The whole concept of faith is often misunderstood in our spiritually pluralist culture. Faith is not necessarily even a "spiritual" concept, but an expression of whatever it is we trust to bring us what we want or need in life. So the question becomes: What do you put your faith in? Is it your financial security, your spouse, yourself, or something else? And is the object of your faith delivering for you what you thought it would? Christian faith makes the bold declaration that we trust NOT in the things of this world, but the redeeming work of Christ ALONE. Further, faith in God is not our creation. It is God's gift to us as Paul notes above. We didn't simply have a great day a while ago and figure out the redemptive nature of God. What could the finite know of the infinite unless the infinite chooses to be known? It makes no sense to give ourselves credit for faith. Instead, by God's Spirit, our eyes are opened to His redemptive work and, by faith, we receive it and are forgiven, justified before our heavenly Father as one wholly righteous. By faith, we apprehend the work of Christ on our behalf and are then transformed as we appropriate His benefits. By faith, God's words to His son become His words to us: "This is my son (or daughter) whom I love; in him I am well pleased."
In an age where people constantly feel the burden of proving themselves worthy, Sola Gratia – Grace Alone – may well be the sola most needed today. We can often feel crushed at having to constantly earn the love and approval of others by what we do, how we look, who we're with, what we drive, what we make, or where we live. To make matters worse, the perfect lives of our "friends" are constantly before us on social media, whispering the lie that we don't measure up. How refreshing then is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the lavish manner of God's grace. He loves us just as we are – and where we are. He knows our flaws and our pains and all our past actions and still opens His arms wide to receive us. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." All we need do is receive it by faith, but therein lies the problem. We think it too easy, so we quickly fall back into the false notion of needing to appease God by our actions. However, in Christ, we see the truth. We could never hope to earn salvation by our goodness. Such a notion is ludicrous. Every other religious tradition in the world is trying to move up to heaven by their works; in Christianity, God declares such to be impossible, so He comes down to us. God graciously accomplishes salvation for us and then invites us to freely receive it. Stop trying, stop working, and delight in God's gracious love for you.