When it comes to putting your trust in God, how do you fare? For me, it seems to be a bit of a struggle at times. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, either. Having a strong and unshakable faith in God is very possible and I do know people who have this trait.
In this article, I want to dig into a few scriptures that are surely going to help us come to a better understanding of what is in our hands and what isn’t when it comes to having a strong faith in Christ.
What is faith?
First, let’s see what the bible says that faith is;
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
Okay, so it’s having confidence in the invisible. This is the main reason that so many don’t have much faith, if any, when it comes to God. God is there, as He is everywhere, but because we can’t see Him, it can be hard to believe for some.
Having trust in the unseen God comes down to a few things, as we’ll get to in this article. But first, I believe that walking in faith starts with a little house cleaning.
What I mean is, when we are walking in any form of unconfessed, unrepented sin, that acts as a blockage. Anytime that I find that I am struggling to maintain faith, I find that I often have either thoughts of worry or am participating in some form of sin. I can also see the same blockage in my prayer life during this time.
When I do see this to be an issue for me, I spend some time in prayer asking God to search my heart and expose to me anything that is hindering our relationship. Also, I confess any known sin and I cast my burdens, my worries, onto the Lord at that time, too. And, if I am able, I spend some time in worship to Jesus. This usually gets me on the right track and mindset again.
One more thing that I find about faith is that it is a belief based on our reasoning. The way we think about certain things and what we’ve been told allows us to put either more or less faith into something. When we get into our cars and drive, we automatically put faith into the safety of that vehicle, that they were built right. After all, the car passed quality control, right?
A little side note if I may, have you seen the movie Facing the Giants?, this movie has had a huge impact on faith in my family and taught us to prepare for God’s blessing, “to prepare for rain”. I hope you will love it as much as we do. Check out this feature set by the Kendrick Brothers.
The enemy wants to destroy our faith
The enemy, that is, Satan, is a destroyer by nature. The bible tells us that he only comes to kill and to steal and to destroy. He doesn’t want anyone getting close to God or growing a relationship with Jesus. So, he goes out of his way to cause all sorts of little stumbling blocks, including, breaking down our faith.
How does he break down our faith?
Fear is the primary way. By putting thoughts of fear into our minds, he starts messing with our belief system. As we give way to fearful thoughts, it’s also like we allow a fog to creep in and hinder our spiritual sight. We essentially start to lose sight of God and we start to picture fearful thoughts.
Thoughts of fear and worry are about the same thing here. We can use them interchangeably as when we worry about something, we are fearing what could go wrong.
What’s interesting to note is that fear and faith both require us to believe in the unseen. Depending on which we give way to, that is the one that we give strength to.
The devil is relentless and when he see’s that he is starting to take us down, he doesn’t let off. Instead, he will keep delivering blow after blow until we are utterly defeated.
On the other hand, if we give way to faith in God instead of fearful thoughts from Satan, we will quickly find the power to resist his attacks and weak words. But let me clarify that his words are only weak if we are rooted in the strength of the Lord.
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Wavering faith is as good as no faith
“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
If we search the bible, we can find other scriptures that talk about our loyalty to God. We are told God is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 6:15), that He doesn’t like competition for His position in our lives. In another scripture, we are told that God won’t tolerate us being lukewarm (Revelation 3:16), that is, to be a bit for Him and a bit for the things of this world which belong to Satan.
As we read our bibles each day, we start to get to know who God is. What we can see is that God is a very generous God. When we think of things like nice houses and cars and boats and financial freedom, God is fine with us having these things. However, he doesn’t want us to want them so bad or think of them so much that they become an idol to us.
When we have this kind of attitude that we basically worship these things and then when the mood strikes, we shift our worship back to the Lord, this angers the Lord. Another example is when we want to follow Jesus, but we want to hang onto something that would be considered sin. And, to clarify, sin is when we think or know something is wrong, but we do it anyway.
As we spend more time with the Lord and become accustomed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in us, it will become easier to avoid sin and build faith in God.
Doubt cripples our faith
“Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’
Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’ Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.”
Here, we can see that the disciples are told by Jesus that their faith was so small that they thought the boat was going to sink. They were freaking out, right? But where was Jesus? Oh, it says He was sleeping.
This is what it’s like to have unshakable faith in the Lord during the hard times in our lives. It’s like a devastating storm is sweeping through, but we are feeling so safe in our Lord that we can actually fall asleep during the chaos.
God wants us to trust Him the way Jesus trusted Him. Even if the boat capsized and sank, I’m pretty sure that Jesus knew that God would spare them. I mean, Jesus had a mission to fulfill and it wasn’t to go down in a boat.
As we read other scriptures in the bible, we see that this very faith that Jesus used to calm the storm is the same faith that we can use to cast out evil spirits and move mountains. When we trust in the name of the Lord, we draw on His infinite power and whatever we ask in Jesus’ name you will receive.
“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
The hindrance to this is doubt. Doubt will stop a miracle in its tracks.
“Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?’
‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them…”
Here, Jesus cast out a demon from a child that the disciples could not. Jesus didn’t say that they were trying to use the wrong kind of faith, but rather, they simply didn’t have enough of it. Sometimes we can get to thinking that Jesus’ faith is a more powerful type, but the faith is the same. The difference is our confidence. When we come to understand the true power in the name of Jesus, we will be capable of doing the same.
Growing your faith can be tough, it is so much easier to figure things out when you are seeing someone else do it. That is why I wrote this book, 12 Weeks in Colorado, a Christian fiction novel based on real life situations of couples who have overcome issues for a stronger relationship, for getting out of debt, and growing your faith in a fun and enjoyable story.
We only need a little faith to move mountains
“’You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.’”
I know I’ve used this scripture a couple times here, but that’s because it’s a solid explanation. When you think of telling a mountain to move, what do you think of? Do you picture heading to Everest and moving it 5 miles to the west?
Jesus loves to use parables and analogies to teach. We could replace the word mountain with “any one of our problems,” and this is what He is talking about. When we think of issues in our lives, like; our relationships, a sickness or pain, a need for employment, or a troubled teen, we can see these as a mountain that we want to move in our life.
We can go to the Father in Jesus’ name and when we have even the smallest amount of faith that God will heal or provide or save, He will. But we need to understand that that little mustard seed sized faith can quickly be squished by doubt. If we pray a prayer, even in Jesus’ name, but don’t really think it’s going to happen, then we are effectively putting a new mountain in front of the one we wanted to move.
Let’s look at the next point to see what we can do about this doubt.
Knowledge of God grows our faith
If we go back to my little example about the vehicle, consider that we can read certain safety reports and tests that were performed on the vehicle. By doing this, we can get a sense of relief knowing that research, testing, and quality checks were done. We can even read testimonies from other buyers of that vehicle that claim that the product is a good one. So, we see this as fact, and we find comfort in buying it.
Now, consider the stories of the bible; both Old and New Testament. There are countless stories that explain how God delivered people through various situations, provided when there was no other way, gave protection in a lion’s den, helped a young man slay a giant that a whole army feared, and so many more stories.
Just like the vehicle reports and customer testimonies, we can use these stories as the facts. We can see that over many thousands of years that God has been performing miracles in peoples lives and providing when there was no possible way. The bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We can also read that God has no favorites.
So, if God was helping these people in all times past, we can see it as fact that God doesn’t change, and He doesn’t see them as better than us. This means that if we put our faith to work the same way the people in these stories did, God will produce results for us in the same fashion, according to our needs of today. By learning about God’s faithfulness to His children, we can therefore eliminate our doubt.
Walking in faith grows faith
Let me explain…
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
Okay, so we don’t like to be tested or to go through hardships and trials. However, we are told here that it’s good for us. Endurance is what we use to keep going when something is hard. Think of a marathon runner; he or she trains and runs. It’s difficult and it hurts, but the more that person trains, the easier the run becomes and the faster the runner gets.
As we put our faith to work in the hard times, we get to see how God delivers us from whatever it is in His perfect timing and method. After the difficulty passes, we now have our own “fact” that we can record for later viewing.
When the next storm comes along, and we are called to muster up some faith in God for protection, provision, and deliverance, we can pull out this fact sheet and be instantly reminded of how God was faithful to help the last time, and we can have more confidence that He will help again. As we go through future situations, keep adding the ways God helped to the list.
Eventually, we won’t need a list to remind us. It will become second nature to instantly say, “It’s okay; God’s got this!”
Like faith, patience and contentment are formed the same way; through testing. If we don’t ever have trials to test us, how can we be sure we’re growing? This is how God grows us. It’s always been this way and always will be. What we must learn is that God is faithful to sustain us if we are faithful to trust Him.
Our faith is perfected in Christ. We just need to be right with God, that is, to be walking with Jesus, and when we display even small-sized faith in God, He is willing to help. God is full of grace. He knows we aren’t perfect now and it’s okay because when He looks upon our heart and see’s Jesus, He see’s perfection in His Son. We need only worry about what we can do to practice our faith and let God do what He can do to perfect it in us.
If you don’t know Jesus personally, but would like to, click on this link (Prayer for Salvation) and you can learn more about how to do this.
If you have any stories of faith you would like to share to help encourage other readers, please leave a comment. If you would like prayer in any area of your life, simply fill out a prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article, this will be sent privately to myself and my wife and we will pray for you this week.