As Christians, we're called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). God loves it when His children trust Him.
In Hebrews 11:6 we read, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
But walking by faith isn't always easy. If you find yourself struggling today, here are three keys to help you grow in your faith in Christ.
1. Dig into God's Word. The Bible is God's love letter to us. If you're new to the Bible or haven't picked it up for a while, the Psalms and Proverbs are great places to start reading. The Gospel of John is also a perfect place to start so you can learn about Jesus' life and teachings. If you're more acquainted with the Bible, you might want to get a study Bible or commentary so you can better understand the history, people and symbols mentioned. Don't feel as though you have to race through reading everything. Read or listen online to a few Bible verses or a few chapters and stop to think about the passages. What did they say? What does it mean? How can you apply these lessons to your life? The more you learn about Jesus' life, teaching and miracles and the more you see how He came through for others throughout the Bible, the more you'll be able to trust Him.
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Pray throughout your day. Prayer doesn't have to be fancy. Prayer is telling God how awesome He is. It's thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for us, paying the penalty for our sins and giving us access to our heavenly Father. It's asking Jesus for forgiveness and receiving it. It's sharing your needs with God (even though He already knows them), asking for help, direction and provision and thanking Him for the answers on the way. It's talking to God about how you feel, what you're struggling with and what you're rejoicing over. It's also a time to stop and listen to what God would like to say to you. Prayer is how you get to talk to God Almighty. Glory! Set aside some time daily in the morning, during lunch or before bed and spend time reading your Bible and praying and meditating about what you just read. Short prayers throughout the day also count. Reading Bible passages out loud is powerful. Praying for others is a gift to them and blesses you. Pray, and then let God answer in His timing and in His way. If you keep a prayer journal, you can record your requests and praise reports. Your faith will grow as you see that God really does answer prayer.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened" (Matt. 7:7-8).
Stay connected. We're not meant to be the Lone Ranger. We flourish when we're part of a community of believers. Find a church in your area that preaches from the Word of God and continue going regularly. Sign up for a small group, take a Bible study class and spend time with other believers. Your faith will grow as you walk through life with others and share the highs and lows with each other. Hearing and seeing how God is working in someone's life will help to encourage you as you go through your tests and trials. Being able to lift each other in prayer will also help boost your faith.
"Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much" (James 5:16).
Just as with any relationship, the more time you spend with Jesus, the more you will love and trust Him. The more you spend time reading the Bible, praying and fellowshipping with other believers and the more you reflect on how Jesus has come through for you in the past, the more your faith in Him will grow.
"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me" (John 14:1).
Nancy Gavilanes is an author, speaker, life coach and evangelist who has a passion to encourage people as they walk by faith and live their God-given dreams. She is the author of By Faith, Waiting on God Well, Abounding Faith and Crossing Your Jordan River and the host of the new "Abounding Faith for Today Podcast" on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. Nancy has a master's degree in journalism from New York University, has been on short-term missions trips to five countries and has spoken to various groups, including to Christians working at the United Nations and students at Nyack College. She has given her brief testimony at her home church, Times Square Church. Connect with Nancy at AboundingFaith.com.
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