Question: If faith is a gift, what can I do to increase my faith when it is weak?
Answer:The gift of “saving faith” is deposited in you and I at conversion.The source and sustainer of this faith is God.(Eph.2:8-9) One aspect of this “gift of faith” is the supernatural, Spirit-generated ability to trust and obey God in all types of situations and circumstances. So, from that perspectice it is ,in one respect, limitless because its source is God! Genuine faith is the Spirit-energized, unending hope and conviction in the promises of God, sustained by God Himself. It provides the believer with a supernatural confidence ro believe and obey God in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.When used faithfully it puts God power and glory on display!
Genuine, Spirit – enabled “faith” is not a feeling, something you conjure up inside you or increase by trying to work hard to get it. It is not something we manufacture by ourselves, it resides in us as believers!
Hebrews 11 provides us with the classic biblical definition of Spirit-generated, saving faith:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1-2)
Genuine faith then is the God-given “certainty” that God keeps His promises! Saving faith fully rests on the fact that God is completely trustworthy and able to accomplish in and through me everything He calls me to do!
For example, Jesus told His disciples in Matt 17:20:
..”if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,you will say to this mountain, ‘Move form here to there’ and it will move”
What the Lord was saying here is that even the smallest, weakest “faith” (characterized by the extremely small seed of the mustard plant) can do great things for God because the source and object of true faith is the supernatural power of God Himself! Jesus is teaching His disciples (and us today through His recorded Word!) that the key to unlocking the power of God in our lives as believers is not “positive-thinking ” or a “hope-so faith” but, rather, a “know-so faith.” And a genuine”know -so faith” entails surrender to the Word and will of God.
So the real question is not how much faith I think or feel I have, but how faithfully I “exercise” the faith God has already given to me to act on His promises and commands? (Matt 17:20)
That’s why the “people of faith” presented in Hebrews 11, people like you and I, did great things for God…they believed that He would do what He promised and put their belief into action(faith)! History proves God did,in and through them, what He promised!! What privilege it is to be empowered and employed by God for Kingdom work!
I believe Hebrews 11 is just the tip of the iceberg in the annals of biblical faith! Just think of the innumerable stories of God’s enabling faith that will be shared throughout eternity in heaven. Wow!
I like to think our faith as Christians is like a “muscle”. Muscles become stronger and better able to handle progressively larger and larger tasks/challenges when they are gradually and regularly exercised. I believe our faith,the faith given to us by God, operates in the same way!
Here’s some practical tips to help you begin “exercising” your faith:
1. First off…the best place to start is to look back! Regularly identify and reflect on the times that God has “worked through your faith in Him” in the past. (Write down a few key instances, remember how you felt, recall the encouragement it gave you and praise God for His faithfulness!)
2. Pray and humbly ask God to “increase” your willingness to believe and act on His promises. Then trust Him to work through you again! (Lk 17:5)
3. Trust God and pursue that “thing” which He ‘s been urging you to do for Him like :
- Use your time, talent or spiritual gifting to serve Him at FBC
- Share your faith in Christ with that person you’ve always wanted to share the gospel with but were afraid to step out in faith! (Rom 1:16)
- Find a job, reconcile a broken/strained relationship or admit your need for help to overcome a sin issue that has entangled you.
- Go to Temecula, Hollywood, Mexico or Uganda to show and share, serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
- You fill in the blank!!!
Remember that it’s not the “size” of your faith that counts but the “size of your God”!!
“Now to Him who is able to do, exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever as or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:20)