Faith is perhaps the most central element in the Christian life because it is the means by which we enter into salvation. But that's only the beginning. From then onward, our faith—or lack of it—shapes our lives and determines what happens to us when the winds of adversity blow. Some Christians never lose their footing even in hurricane-force winds, but others are toppled by the slightest gust. To understand why this is true, we need to examine the source of our faith.
All around the world, people go to church, bow their head to pray, and hear sermons, but many are not growing spiritually. I consider this a great tragedy.
Struggle and heartache are part of the human experience. Who has not walked through valleys that seem hopeless or unending? Even Jesus cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46). Isn't it true that we sometimes ask the same kind of questions: Where are You, God? Why won't You do something in my life?
Believers are on a continual growth track that ascends higher and higher. This side of heaven none of us ever "arrive," but we each have a responsibility to press on to maturity.
Since our Father wants us to mature in the faith, we should stop periodically and examine our lives to see if we're making progress in this area. Physical growth is fairly easy to evaluate--all you need is a tape measure. But how can you tell if you're growing spiritually? Let's begin by considering how children develop.
1 John 4:4-62 comments
Having been saved by faith in Christ, we express our love and gratitude through devotion to Him. Regular Bible study and prayer will be an integral part of our daily lives. In addition, our commitment to the Lord will be revealed through a passion to obey, a spirit of humility, and a servant's heart.
King David made several big mistakes in his life. Yet he was called a man after God's own heart and was mightily used by the Lord to lead the Israelites. What set him apart was the priority he placed on his relationship with the heavenly Father.
At one time or another, we have all felt confused, uncertain, or misled. We can live victoriously and confidently only by possessing spiritual discernment-- ability to see life from God's perspective. We need His help to distinguish between right and wrong, good and best, truth and error.2 comments
In all of God's creation, just one thing did not meet with His approval. He looked upon Adam, who was the only being of his kind, and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18). The Creator designed people for emotional, mental, and physical intimacy so they'd be able to share their innermost selves with one another.
Independence is a prized attribute in our culture, but biblically, it isn't a worthy aspiration. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the erroneous quote, "God helps those who help themselves." The very fact that the Lord formed the church--a community of believers--should tell us that He did not create people for self-sufficiency or isolation.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
2 Corinthians 11:23-30