- (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
Some Christians seem to be able to trust God no matter what happens. Perhaps you feel like, "I could never have that kind of faith." Are you sure about that? Don't be too quick to sell yourself short on matters of faith. Here are 7 reasons why:
1) Anyone can have childlike faith.
Have you ever stopped to think about why it seems so easy for children to trust God? Now go to that place. Let go of all the "grown-up" barriers you have placed between yourself and God over the years. Trust Him the way a child is prone to trust a loving parent.
If you have ever been a child, you can have childlike faith. It is important that you get back there. You will need to unravel your misgivings about God and see Him as the loving Father that He is to all who know Him.
Can you see yourself trusting God again, or perhaps maybe for the first time?
2) Any believer can grow in faith.
Once you trust Jesus as your Savior, it's off to the races. You begin a journey that never ends. But that doesn't mean every believer is growing in his or her faith. Just because you "can grow" doesn't mean you "will grow."
Plants must be watered, and so must faith. The Holy Spirit will "water your faith" through the Word of God. The more you soak in Scripture, the more your faith will grow. The more you act on the Word and "do it," the more your faith will grow. Spiritual growth involves God working upon our soul through His Word, and us responding to His message with a grateful heart that seeks to do His will.
What parent doesn't love to see a child grow and mature? And God is pleased to see this happen with His children as well.
3) God loves you.
It sounds cliche, but let it sink in. Meditate on it. And know that the cross where Christ died is the demonstration of just how much God loves you. You can trust Him because He loves you. You can come near to Him because He loves you. You can serve Him because He loves you. Without the love of God, life is pointless and hopeless.
Jesus loves us so much He not only gave His life on the cross for our sins, but He is even "the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2) So that takes all the pressure off. You don't have to try to "work up" a stronger faith. Simply trust Jesus, and you will find that God is giving you the faith to believe in Him and in His promises.
4) God's faithfulness is greater than your circumstances.
How do you know when your faith is growing? When your faith is built on God's character and faithfulness, rather than on your circumstances.
When we base our faith on our circumstances, we tend to only trust God as far as "the good times" can take us. But when our faith is growing, we begin to trust Him even in the difficult times. Why? Because we are beginning to learn that God hasn't changed just because our circumstances have changed. And the more this reality of God's faithfulness consumes our soul, the more peace and contentment we experience on a daily basis.
As the apostle Paul wrote, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." (Philippians 4:12)
5) Your mental focus will help or hinder your faith.
You will only be able to trust God to the degree that you choose to think godly thoughts. That is a fact, and it is basically a law of the spiritual world. Your thought life and your faith are so interwoven that you probably don't even recognize where one begins and the other ends.
No wonder Paul wrote, "We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) Without the proper focus, it is impossible to live with much faith. We need to remember that faith can only be built on truth. It can never be built on spiritual lies. If the foundation of your "faith" is not the truth, then your "faith" is not a biblical faith.
How have things been going in your thought life? It's tough isn't it. The challenge to "think straight" is even greater than the challenge to "live straight." In fact, straight living can only happen when straight thinking is taking place. That's because one of the greatest "acts" of a Christian disciple is to think on things that are pure and wholesome.
This brings us once again to words which the Holy Spirit gave to Paul: "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
Our faith will increase or decrease depending on our thought life. There is no getting around it.
6) You don't have to believe everything you think.
OK. So an unhelpful thought popped into your head. It may have come from the world, or from your mind, or from something you encountered earlier in the day. But that doesn't mean you have to believe it. Kick that thought to the curb and move on to wholesome thoughts. God wants to help us tremendously in this area, especially in our day where various comments and ideas are usually flying at us a mile a minute.
Think about the problems that are caused when people put all of their thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. It doesn't take long before they wish they had not been so quick to post a particular comment.
Likewise, a person doesn't have to believe every thought which enters his mind. Our thoughts need to be filtered. Eat the meat and spit out the bones. And if you are like most people, there will be plenty of bones to spit out on any given day.
7) The better you know God, the easier it is to trust Him.
Do you trust anyone you don't know? The fact is that the better you know someone, the more you tend to trust that person. That is, if the person has been trustworthy. And when it comes to God, there are a million and one reasons to trust Him.
The more of those reasons you embrace as you get to know your Creator, the more you will find yourself trusting God. It's not rocket science. If it were, most children and adults would not be able to have strong faith. We wouldn't be smart enough. But genuine faith is built upon a foundation far more profound than rocket science.
God has made it relatively easy for us. He designed things in a way so that those who approach Him with childlike faith usually "get it." Whereas those who approach God from a proud and "enlightened" perspective tend to miss Him completely.
Why else would Jesus say, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) So you see. Trusting God really is easier than you think.