"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. " James 2:19
This is a chilling thought. Think about what James is saying here - you could have a "devil" of a faith!
Obviously, faith is much more than just believing! Faith is acting on what you believe, which is how the devils got to be devils! They knew Who God was and what God wanted and disobeyed Him. That is why they are "shuddering" now! They are fully aware of the terror that awaits them.
James is making the point that faith is ultimately revealed by what you do not by what you say! Your works reveal the quality and the validity of your faith. If you really understand Who God is then you will obey Him and honor him in your actions and decisions. If you, like the devils, know Who He is and still disobey Him that is the worst sort of sin!
This revelation underscores the absolute necessity of repentance and trusting God to transform your heart and mind. The easiest way to have genuine faith is to get real with God and receive His Spirit into your life. If you could believe yourself into faith you would not need God. You can't! Don't try!
Faith arises out of the work of grace that God wants to do in your heart and mind. Faith grows from the intial act of faith - trusting Christ for your salvation. That is precisely what Paul means when he declares, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Real faith is displayed in real godliness! That is the power of faith. That is why faith matters so much. You either trust - or you tremble.....