How does faith begin?
A saving faith in Christ is not a natural ability of man, but a gift that comes from God. Man cannot produce faith by himself and thus decide to come to faith. It is entirely dependent on the work of God.
God produces faith trough the means of grace. The primary mean of grace is the Word of God. In baptism the faith-producing Word is combined to water. In the Holy Communion it is combined to the bread and the wine. In confession of sins it is combined to a special procession of forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit speaks to man through the Word of God. Through the Word of God the Holy Spirit comes to his heart and produces faith. The awaking and strengthening of faith are the most important tasks of the Holy Spirit.
If you’re wondering whether you have faith, or is it strong enough, you can ask God to strengthen your faith. It is a prayer to which God always answers according to the request. You can trust that God will give you faith despite your own feelings or experiences.
In the congregation the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ as the Saviour and assures that His grace is sufficient for you too. Faith is not about our own pushing or trying but God’s work in man.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17, ESV)