Strengthening Faith

When we lose something, we usually recognize it is lost. Where are my car keys? Where is my wallet? (Where is my voice? I lost my voice!) When we lose these things, we try to retrace our steps and find the last place we left the object. How does this apply to our faith? Our faith is not something that we just suddenly misplace. Rather it is something that can slowly fade away, and we may not be able to pinpoint an exact moment when faith is lost.

Strengthening Faith

Trying to avoid losing our faith, we’re going to look at three areas on which we can focus to keep our faith strong. Keeping our faith is important because losing our faith is the same as losing God in our lives.

Prayer

In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a paralyzed individual, and they begin to preach Christ. The result is their arrest and trial before the Sanhedrin. Now these two apostles were witness to these people judging Jesus worthy of death, and the Sanhedrin threatens Peter and John. However, beginning in verse 23, they prayed together for strength to continue teaching Christ. Their faith may have been shaken, but they used prayer to solidify that faith.

Furthermore, in Acts 16, Paul and Silas are arrested, beaten, and thrown into prison. Again, these are acts that could easily fracture one’s faith, but, in verse 25, the other prisoners hear these two praying and singing to God. Instead of losing sight of the Lord, they turn to and rely on Him.

Remember I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” In our own personal lives, how long has it been since we took the time to talk to God – not just during worship service, not only before a meal. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us that prayer helps us find grace in times of need. We should make time in our lives to pray to God, even when our lives seem too busy. In this, we can keep the Lord in our sight.

Study

Hosea, in Hosea 4:6, records that God’s people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. As James makes reference, we can be “hearers” of the word without truly respecting and applying that word.

In Hebrews 5:11-14, the author criticizes his audience for being “dull of hearing.” He cites a lack of spiritual growth, even regression, in their spiritual knowledge. They were not using the word. They were lacking in experience (verse 14), and, as a result, they could not properly discern from the word. II Timothy 2:15 reinforces the idea that knowing and understanding the Bible takes effort.

Priorities

In Matthew 6, Jesus addresses daily concerns – food and clothing – but verse 32 reminds us that God knows of our needs. The result? We should put God first. We should prioritize Him, and all else is brought into proper perspective. Matthew 16:24 tells us to “deny self.” We cannot be self-centered and expect our faith to be strong. A solid faith comes from putting Jesus first.

When Jesus drops in terms of priorities, then faith begins to waver and fade. We let self and worldly concerns choke out the faith we have, and, next thing we know, we realize we have lost our faith.

Conclusion

When you lose something, you find it in the last place you look. However you can’t find something you are not looking for. Have you lost your faith? Are you willing to look for it? The key is to look in the right place, and prayer, study, and priorities can help us regain faith we may have lost.

lesson by Tim Smelser

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