Well here's something I wrote for a competition. Hope you enjoy it! :)
Say you have cancer by your brain. You go in for surgery to get it removed. The brain surgeon cuts open your skull… now do you trust this, man, with your life? Not to make any mistake or miss-cut something. Do you have faith he will do the right thing?
Growing Faith in God
I shall be dealing with the subject of Faith. My hope is to persuade you today, to understand how we need to build our faith in the God of the Bible. We’re going to cover 3 different points. In the first way we will- Uncover the mystery. Next we’ll look at how to grow in this area. And lastly I want to encourage us to be weaving this in our daily lives. Let’s begin with-
1. Uncovering the Mystery
Let’s just start out by saying everybody has faith. What I’m going to be talking about is faith in the God of the Bible. People believe or have faith in someone or something, it just depends on what. Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary says faith is- “Belief; …the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority…” faith is- believing something you don’t completely know or understand. Since nobody is all-knowing, every one of us, including those that suppress to believe that there is a Creator of the world, God. We all cannot help but have faith.
Now that we understand that, let’s see what our faith should be resting in.
Rom 10:9 says “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe it in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” We need to have faith or believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord. Meaning truly believe it and not just act like we do then we will be saved. Repentance is a turning away from something to someone. We are to, repent, and turn away from our sin and toward God. We are to have a strong awareness that we have offended a Holy God.
When you came in this room and sat down on your chair. Did you have faith the chair beneath you would hold you up and you would not fall to the ground? Well yes you did, otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting there. Maybe you chose a different seat because you didn’t trust that one over there. Now your faith isn’t what’s keeping you up is it? Your faith is what makes you trust the chairs strength; faith, is not what’s giving the chair its strength. In the same way God doesn’t need our faith.
Now that we’ve defined what faith looks like let’s move on to my next point-
2. Growing in Faith
How much faith do you have? Notice I didn’t say how much faith, you think you have because then it wouldn’t be faith. :) How much faith do we need? Matt. 17:20 says “…If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus Christ said that we can move a mountain by having faith as small as a seed. So why can’t we move mountains? Is it because we don’t believe it will work. Yes, why does Jesus say we don’t need to have doubt?
Ask yourself, Am I afraid? If so, remember who God is! God is surrounding us with His shield. If God is with us, who can be against us? If you believe that God is sovereign (which he is, otherwise he wouldn’t be God) then you don’t have to worry about your own strength because you have the strength of God on your side. No one can stop him death couldn’t even hold Him.
So the first way to grow your faith in God is to repent and believe God has forgiven us of our sins and Jesus sacrificed Himself and your sins on that cross.
The apostles when they were on the boat had no need to fear because Jesus was with them. All He had to do was rebuke the storm and it would stop. It says Jesus was sleeping though the storm and they had to wake Him. Why… they wondered…does he not care, why isn’t he helping us through this danger? Sometimes it seems that way to us, we think God doesn’t care because he’s not doing anything… that we see, but He’s there waiting for the right time, building our faith in Him. To be gripped in terror or fear is wrong even in the normal everyday life situations. We need to transform our fear into faith. Worry is a sin, because you’re not trusting in God’s sovereign hand over you.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”-Rom. 5:3-5.
You know obedience is hard, but disobedience is lethal. You have to keep going forward, even if it seems you’re going into the grave as Jesus did. But that wasn’t the end. If you turn back, you’ll sink into the water as Peter did. If you go through it with God’s help you will rise out of it as lava does shooting out of the mountain.
Next we must rest under God, eyes fixed on Him. Trusting in the promises He is sure to give.
Faith is thrown back and forth by various doubts so that the mind of the believer is rarely at peace in God. If we understand, and hold fast to the fact, that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way… it’s waters roar and foam.” Ps. 46:1-3 there you have it, now we don’t have to have doubt.
Have faith… and hope! If faith is the sure persuasion of the truth of God, that it can neither lie to us, nor deceive us, then those who wait on the Lord wait for the promises God will give.
“Faith believes God to be true, hope awaits the time when His truth shall be manifested… Faith is the foundation upon which hope rests, hope nourishes and sustains faith. ” –John Calvin We must constantly be keeping our faith reinforced in patient hope, so fixed on eternity as to number a thousand years as one day.
Let us repent of our sins, fear God alone, lean on God and follow Him never looking back into the sea, obey Him throughout our life, and hope in God Almighty and His promises.
Moving into my final point-
3. Encouragement- including faith day by day
My hope in this point is to show you how amazing it is, if you just have faith in God. If God is with us, who can be against us? Ps 56:4, 11- “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid… What can man do to me?” All we have to do is get the focus off ourselves and place our attention on God. Helping others who need God’s help as well. When you’re thoughts are constantly on others you won’t have time to pity yourself. Also you will understand the joy of God when seeing His work in other people through you.
Faith is the opposite of fear and the opposite of fear is love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18 If you want to stop being fearful have faith in the God who loves you and will cast out your fear with love. God has a perfect love where fear cannot abide.
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” -Rom. 4:20-21 Do you want to say that and believe it?
Several years ago my aunt Jodi had been pregnant for nearly 9 months. God had decided He wanted to bring her baby to Him instead. She gave birth to a still born baby, my little cousin. This was a very tough time for all us and especially for my aunt and uncle. But through it all our faith, trust and hope were being built in God during this difficult time. But in the end I rejoiced to know that my little cousin, who they named Christian Covenant Kruse, is safe with the King of Kings.
Today we looked at Faith. I hope you’ve been persuaded today, to begin to trust in God and understand how we need to build our faith in the God of the Bible. First we looked at- Uncovering the mystery. How we need to just put the faith we have in the One who can save us. Next we saw how to grow in this area. Repent, Believe, lean on, follow, and fix our eyes on the true God. Lastly we found what joy we’ll have in trusting the Sovereign God.
Remember trusting in your brain surgeon who is fallible and finite. A man you’re trusting with your life? Why not put your trust and faith in an infallible God, infinite and sovereign King of the universe who conquered death and became the life.
Hope you liked it! God bless you!