of the Christian life – providing empowerment, stability, and spiritual resources day by day. Faith fulfils God’s intended design for wholehearted reliance upon Him.
In conclusion, the Bible presents a high view of faith that transcends human weakness. Faith relies upon God’s unlimited strength, not our finite resources. It empowers courageous actions beyond human capacity, connects believers to the source of abundant life, and provides unshakable confidence that God will fulfil His good promises.
While faith grants comfort amidst hardship, its greater purpose is to stimulate spiritual growth and maturity. Through tests and trials, faith takes deeper root. Believers increasingly gain compassion, perseverance, wisdom, and Christlike virtues. Faith is oriented toward transformation.
Far from being unnecessary for mature believers, childlike trust and reliance on God remains essential across the entirety of the Christian life. Human limitation and trials continue, along with the struggle against sin. The fulfilment of righteousness awaits future completion. Thus, faith never graduates from being the foundation of relationship with God.
In closing, the Bible presents faith as the conduit through which God’s empowering grace flows. Faith connects believers to the infinite spiritual resources that far exceed this finite world. With childlike confidence in the loving, faithful, and omnipotent Creator, His followers live empowered beyond human weakness.