By Growing in Faith
How do I seek Your face when my flesh needs Your hand? What must I do, O Lord, there’s a need to understand.
RITA SPRINGER “I Remain in You”
I can really relate to the verse above from the song “I Remain in You.” Especially because I am constantly seeking God’s face, longing to feel His presence and have a strong inner drive to always understand what is going on. It was not too long ago, when I was going through a season of doubt, that I cried out to God and asked Him how was I supposed to carry on a ministry to others – encouraging them to endure and have hope – when I could not even feel His presence and I myself was desperate for His touch. I totally expected a feeling of condemnation and guilt in response to my cry but much to my surprise and delight instead I heard a soft voice speak to my heart – “My child, what you are experiencing is so pleasing to me because you are in a season of exercising and growing your faith in Me.”
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. HEBREWS 11:6
I was elated! I was pleasing to God because I had faith in Him even when I could not feel or see Him and doubt was pounding at the door of my heart. But the key was I did not turn away from Him – I turned and cried out to Him because I knew He was there and He was listening. The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Faith is exactly what we need when we are plagued by doubt. Faith banishes doubt as it enables us to seek God, to believe in Him, to trust Him and to move on through life with Him even when we do not see Him. We sometimes overlook the fact that faith is also a living thing. Faith is not static and unchangeable. Like a muscle, faith can grow and be strengthened when we exercise it. We exercise and grow in faith when:
*We put the gift of faith into action, such as when we believe in God’s power and ability to do something rather than believing in our own power (Romans 4:19-21)
*We spend time seeking to understand God’s Word (Romans 10:17).
*We are encouraged by others who share our faith (1 Thessalonians 3:2, 10).
*We remember God’s faithfulness to us in the past (Psalm 77:10-12). *We admit our faith is weak and ask God to give us faith (Mark 9:21-24).
It is important that we exercise and strengthen our faith because the Bible assures us that life on earth will test our faith. In the same way that the strength of a muscle is stretched and tested by hard use, the strength of our faith is stretched and tested as we apply it to the trials of life. When our prayers seem to go unanswered – when our pain lingers for months or even years – when God appears to be silent despite our desperate cries for help – our faith is stretched and tested. During times of testing, we are particularly vulnerable to doubt. For some of us, our faith may be stretched to near the breaking point but even then we can find hope and comfort because the Scripture assures us that the testing of our faith refines it – purifies it – strengthens it – proving it to be a genuine faith.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold— though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 PETER 1:6-7 (NLT)
On the journey with you,