Talking about the Israelites, Paul said, 'When the good news of deliverance...came to them...the message...did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith.' Kristin Armstrong, an Olympic athlete says: 'Without specific catalysts, certain results can never be achieved. To make spiritual progress, it's not enough to read the Bible or listen to sermons. The activating ingredient to understanding is faith.
After we hear God's message, we must rely on it with faith. Faith is not intellectual assent, or paying lip service to what you read in God's Word. It's acting on it, confident that God will do what He promised. There's a difference between faith and trust. You may believe a chair will hold you, but, only when you sit down and put your full weight on it, you are trusting it will carry you. Are you getting the idea?
For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.
- Bob Gass (Word for Today)