Faith is not static. It can be measured. The Bible speaks of people with “no faith”, “little faith”, “weak faith”, “dead faith”, “great faith”, “full of faith” and “strong faith”. Of course, even a small amount of faith in God has great power (Luke 17:6). Most importantly, our faith can grow (2 Thess. 1:3. 2 Cor.10:15). The disciples prayed, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). How would you describe your level of faith in God right now – is it high, low or somewhere in between? How can we move our faith in God up to a TEN?
1. Trust in God (Prov.3:5-6). Life is a journey and we can have a sense of where we have come from, where we are now and where we are going BUT there are unexpected turns in the road and different seasons that we go through along the way (ask Job, Joseph, Esther and Daniel). Some things are within our control while many things aren’t. At all times, we need to choose to TRUST in God. Trust is not fatalism but rather it is an active faith in who God is and what he is doing.
Our trust in God can grow. As we experience God’s faithfulness in our lives we compile memories that can strengthen us during difficult times. When facing Goliath, David recalled the victories that God had given him over the lion and the bear. Have confidence in God’s goodness, even in the face of your doubts. God is at work! He causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose (Rom.8:28). No, all things don’t work out the way we want them to; no, not all things are good; and no, God doesn’t cause all things. However, he is the master designer who causes ALL things (the good and the bad, our successes and our failures) to work together for his ultimate purpose in our lives. This is something that we can KNOW. That level of confidence helps us to trust … even when we do not understand.
2. Expect God to Keep His Promises. Faith involves a positive expectation about the future. Faith gives birth to hope and hope gives birth to positive action. Faith believes that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above whatever we could ever ask, think or imagine (Eph.3:20). Sometimes when our hopes are dashed or unmet, we find it hard to expect God to show up. We start to doubt his promises and we can even end up in unbelief. We need to understand that often there are delays between God’s promises and their fulfillment. Delays become times of testing (Ps.105:16-19). However, delays are not denials and we must continue in faith even during these times of contradiction. It is also important for us to realise that God’s ways are different than ours and this may mean that the fulfillment of his promises occurs in ways least expected.
3. Never Give Up! An important dimension of faith is a choice to never give up, to persist, to be determined, and to not lose heart … whatever life may throw at us. Life is not always easy. Jesus made it clear that his followers would experience times of pressure and trouble in this world (see John 16:33 and also Acts 14:21-22. 2 Cor.1:3-5. 1 Pet.4:12). However, God promises that his grace will be enough for us to endure anything that we go through (2 Cor.12:7-10). When we are feeling weak, his strength is available to us as long as we do not quit (2 Cor.4:8-9, 16-18). Determine to finish the race God has given you to run (Acts 20:22-24). Times of pressure help to develop our character, they have the potential to make us stronger (Jas.1:2-8), and they make us more empathetic to others’ pain (2 Cor.1:3-7). Have the courage, determination and commitment to finish. To win is to get up each time you fall. It’s always too soon to quit.