I can‘t say I was surprised by the number of personal emails I received yesterday concerning the topic of yesterday’s devotion, Great Faith. Like me, most people struggle with faith. I appreciate your honesty and trust in sharing with me. I have prayed for each one of you. Still, my heart longed to do more. It’s my desire that you experience faith to the fullest measure. I long for you to be truly free from doubt, fear, and striving to live a good and holy life. So this week I’ve decided to share with you what I’ve learned about faith.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that faith must be maintained or practiced in order to grow strong and stay strong. A strong faith in God and His ways requires many parts.
Let me pause here and clarify that “practicing faith” is different from “saving faith.” To be saved, one freely receives God’s gift of grace by placing their faith in Christ alone. Period.
That’s our first step of faith. It’s to place our trust completely in Christ as our Savior and Lord. Next, we must live it out. That sounds simple but this is where most get off the bus. Or maybe we fail to get on the bus. I’m not sure. Either way, faith requires relationship.
God reveals Himself to us a Person—somebody whom we can have a relationship with—someone whom we can talk to. God greatly desires fellowship with us. Several things get in the way of such fellowship such as: apathy, sin, and just plain ignorance. Some people don’t realize that they were made to have an ongoing love relationship with God.
People do believe that their sins can be forgiven by repenting and that God will accept them and provide heaven as their eternal home. They also believe they should try to live a godly life. But none of this involves relationship.
When you and concentrate on this truth—that God so loves us he gave the ultimate sacrifice, His Son, our faith will begin to grow. That’s not all. God will also pour His love into our hearts as we focus our faith on Him.
What does a relationship with God look like? It looks like any other relationship you have. To know and love someone you must get to know their ways, their dreams, their joys and their heartaches. Likewise, you and I come to know God through His word. We also get to know others by spending time with them. You and I can spend time with God through prayer and worship. I love to listen to praise music at home or in the car. It chases away the blues and lifts my spirit. Worship also changes my thinking from wrong thinking to right thinking; from believing lies to trusting in truth.
When you and I fail to nurture our relationship with God, eventually it grows stale and our faith grows dim. Another way we grow in faith is through the testimony of others. I’d love for you to share how you spend time developing your relationship with God!
Be sure and check back tomorrow for another piece of the puzzle to growing in faith.