Sunday, September 02, 2012

Growing in Christian Faith is Seldom Easy

It's difficult to write about the quality of one's faith. Nevertheless, it is honest and may prove beneficial to the writer and to his readers. If possible, I will try to outline my journey in the recent past and contrast it with previous states of faith I've experienced through the years.

First of all, I'd like to share a favorite text about faith and the Christian life:

... Everyone who looks to the Son [of God] and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40
This text has been valuable to me for it presents in a nutshell the crux of the Christian life. It's simplicity delights me and gives me reason to continue pursuing the Christian life notwithstanding its challenges. Salvation is centered on Christ Jesus and not on ourselves. By directing our attention, in a variety of ways, to the Son of God and relating to him as a real and wonderful person, belief must surely follow. If it does not do so as easily as one would want, then going to Christ and asking him for help in this area is one solution to this dilemma.

There are other things one can do to foster greater saving faith in Christ. Reading the Bible or other Christian material, e.g., devotionals, is an honest first step towards having greater faith. Listening to Christian sermons whether recorded or live can also help to gain a desire to believe in Christ. Praying about what one reads or hears helps to solidify one's faith.

Living a life of faith is its own reward. Nevertheless, the quoted text rewards us with eternal life and being raised up [from death] at the last day. Again, there is a concentrated gospel message in this text that goes a long way towards simplifying the sometimes frustrating experience of living the Christian life.

Now to the problems in spite of the wonderful statements outlined above. What happens when doubt or unbelief rear their ugly heads? How to proceed. If possible, it might be advisable to talk with a trusted parent, friend or minister who you know to be a strong and loving Christian. Even though belief is the core of your problem, persist in talking to God about your problem. Because he is a loving God and has your interest in mind, he will do what you ask of him if what you need is greater faith. If new Christians believe that they have little or imperfect faith keep in mind the words of the apostle::
"... God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith." Romans 12:3 [Paraphrased]
God would hardly be a loving God if he asked us to believe in his Son for salvation and didn't meet us half way by giving us a quotient of start-up faith with which to move onto greater faith in the Christian experience.

There is still a lot more to this issue of faith, unbelief and renewal of faith, but the most important aspects, as I see them, have been outlined above. It is my sincere desire that at whatever stage you happen to be in the Christian walk, you may strengthen and find faith to meet your every need.

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