Do you find it difficult to understand faith?
Does the phrase “grow your faith” make your bristle, thinking of the prosperity movement, millionaire televangelists, and out of balance teaching?
The idea of faith can be very hard to grasp sometimes, especially in this modern age when we have been conditioned to believe what can be sensed by our five senses.
If we can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, or touch it – it’s doubtful.
And yet Hebrews tells us that without out faith it is impossible to please God.
Do you really grasp that? There is no hope of pleasing God at all if we do not have faith growing and bearing fruit in our lives.
But what is faith?
Hebrews tells us that it is the substance of what we hope for and the evidence of things we don’t see.
It is a strong conviction of anything; having trust and confidence.
It isn’t naming or claiming, believing that God will give us a big car and a big home, or being convinced that we will be rich and famous with a corner office in the corporate world.
It isn’t a refusal to admit that we are sick. It isn’t a denial that we feeling down, or even depressed. It isn’t even refusing to admit that we are fearful or anxious about something – so that our brothers and sisters and gather around and pray God’s peace in our heart.
In fact, faith has little to do with this world at all.
That’s not to say that there will not be times when we need faith to believe that God will provide for our needs or heal our bodies.
Rather, it is understanding that faith has nothing to do with making us rich and successful.
All throughout the Bible we see instances of great men and women of God who had incredible faith in the midst of seemingly impossible situations; and we see great men and women of God who needed their faith strengthened.
3 Ways to Grow Your Faith
Does your faith need to be strengthened?
Jesus said that even if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we could do impossible things. I like to think of faith as a thing – not a quantity of something.
Faith was deposited into your heart when you got saved. But now it needs to grow in size.
It needs to be strengthened, just like our muscles need strengthening.
1. Read the Bible
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
The more we read God’s Word, the more it becomes a part of the fabric of our lives, it shapes our world view, and begins to determine our choices and convictions.
The consistent and daily practice of reading and studying God’s Word begins to act as a filter for the information we’re bombarded with everyday, and faith begins to grow in our hearts as we choose to believe God’s Word over science and medicine.
Faith begins to grow in our hearts as we begin to trust that He will provide for us as He provided for great men and women of the Bible.
2. Walk in Obedience
If you read Hebrews 11, you will find that many named in the “Hall of Faith” were obedient to God.
Obedience, in and of itself, is faith. It is choosing to reject what we want to do in the moment to fulfill a command of someone greater than us.
And God rewards obedience.
Perhaps that reward isn’t instantaneous. Sometimes our obedience is immediately met with push-back, rejection, or criticism by those around us.
But God always rewards obedience in the end.
And the result of obedience to God, even when it seems like the most ludicrous thing to do in the moment, is a small step of faith that will lead us to even stronger and greater faith.
3. Focus on God
There is no greater destruction to faith than to look at our present circumstances.
I’m not advocating for denial; quite the opposite. If you are diagnosed with cancer, the very worst possible thing you could do is pretend it’s not happening.
Acknowledging our current situation and focusing on it are two different things.
Once we’ve acknowledged our current circumstance, we need to then hand it over to God and trust that He will be glorified through the situation.
Pray and ask Him to show you what He wants to teach you through this circumstance.
Ask Him to show you how you should pray and interceded in this situation.
Seek His face for direction on how to proceed.
But in every circumstance, we make God our focus, not our situation. Just as Peter began to sink in the water once he took His eyes off of Jesus, so we will sink in the waters of anxiety, fear, and despair when we take our eyes of Him.
Having faith doesn’t always mean you will be healed every time. Having faith doesn’t always mean that financial reversals, hard times, and even death will not occur.
Having faith means that when difficult situations come, we are completely convinced that no matter the outcome, God will be glorified through it.
So you see, faith has little to do with this world and has everything to do with heavenly treasure — learning that our hearts need to be more set on heaven than on earth; our desires more kingdom-focused than occupied with what we can get here and now.
- Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.