Faith in God is a powerful force that changes things when we release it. Every believer in Jesus Christ has been given a measure of faith (see Rom. 12:3), and Romans 1:17 says, "The just shall live by faith" (NKJV).
It's one thing to believe in Jesus as your Savior and exercise your faith for salvation, but there are many things for which we need to release our faith after we're born again. Faith doesn't end with our salvation; from that point, God wants us to live by faith.
In Mark 11:22, Jesus says we should "have faith in God [constantly]" (AMP). Notice the word constantly. This doesn't mean just once in a while or occasionally. It means we can live by faith all the time.
It's so important to get a revelation about this. For many years, I didn't understand what it meant to live by faith. As a result, I didn't have real peace and joy in my life. But once I decided to go deeper in my relationship with God, I learned that I can exercise my faith in Him for the things I need. Philippians 4:6 says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" (NLT).
Faith can grow, but it only grows when we use it. It's like a muscle. The way you build a bigger muscle is through effort—you have to use it. As it grows, you have to use heavier weights or exercises that require greater effort to keep it growing.
It's the same way with our faith. We put our faith in God to get through a challenge or trial, and later on, another harder trial comes along. Eventually we find that things that used to bother us or were hard to deal with aren't a problem for us anymore because our faith has grown.
How Faith Works
Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works through love. And in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul says, "Your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing" (NIV).
Love must grow for our faith to grow, so we need to be rooted and grounded in God's love. This means that our understanding of how much God loves us has to grow in order for our faith to grow. Because the more you believe someone loves you, the more you're willing to put your trust and confidence in them. When we receive the love of God, learn to love ourselves in a balanced way and let His love flow through us to others, then our faith in God will grow.
How Much Faith Do You Have?
If you want to know how much faith you have, pay attention to what you say, especially during hard times ... or when you have to wait longer than you'd like ... or when someone else gets what you want and you don't have it yet ... or when somebody mistreats you and God doesn't vindicate you as quickly as you want Him to. These are times when we have to purposely exercise our faith. One way you can do that is by reminding yourself of Scriptures like Matthew 6:25-33, which tells us we don't have to worry because God will surely take care of us and meet our needs if we put our trust in Him.
What Faith Can Do
There are so many things faith in God can do in our lives. The power of faith ...
- Saves us from sin and makes us right with God
- Fills us with the Holy Spirit
- Purifies our heart and gives us access to the presence of God
- Gives us security and confidence
- Heals the sick
- Brings hope, provision and blessing
- Gives us freedom from guilt and condemnation
- Inspires and motivates us to do good and bless others
- Quenches the fiery darts of the enemy
Ephesians 6:16 tells us to lift up the "shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]" (AMP). Faith can do us no good if we don't lift it up and release it. We release our faith by praying, saying and doing faith-filled, God-inspired works.
Be determined to live by faith. Ask God to help you release your faith in every circumstance, for everything you need. As you do your part, God will never fail to do His part. And you'll find you're living by faith every day of your life!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and You Can Begin Again. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce, visit charismamag.com/meyer.
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