Most of us will admit that our faith is probably not where we would like it to be. Thankfully there are ways we can make it stronger. Here are some things you can do to build your faith.
Read the Word
You know some people ask for advice on how they should lose weight, but the last thing they want to hear is ‘try and work out.’ That is true but strange. Because exercising will help you lose weight. Similarly, most people who want to increase their faith are not too thrilled about the Bible, yes true but strange because reading the Bible will increase your faith. The challenge for many is getting the motivation to read. If you are honest, you will admit that sometimes you just do not feel like delving into “And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim.” That is a Bible verse by the way. However, what if I reminded you that the Word does have a solution for every challenge you may face—including increasing your faith. Then maybe you would have more interest.
I will ask you, how determined are you to have stronger faith? If you are resolute then you will be willing to do whatever it takes. First you will need to set some time aside and find Scriptures on faith, here are some. Next, read the verses in their context. Lastly, ponder them and apply what you have read to your own life.
Let us take an example. Consider this verse, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. You wouldn’t stop here, you would continue to read the passage to get the context. Then you get back to the verse and examine it. What stands out for me is that faith is “the evidence of things not seen”. It means the only assurance you need is the faith itself. It also means it has nothing to do with what we see with our eyes. You can apply what you’ve read by believing even when everything you see is contrary to what you are expecting.
Listen to those who have strong faith
If you listen to a good comedian long enough, you will laugh and be glad. If you listen to a motivational speaker long enough you will get motivated. If you listen to a negative person long enough you will feel down. And if you listen to someone who has strong faith long enough, your faith will grow. Whether it is a minister of the Word or just a good friend, spending time receiving words of faith (coupled with life experiences) will make your faith stronger. Listen to people who have walked with God for some time and have overcome many challenges. They will have a lot to say and it will build up your faith. With the internet there is no shortage of faith messages both video and audio, you can take advantage of this.
Deal with faith-stealers
How much water can you carry using your typical laundry basket? Yes, the one with all the ‘holes’ in it. Well not much. Everything you put in will flow out. And that is exactly what happens to your faith when you do not deal with faith stealers. By definition they are those things which make you doubt God. It could be certain friends, the news on TV, social media or even your tendency to trust the scientific and the logical. Like the laundry basket, they will always drain the faith you have tried to build. It is vital that you determine what hinders your faith and shut it out. Just as faith comes by hearing, unbelief can come in the same way. Faith mixed with unbelief becomes unbelief. If you want to make your faith stronger you may have to take some drastic action.
Work your faith
I am sure you’ve heard someone say that faith is like a muscle: it will not grow unless you use it. Hands up if you use your faith even when you do not have a pressing need. Isn’t it typical of us to wait until we have some kind of crisis or desperate need to use our faith? Yet the Bible says “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). That means working our faith should be a part of our daily lives. It does not have to be a great need. It can be something as simple as asking God to help you find the keys you’ve misplaced. When you take small opportunities to use your faith and see positive results, you will keep escalating your prayers and by so doing increase your faith.
Have you ever been in a situation where God was your only hope and in the end he came through for you? It is a fantastic feeling when you come out on the other side but challenging when you are in the midst of it. That reminds me of a renowned high wire walker called Nik Wallenda. He once crossed the Niagara Falls on a wire with no safety net. And he has done the same several times in different places. He would be the first to tell you that his faith in God has been vital. He, together with his family, would always say a prayer before he walked on the wire. I found that amazing and inspiring. He literally put his life in God’s hands every time he went on the wire. After doing it so many times it became almost second nature, yet he risked his life every single time. So, how many times do you decide to trust God when there are risks? It is not easy but if you want to grow your faith, you have to be bold sometimes.
If anyone ever tells you that all your prayers would be answered exactly the way you wanted and at the time you expected, then do not believe them. I think one of the greatest hindrances to faith is what can be perceived as unanswered prayers. When you have your expectations all planned out complete with a date then you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. God faithfully answers prayers but not always in the way we expect or the time frame we are comfortable with. When we do not see things happening as or when we expected, then we tend to lose faith and that (not God) is what will stop us from receiving. When we’ve prayed numerous times and have not received answers, our faith simply diminishes. On the other hand if we are persistent and eventually receive what we ask for, it will build our faith.
Ask God for counsel
I know that we are all at different levels in our walk with God. I also know that each of us has a purpose and that God’s designs for our lives are different. That is why I included this last segment. There are many reasons why our faith may seem not to be working and sometimes it is not really the faith that is the problem. It could be our motives or simply the timing. God may want us to deal with certain issues before we receive what we are asking for. For all who read this I would recommend that you ask God to search your heart and speak to you about anything that may be a hindrance to your prayers. If there is anything, he will show you and you can deal with it and have peace, and yes it will increase your faith.