How important is faith to you? Has your faith ever been tested before? What was the outcome of this test? Were you able to remain strong throughout your trials or did you stumble and fall? Do you wish to learn how to grow and stay strong in faith and let it have a positive impact on your life?
The best way for one to understand faith is through children. Children usually grow in faith daily. A good example would be a toddler who is learning how to take their first few steps. Most toddlers, already have faith in their ability to crawl. But as they see people walking, they start to believe that they can do it too. They start by trying to stand. After succeeding in this, they try to move one step at a time while holding on to whatever they can as they walk. A while after, it isn’t hard for them to believe they can walk without holding on to anything, so they release their hands and start to make their first steps independently. In due time, walking becomes just another part of their lives and they no longer worry about it. One thing to note is that in this process there are a lot of failures and disappointment for the toddler. As they try to stand they will fall many times. The same will happen when they try to take their first few steps. With every step they take, they will probably fall before they get up to take another. Sometimes the fall is so bad that they decide to go back to crawling. If they are not helped and encouraged when this happens, they might not walk again.
In this article, I will not put much focus on which faith is right and which one is misplaced. I do not always find it meaningful to discuss and compare faiths. Here, I would like to dive into a discussion of how to grow one’s faith. I am a Christian, and I have received and accepted Jesus Christ and my personal Lord and savior (emphasis on “personal”). That being said, this article will mostly target people who have the same faith as I do, however, I strongly believe that anyone who has a chance to read it can apply the same ideas into their own lives and faith too.
Contrary to what most people think, “everyone believes”. I hear several people who say “I do not believe in this” or “I do not believe in that”, but after a while of listening to them I realize that they believe in something, it just happens to be different from what someone else believes in. For Example; One who says “I do not believe in God”, simply believes that God doesn’t exist. One who says “I do not believe in love”, believes that love doesn’t exist. One who says “I do not believe that education is the key to life”, believes that education is not the key to life. Observing these examples should help you come to a realization I have come to accept. Although people say they do not believe, what they mean is they believe in something different from that being discussed. After knowing that we are all believers but with different beliefs, it is important to learn how to grow our faith and learn to respect other people’s beliefs.
For those who are Christians (or even if you aren’t), the following are some points that I think could help you grow your faith. Make sure your Bible is close (Note: In this article, “Bible” will refer to the “Holy Bible”. To view the verses mentioned in this article click or hover on them)
Understand What Faith Is; Faith is defined in the Bible as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen [(Hebrews 11:1)]. Fortunately, if you have been failing to believe but wish to do so, the Bible shows us that you could pray for God to help you believe [(Mark 9:24)]. For Example; when the Bible says God will supply your every need [(Philippians 4:19)], you can choose to believe or not to. If you believe you will receive [(Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22, Mark 9:23)], and if you don’t then you will not receive. It is that simple! If you have prayed for something, and you have not received it yet, then is probably because you have not believed enough in what the Word of God speaks about that situation. Kindly note, the Bible is not limited to a single verse. So faith in the Word, means you need to continuously expand your Bible knowledge and understanding and believe in it as a whole. For example, you can pray to be rich but if you are not faithful, then you can’t be rich and if you are, then you won’t be for long [(Proverbs 28:20)].
Correctly Place Your Faith; As Christians, we have only one standard of life, which is the Word of God (The Holy Bible) [(2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 15:4, Matthew 24:35, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:105)]. I get surprised when Christians proudly talk about faith but keep saying “I think this” or “I think that”. Although it is good, once or twice a while, give yourself time to go back and get guidance from the Bible. Uncertainty should not be a standard for your life. Christianity is not an incomplete Faith [(Isaiah 46:10, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 22:13 )]. The Bible is not wrong because you say it is, and Christianity does not need to be changed to feed your desires. The Word says, some ways seem right to a man but in the end, lead to death [(Proverbs 14:12)]. God, knowing that time will come when people calling themselves his servants will try to appease the world by giving false interpretations and false teachings, he warned us early on [(1 John 4:1–3, 2 Corinthians 11:13–152, John 1:7–11, Romans 16:17)]. The Word of God (The Holy Bible) is not to be changed or tempered with [(Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24–25, Proverbs 30:5–6)].
Read, Listen, and Learn the Word; The Bible says in [(Romans 10:17)] that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. This clearly shows us that our main source of faith is the Word of God [(2 Timothy 3:16–17, Psalm 119:130)]. For Christian believers, the Word of God can be found in the Bible. I often wondered why this verse separated “hearing” and “the Word”. I would have expected the verse to say “faith comes by hearing the word”. Later, I came to understand that there are many ways that one can hear the message of God. It can be through people, through reading the word directly, through prophecy, or other methods. What this verse is telling us is that no matter how you hear or what you hear, for you to receive faith, the message’s source has to be the Word of God (Bible) [(Psalm 119:105)], [(John 1:1)] and [(Matthew 24:35)]. I try to avoid any message about the Christian faith that either contradicts the Word of God (the Holy Bible) or can not be supported by actual Bible verses.
Believe and Act on the Word; Reading the bible is not enough [(Hebrews 11:6, James 1:22)]! Anybody can read the Bible, but not everyone who does will believe. This is why you find a lot of people who say that the Bible is just a book like any other. That is correct for them because they chose not to believe in it. But you need to understand that for you to please God you need to believe in him [(Hebrews 11:6)] and you can not believe in him without believing his word because he is his Word [(John 1:1)]. Some people today refuse to believe because they have not seen God or met with Jesus physically. However, the Bible tells us to believe even though we haven’t physically seen or met with him [(John 20:29)]. When you start to believe and act on the Word of God, you will notice rapid and positive changes in your life and an increase in your faith.
Pray and Worship Without Seizing; God loves worship offered in truth and spirit [(John 4:23, Psalm 95:6, John 4:24, Isaiah 12:5, Romans 12:1)]. He also requires every Christian to be in prayer mode all the time [(1 Thessalonians 5:17, Jeremiah 33:3, Philippians 4:6)]. As a Christian, the devil is your sworn enemy [(John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8)]. But I have good news for you, you are equipped to defeat him just like Jesus Christ did [(James 4:7, Luke 10:19, Mark 16:18, Ephesians 6:10–18)]. Pray!
Frequently Attend Fellowship; In the Bible, if you read [(Hebrews 10:25, Matthew 18:20)] you will see that there is a great importance of Christian believers’ gatherings for spiritual activities. In the first verse, we get instruction on what to do as believers, and in the second verse, we get the aftereffect of following that instruction. God loves it when people gather in his name. This means, not every meeting is a blessing to you or will help you grow in faith. Your meetings need to be for Christ, and wisdom has to be involved [(Colossians 3:16)]. For example, it wouldn’t be wise to meet with fellow believers in a Bar, pub, or club for a bible study and prayer!
Get Spiritual Mentor(s); One thing most people don’t understand is that spiritual mentoring is Biblical. Before I explain further, I would like to share a bit about the difference between a spiritual father and a spiritual mentor. A spiritual father brings you to Christ and/or takes full responsibility for your spiritual growth for your lifetime, while a spiritual mentor helps to guide you in Christ for a specific period or a specific purpose. Just like you would in normal life, you can only have one spiritual father but have many spiritual mentors [(1 Corinthians 4:15)]. It is very possible however for a spiritual father to become a spiritual mentor, and a spiritual mentor to become a spiritual father. If the one taking care of you spiritually is the one who brought you to Christ, then they become your spiritual father and mentor. If the one mentoring you takes full responsibility for your spiritual growth and you decide to submit to them fully and exclusively as your spiritual father, then they become one. Do not get too caught up in these definitions, my point is, find someone who you know is faithful to Jesus. Someone stronger and older in faith than you are, and let them mentor you in your spiritual journey [(2 Timothy 2:2, Proverbs 27:17, Titus 2:3–4, 1 Thessalonians 2:8)].
Keep Records of Your Prayers; God’s miracles in our lives are evident. When you pray, write down your prayers and prepare lists of answered and unanswered prayers so you can always remember the things God has done for you over the years [(Psalm 77:11)]. This really boosts your faith.
Receive Jesus as Your Lord and Savior; Christianity is not a mere religion. It is the relationship a man has with God through Jesus Christ [(1 Timothy 2:5, John 3:16, John 14:6)]. To have a relationship with God through Christ, you need to have the Holy Spirit in your life [(John 14:26, Romans 8:26, Acts 1:8)]. To receive the Holy Spirit as a helper you need to first give your life to Jesus Christ [(Acts 2:38, John 14:15–17)]. After receiving Christ, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [(Acts 1:8, John 15:26, Acts 2:4)]. After you receive the Holy Spirit, you will now be equipped to live as God wants you to live and to grow your faith [(Romans 8:26, Galatians 5:22–23, 1 Corinthians 6:19)]. Hear this Christian, the Bible clearly states that you will not see heaven, if you do not believe and give your life to Jesus Christ [(John 3:3, John 14:6, John 3:36, Romans 8:1, Romans 6:23, John 1:12, Romans 8:9 )]. What are you waiting for?
If you haven’t received Jesus Christ yet as your personal Lord and Savior, or if you were once close to him and lost your way then this is a good chance to mend that relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I have good news for you! You don’t need to go to a big Church or search for a specific pastor to receive Christ. All you have to do is believe and say the following prayer (or any salvation prayer to receive Christ). Even if you have said this prayer before, do not hesitate to repeat it.
Salvation Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me [(John 15:9)]. Thank you for dying for my sins [(Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8)]. I humbly seek forgiveness for all the sins that I have committed against you and my fellows [(1 John 1:9)]. I believe that you are alive today and I have decided to believe, receive and confess that you are my Lord and Savior from this day going forth [(Romans 10:9–10)]. May you transform my life and make me a better person. Kindly share your Holy Spirit with me so he can teach and guide me. In your name I pray, Amen [(Acts 4:11–12)].
Note: Congratulations! You are now Born again [(John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17)]. Kindly visit any Spiritual church or fellowship that preaches the Gospel of Christ and ask for further spiritual help. Share with them that you are have just received Christ and need help to Grow your Faith. Also make sure that you do not stop reading the word [(Romans 12:2, 2 Timothy 2:15)] and praying daily [(1 Thessalonians 5:17, Jeremiah 33:3, Philippians 4:6)]. If you can not visit a church or fellowship for reasons out of your control, you can find sermons online or try to get friends who are strong believers in Christ, so they can assist you in your spiritual growth. Do not feel bad to dilute that friendship if you feel that the purpose of your friendship is not being fulfilled, which is to grow your faith.
NB: Here is a tip for you!
It is not always easy to attend fellowship or get someone to help you in your spiritual journey. Sometimes, the use of online content can be very helpful. I would recommend you watch/listen to sermons from Billy Graham (who mostly taught about Salvation), Keneth Haggin (who mostly taught about Faith), Oral Robers (who mostly taught about healing), and Kathryn Kuhlman (who mostly taught about The Holy Spirit) to start with. You are not limited to only these three, please explore at your discretion. I prefer these ministers, because, at the time of their service, their teachings were based on the Word and not what the people would like to hear as most preachers or ministers do today! [(2 Timothy 4:3–4)].
What happens after salvation? What is your duty as a Christian in the Church and society? What should you expect after receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do not miss the coming article where we will look at Life after Salvation and how you should live and carry yourself after giving your life to Jesus Christ.