Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.
The Bible tells us we have all been given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), and that faith comes from God. Faith is believing in God and trusting in Him regardless of the circumstances or influences around us. Sometimes we find this easy to do but many times life's dilemmas can cause our faith to weaken or fail, especially during times of sadness, loneliness, sickness, pain, depression, deprivation or fear. Although it may be hard to understand, without these struggles our faith in God would never increase. If your faith level has been low lately here are some suggestions that may be of help to you.
1) Stop worrying.
You were not created to worry and fret. The Lord wants you to be at peace. Worrying will not solve your problems. It will only drain you. God invites you to cast your burdens upon Him (Psalms 55:22). He not only cares for you, but He is far better at handling the weight of your problems. He will not abandon you in the midst of your struggles for He has promised to never leave or forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
2) Learn to depend on God for everything.
It is our habit to depend on ourselves, our jobs, our friends, our money-everything and everyone except God. Develop the habit of making God your priority, not an after-thought. Talk to Him about what you need at the very moment you need it and trust Him to provide an answer. Your faith will increase as you depend more on Him and less on yourself. Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
3. Discover God's will for your life.
God has a plan for your and a work for you to accomplish. In your selfishness you may inadvertently moving in a direction He does not want you to go. Surrendering to Him may seem unnatural to you at first but His Spirit will guide you if you will allow Him to. Step forward in faith to work with Him, not against Him. Be active in serving Him by serving others. Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
4) Learn to listen to His voice.
Our lives are frantically busy, noisy and demanding. You must make time to listen for His voice. It is in moments of prayerful stillness that the heart is encouraged and strengthened. Then, with renewed faith, you are ready to move forward in obedience to the Lord's commands. "Be still", He says, "and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).
Rev 3:22 (NIV) "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
5) Practice patience.
Patience is a profound faith-builder. Few of us exercise enough patience. We live in a world where we expect to be instantly gratified, so understandably we expect that answers to our prayers should also come promptly. However, God is not bound by time. He answers our prayers in a way that is best for us, at the time that He knows will do us the most good. We must have faith to know He is working even though it may seem like the answers come slowly. God is working to change us from the inside, and this takes time. Be patient and in time He will reveal the answers to prayer you so anxiously seek. James 5:7-8 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Galatians 6:9
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. Psalm 37:7-9
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
6) Claim God's promises.
The Bible contains countless promises to cover every situation. God keeps His word. Memorize the promises that have special meaning for you. Speak them aloud whenever you can and claim them in your prayers. They are a firm support for your faith to lean on. 2 Peter 1:4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:37-39 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Proverbs 1:33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”
John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The promises of God are powerful and awesome to grasp. I pray that these scriptures about God’s promises were helpful to you today.
7) Give thanks.
Our Father delights to hear us give thanks. You can always find something to be thankful for. This is why the apostle Paul says, "In all things, give thanks" (1 Thes. 5:18)), not just the good things, but all things. Learn to give thanks even for trials and disappointments because you never know what blessings such things as this can bring.
8) Look for the lessons that the Lord is teaching you.
Our life here on earth is a school and the challenges you experience each day can often be looked at as another lesson. He will only lead you into those experiences that will increase your faith, and indeed your faith will increase as you acknowledge these lessons and grow from them. Each time you past one test He will lovingly but certainly bring you to the next.
Use every opportunity you can to exercise your faith and as you do it will increase. Remember that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2). He will not stop working with you until your faith has been perfected.
All Scripture references taken from the Holy Bible - King James Version
Author: Marcia Pope RN