Wesley's words encourage me and haunt me.
Who doesn't want to believe God no matter the circumstances? Who doesn't want to look at impossibilities with mountain-moving faith? Who doesn't want to raise the rod of faith over their sea of doubts and watch God part it?
I believe God! I know what He can do. Sometimes I just have a hard time believing that he "will do." At times I wrestle with being full of faith (which is good) and being presumptuous (which is bad).
Some days my faith cowers. I'm the proverbial ninety-nine pound weakling. Doubt kicks sand in my face and dares me to do something about it. Unable to muster even a mustard-seed of conviction I turn and walk away, head down and shoulders bent. On those days I muttering to myself, "There's just no boldness to my belief."
I know what God says:
- Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29 ESV
- And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 ESV
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. Hebrews 11:1-2 ESV
- For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:23 ESV
If faith brings the blessing of God and unbelief is sin, I need to know how God grows my faith. The following list is not exhaustive, but it is a great start for everyone who needs a faith lift:
- Read God's Word. Romans 10:17. God uses the gospel of Jesus to awaken faith in the lives of people. It stands to reason that time in God's Word is going to be a faith builder.
- "See" what God says. Hebrews 11:13. People of faith see with their minds eye what God has said. They picture it and believe it. Don't hurriedly run past what God promises. Dwell on it. See it.
- Act on what God says. Hebrews 11:8. Read through Hebrews 11. You will find many verbs. For example: Moses refused, considered, kept, sprinkled, crossed. People of faith take God at his word and do what he says.
- Don't confuse faith with feelings. Hebrews 11:36-38. Our feelings are a rickety cane unfit to lean on. Faith is a stout walking stick for the arduous path of life. Your feelings will fail you. God's Word will not. Place your faith on the promises of God.
- Don't expect to see every promise fulfilled in your lifetime. Hebrews 11:13, 39. Many people of faith went to their graves believing but still not receiving. Should we demand that our experience be different?
- Hang out with people of faith. Hebrews 13:7. We become like the people with whom we associate. Listen to, learn from, talk with, pray with, and worship with people of faith.
- Look back and then look forward. Hebrews 11:32-38. When we look back we see how God worked in our lives and in the lives of others. God uses this to fuel our faith for the future. I wrote about this in the post, "Why Does God Say, 'Remember.'" You can click here to read it.
There is a joy that comes with child-like confidence. May the Lord build within you the faith that sees promises and laughs at impossibilities. May he give you mighty faith!
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