Did you ever feel as though your faith waxes and wanes, ebbs and flows, dependent upon some unknown forces that affect your state of mind on any given day? One day you feel as though you are a warrior for the Lord and can go into battle to glorify Him; show the world what a wondrous God you have in your life. But maybe a few days later-maybe even the very next day-you have trouble barely facing that world, let alone standing up to it! You feel beaten down, unloved, unprepared, unknown, unable…your faith in our awesome God feels weak, hardly palpable, and you question whether He even knows you’re alive.
So how can that be? Shouldn’t faith be a constant? Once we’ve come to a place where we have placed our faith in this great God should we not stay in that place? Like some lesson learned which we can then grasp onto at will and use to guide our life? Hmmm, I wish it were that cut & dried, that constant.
For me, at least, I find in some circumstances, at some points in time, my faith is strong & reliable. But on other occasions, particularly in the worst of times where I am most tested, I fail to exercise my faith. Fail to involve my God, even forget to start my response to the problem with prayer & trust in the very One who can most reliably help me cope with that problem.
It’s in those times when my faith—and my response to life—is at its weakest and I am most ill-prepared that I need Him the most. And invariably, those are the times when I seem to have neglected Him and omitted Him from my daily life. And why does that happen? It seems to me the correlation is based on my accompanying neglect of His Word.
In Romans 10:17, Paul says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” In the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 14, faith “…is the work of the Spirit of Christ…and is [produced] by the ministry of the Word, by which also, [faith] is increased and strengthened.”
According to my favorite pastor/teacher, Dr. R.C. Sproul, if we want a strong faith then “…the most important thing we can do is hear the preaching and teaching of God’s Word as often as we can.” And further, also when God’s Word is taught/spoken at home, in class, Bible study, even ordinary conversation, God can use these times to strengthen and build our faith (see Luke 17:5-6).
It is reasonable to say that we take in data that affects us every waking moment of every day. To keep our faith strong, then, it seems also reasonable to say that, the more of those waking moments when we are hearing/thinking of/soaking up the Word of God, the healthier our faith will be.
By: Lee Pierce