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The apostle Paul exhorts Christians to "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). What we see here is a contrast between truth and perception-what we know and believe to be true and what...
The Bible says that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 Many years ago I struggled with my faith, not knowing what God wanted for me. I searched the Bible for help in my faith and I listened to a radio program that pointed to the lack of people listening to the Word or God's message found in the Bible. I purchase a bunch of CD's (long time ago) by Max McLean that had the spoken Word on it and I started listening. The result: my faith increased. I believe that people struggle with faith because they are not "in" the Bible every day. There are way too many electronic distractions that keep us from His Word. I firmly believe that for the most part electronic gizmos are an invention of the enemy. Smartphones, iPod's, Computers, TV's and the like keep us too busy and interested in things that have no lasting eternal benefit. Yes, they can be used for good, but reality they are not. I talked with a friend who had to cancel his NBA channel with ESPN; he found himself watching it all day long. How about you? So how can you get into the Bible? Turn off all electronics and open the Bible. Now, I'm not an advocate of "reading the Bible in a year" because it generally becomes a race to say that you did it. However, I do promote and encourage the meditation on the Bible every day, even if it is just one verse that day. Start in the Book of Matthew. If you are asking questions and thinking about that one verse all day you are "pondering" upon the word. Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." The blessed man or woman of God is one who meditates upon the Word day and night. In addition, there is a promise that many overlook. When we are diligent in searching the message of the Bible, it will do the work that is needed in our lives, including the increase of our faith. Isaiah 55:11 "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." So consider faith as a muscle, we exercise it when we are in the Bible every day and night, building up our ability to believe and hear from God on every subject we are faced with each day. Don't race through your time in the Word, meditate upon it, ask questions of God what He wants you to learn from it. And always ask God to bless your time before you start your reading, ask to open your mind and shut out the distractions so you can hear from Him. Now, if God was willing to give all for you, what is a reasonable response? Romans 12:1 says "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." When the Lord saved me in my junior year of college, I was horribly busy with a full time job and a full school work load. It dawned upon me that I should at least be able to give back 1% of my day to the Lord. That's 14.4 minutes per day which is where I started. Everyday I did my best to spend at least 15 minutes in the Bible and I am a truly blessed man many years later. Can you give 1% of your day to God? I guarantee you will be blessed if you do.
By believing (faith) that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior) we are given eternal life with Him. No pain, no sorrow, no tears. We are given incorruptible, eternal bodies to enjoy the intimate closeness of God every second (if time exists in Heaven) of every Heavenly day. People make the mistake of thinking that faith is subjective instead of objective. Jesus is faith, so by believing in Him we have the gift of faith (an objective gift) as a result. We humans are emotional and when we're not feeling good about who we are in Christ, we think (based on emotions and not fact) we don't have enough faith which is wrong, because the indwelling Spirit (Jesus) is our faith and our guide through troubled times in our walk through life. Believing in Jesus gives us all the faith we'll ever need when we get our emotions either out of the way, or under control and let the Spirit guide us. We need only to keep our focus on Jesus and His Word to know objective faith is in us always. Not only do we have faith _in Jesus, we also have the faith _of Jesus who lives in us by the Holy Spirit, 1 Tim 1:14.
Many Christians struggle with their faith because they fail to exercise it. Like muscles in our body, if we don't exercise them, they atrophe and then won't work when we need them to. Faith is a gift of God which we receive from the Holy Spirit. Each day that we choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit our faith grows stronger. Whenever we: study and meditate on the bible, have intimate conversations with God (prayer), give praise and thanksgiving to God, experience intimate Christian fellowship, and love/serve others to complete the good works God has given, then we are filled with the Holy Spirit and our faith grows stronger. Our faith also grows when it is tested by God in the refiner's Fire. Whenever God puts us in situations where we must trust and depend on him, then our faith grows when God's faithfulness is revealed to us. That was the experience of the Old Testament patriarchs and the experience of Jesus's apostles. When Jesus fell asleep in the boat and the terrible storm came up, the disciples (including several fisherman) thought they were going to drown. They woke Jesus up saying, Master don't you care that we are going to drown. What did Jesus say? Where is your faith? Implied in his response was his earlier statement that they were going to the other side of the lake - on the lake, under the lake, or over the lake, but they were going to the other side. Through prayer and Jesus name, the disciples had the power to calm the wind and waves but they had never exercised it. Exercise your faith every day and you will never struggle with it again. As one of my former pastors was fond of saying, "Live your life for the Lord, every day in such a way, that if God doesn't show up, you're in deep trouble.
When Jesus said, "Have Faith in God," He meant it. When the father in heaven gives us faith it is undeniable, and nothing can convince you otherwise. Faith is more than just something that you read. It is the spirit of the living God that speaks to us and tells us what to believe for. Like, Abram when God spoke to him. If The Father in heaven would not have spoken to Abram, it would have been impossible for him to believe anything because he would not have heard anything to believe. Abram believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness. (Thus the Faith of Abraham). It is impossible to please God without faith. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can say to the mountain, "Be though removed," and it will be. Thank you in the name of Jesus.
To many struggle with a lack of faith, because the church does not present the gospel the way Paul preached it. We are saved by grace, through faith, without works, so that no one may boast. It is the gift of God, not by anything we do or do not do. Ephesians 2:8-9 Romans 4:5 Titus 3:5 First John 5:13 and John 3:16. Salvation is all grace according to the scripture. Not by what we do or do not do. If salvation was preached the bible way, just to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, then people would grow in faith and unto good works. Then they would do good works because they are saved instead of believing their good works can save them. If we do not get the basis of our faith right, we have nothing but religion, which God hates. Salvation by works is no salvation. We can only be saved by faith alone in Jesus finished work on the cross, plus nothing. All through the New Testament, it keeps telling us we are saved by grace, without works. All of Paul's letters were started with grace to the hearers. We have churches that preach all grace for salvation, and then turn right around and add works. You must do this if you are really saved. Or you just want fire insurance, or salvation is by grace, but it will cost you every thing. Salvation is by grace because it is free to us and cost Jesus everything. Faith in Christ's finished work on the cross is salvation. We need to build up each other in the faith. Salvation is a one-time act where we go from unbelief to belief. Then the holy spirit of promise comes in and we are made complete in Him and are sealed unto the day of redemption. Belief in the Savior, knowing that all of our sins have been paid for, past, present, and future, is by Jesus blood sacrifice for all our sin and is the only way of salvation. For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Not by works, lest any man should boast. If we would preach it, people would get saved, and those that are saved would know it, and not follow false teachers. To many only have religion. Without the spirit in us, there is no salvation. With the spirit, we have salvation that can never be lost because it is the spirit in us that says I will never leave you or forsake you. Salvation is by simple faith in Christ alone with nothing from us. All we have to know to be saved is that we are sinners and need a savior. Jesus is that savior that came to save sinners just like you and me. Those that have trusted Christ alone to save them are saved and have eternal life. That is the good news of the gospel. Those that are trusting in themselves or their works to save them, are not saved.
I am going to answer this question as simply as possible. To have an abundance of faith you must become like a child. When you are born again you are a child in need of training. That training must come from alone time with the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Most in ministry today went to a Christian college that is swayed by religious teaching of a denomination which usually leads to prejudice in one's own denominational faith development. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. God's word says that you can not waver in your belief, that a wavering person will receive nothing from the Lord. It says we must keep on asking, seeking and knocking at the door of heaven until faith comes to fruition or reality. The word of God and its promises must be meditated on day and night. That only requires praying, confessing and trusting in those things that be not as though they are. You are to stand and expectantly wait on the Lord to do and preform what is petitioned. You can fast and pray with the armour of God on. You must confess with your mouth the truth of God's word over your circumstances. I remember years ago being incredibly sick and alone, single in my new property the Lord blessed me with that I had no financial ability to even afford. Yet' I believed God and it happened but he put it in my heart to do so. That night I cried out to God his promises of healing and suddenly I puked into the trash can and passed out. I heard a plunk into that trash can and the next mourning nothing was in there. It was as empty as when I put a fresh bag a few days earlier. I had just returned to the Lord after about 10 years of backsliding. I was 7 times worse in sin before I returned, but when I did, all the knowledge, discernment and wisdom of God flowed right back into my mind. I was like Nebuchadnezzer. A prideful king turned into a beast and then transformed back into a humble King. God is able to do the impossible. We are his only restraint. But with hope turned into faith perseverance, prayer, fasting worshipping, giving of ourselves and standing on his promises, we can move mountains in our lives. Like addictions, character flaws, diseases that doctors have no cure for, medication or treatment that do not prevail. Thou he slay me yet shall I serve the. Quitting and giving up have no place in the realm of faith. Even death when it occurs cannot defeat us. God knows the number of our days, but we can with his help and mercy have them increased or radically changed in a blink of and eye or over time as we persevere in our faith. Nothing is impossible for our God to do when you're desperate. Who else can come to your rescue? Our God is able. Just trust him like a small child trusts a loving parent, but even a small child insists and cries out for his supper when it is delayed. Selah! Joyful Worshipper Son of Thunder
I received a great deal of faith when I was baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit. I quit smoking on the spot, I was so amazed! God did for me what I could not do for myself, I became a true believer! I was so excited I went to work and shared my new found faith with others and led a fellow worker to Christ and he to got baptized. I praise God and thank him daily! God has his ways to show us he is real even today when we cant see Jesus in the person we can know he is real!
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