Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 24: I am learning that faith has nothing to do with my emotions. It is a gift from God. As I commit myself to Jesus Christ, He helps me to walk and grow in faith.
“Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see.”
Trustworthy and true are two words that come to mind when I think of faith. In a nutshell, faith for me, means taking Jesus at His word and walking in obedience with Him.
What comes to your mind when you think of faith? Perhaps the better question is: What does it really mean to have faith in God? Simply put, faith is essentially trusting God and believing Him. Scripture teaches, “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.
When we sincerely seek the Lord, He helps us to walk in faith. From the moment we trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are never alone. He is with us every step of the way. Throughout the Bible, we are reminded of God’s everlasting presence. In Scripture we see where the Lord said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9. That assurance should be all we need to walk firmly in faith, but unfortunately, because we live in a fallen world, human nature doesn’t always operate that way. Faith requires deliberate action on our part by believing God and taking Him at His Word. To experience the Lord’s will for our lives, we must respond to Him in faith. The true test of our faith is not determined by the norms of the day, but instead on whether we truly believe the Word of God.
In Romans 10:17 we are told, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” As believers, we must be confident enough in God’s Word to get to a place where we can honestly say, “God said it, I believe it, I will do it, and that settles it.” If you are not yet in that place, do not be discouraged. Even Jesus’ disciples at one time or another struggled with their faith. In the Book of Matthew, we are told that Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy. Embarrassed that they were unable to drive it out, the disciples went to Jesus in private to basically ask why they were unable to drive out the demon. Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:14-20. You see, Jesus is not asking us to have big faith, He is simply asking us to trust Him. A baby step of trust in an all-powerful God can be the difference between impossible and possible in our lives.
Do you want to see Jesus do the impossible in your life? Then you must commit to trusting Him. If you have never trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, why not surrender now by confessing your sins to Him. Tell Him that you believe that He died for your sins and that He was raised to life so that you can be saved for eternity with Him. Now watch Him do the impossible in your life as you trust and obey Him. Even when you feel alone and the way seems unclear, you can trust that Jesus is with you every step of the way. Because you seek to please Him, the Lord God will reward you. Your faith will never go unnoticed by God.
When we are confident in the Lord about something we anticipate He will do without any visible proof that He is actually going to do it, we are demonstrating faith. Here is a practical illustration: Let’s say you have been single for a long time and you have been desiring to get married, but your potential spouse is nowhere in sight. Even though you haven’t yet met him or her, and there are no signs of any prospects, you are confident that one day you are going to meet this person, and you will in due time, get married. You trust that God has someone in store for you and you are determined not to give up on believing Him to bring that person into your life. Because you are confident in the Lord, you know without a shadow of a doubt that your wife or husband is on the horizon. Why? Faith, of course. That my friend is faith in action. When we place our confident trust and hope in God for what we don’t have, we can rest assured that He will meet all our needs Philippians 4:19.
Before I became a follower of Christ and learned what it means to trust Him completely, I was living life in my own strength. Consequently, I was often frustrated and discouraged. Now, I can say with great courage that I believe every word of the Bible, and because I know the Lord is on my side, I do not need to fear what life throws at me. There was a time in my life when all the odds were against me. I lost my job unexpectedly and there was no option in sight. It would have been easy for me to get discouraged and lose faith in God’s ability to help me. Truth be told, in that moment, I felt incredible peace—peace in knowing that God is faithful. My job loss was not a surprise to God. I believe He opens doors and He closes them. As I learn to trust and obey God’s Word, He helps me to overcome obstacles in my life, stand firm on His truth, and rest in His promises. When storms come into my life, I am reminded of what the Lord said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” Hebrews 13:5. Since God is sovereign, and He can see the bigger picture, I can trust His full control of any situation that may come my way. These experiences are a testimony of God interacting in my life. But even more, they are testimonies for me to reflect on God’s goodness and His promises.
Scripture tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6. Whenever my faith is tested, I hold firmly to God’s Word, for it is life-giving. I am also encouraged by Isaiah 41:10 that said, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Let me encourage you today, when challenges come into your life, take heart because the Lord has you in the palm of His hands. Remember, your situation is not a shock to Him. Stand firm in your faith, knowing that faith in God is a growing process. It doesn’t happen overnight. When you take a step of faith toward Jesus, you will walk this life with confidence knowing that the God of the universe is with you and has a perfect plan for your life.
I am also learning that the best place to take refuge in times of trouble is in God’s Word (Psalm 119:50). The Bible reveals God’s character (Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 32:3-4, Titus 1:2, Numbers 23:19). His character encourages my faith in knowing that the Lord is dependable. I can put my full faith in Him because He is immutable—He never changes (Hebrews 13:8, Matthew 24:35). To know God and to trust Him, we must read His Word. Like a sponge, we must soak up the teachings of Scripture. Like a child who has to learn to crawl before he or she can walk, every believer has to spiritually crawl before ever being able to take baby steps and come to a steady pace of faith where we can firmly stand on God’s truth.
Know that there are times on your faith journey that you may falter. But do not lose heart. It’s part of the growing process. We all have to start somewhere, right? But as we walk with Jesus, He gently and lovingly teaches and challenges us to grow strong in our faith. Still, I must caution you that on your journey of faith, there will be bumps along the way. Those bumps will be moments of testing, and if we are not careful, discouragement and doubt can flood our minds, and fear can overwhelm us. When that happens, you must remember that the One who created you is sovereign and all-powerful. He is with you to do the impossible in your life (Matthew 21:21). Doubting faith is no faith at all. We must trust the Lord to lead us without ever doubting His Almighty power.
Remember, faith requires spiritual nourishment in order to grow. We must feed on the Word of God and let it penetrate the soil of our hearts (Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 3:16). When we allow Scripture to take root in our hearts and minds, it changes us and helps us to know, love, trust, and obey the Lord (John 14:21). Obedience to God’s Word leads to true and proper worship (Romans 12:1) that grows our faith and makes a significant difference in our spiritual walk with Him.
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.”
–Corrie Ten Boom
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