As the saying goes…
“Practice makes perfect.”
I think we all know that we can’t trust that, as humans, we can ever practice to the point of absolute perfection. Oh, how I wish it were true, though! While I don’t believe in perfection on this side of heaven, I do believe practicing our faith is indispensable, even necessary, to be able to at least consistently wield our faith like a shield in the midst of our everyday battles.
So can we say this?
“Practice makes imperfect consistent growth.”
Over time, we consistently grow in our ability to apply our faith and beliefs to our life if we practice trusting and believing.
In the past month, we’ve discussed the practices of moving from fear to courage and trust and this is the final one:
Practice believing, trusting Jesus helps us in our time of need.
Could it be that one of the most detrimental practices to the Christian faith is not living like we trust in or believe in what the bible says? Is this why the Lord allows us to experience scary challenges? So we can practice our faith?
It has been said that faith is like a muscle that has to be exercised in order to be effective in laying hold of the blessings that are already ours in Christ.
If we’ve practiced what we’ve discussed in the past month (remembering what’s true about God and who we are in Him, and also remembering what he has done and is doing), we’ve probably run into the problem of —
Our fears return. We wonder if it really helped to apply our faith or remember God’s truths.
So what do we do?
We must continue to BELIEVE.
There was a father who was mentioned in the book of Mark who faced a very scary situation with his son’s demon possession. This father must have been fearful, but he brought his son to Jesus to be healed from a demon. He asked Jesus, “But If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:14-29)
Jesus’ response was, “IF you can! All things are possible for one who believes!” (I so wish I could’ve heard and seen Jesus’ response myself!)
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help me in my unbelief!
And what was Jesus’ response? After seeming to shake His head about the use of the word “if”, Jesus does indeed have compassion.
This man’s words, “I believe, help me in my unbelief,” have come to my own lips many times in the past year. I’m encouraged in this passage of scripture to continue turning to Jesus, asking for help in my lack of faith, and to begin to begin again to think and live like I really believe God’s Word for certain aspects of life.
If you have faith in Jesus, you’ve been given that faith as a gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
Le’ts remember that this gift is a two-part gift!
It is a gift in that we are able to have faith in Jesus.
It is a gift in that afterwards, faith establishes truth firmly in our hearts.
The Holy Spirit does not merely originate faith for our salvation, but gradually increases our faith for our progressive growth.
If we are struggling in our faith or trust in God during challenging circumstances, let’s remember that part of the gift of faith is the increase of it as we experience life.
We can ask for and expect to receive compassion and help in living out our faith!
As we come up against the hard stuff in life, let’s…
-Pray for awareness of our fears,
-Remember who God is and who we are in Him,
-Remember all of his wonderful acts in the past for His people and for us, and
-Continue to believe and ask for help in believing!
Blessings as you move from fear, to courage and trust!
I’ll be taking a break next week in order to produce a longer STRETCH my F A I T H video. When I come back, I’ll be starting a new eight week series on Seeking the Savior in the Stress. Please join me as I’ll be posting encouragement in this area once a week on my blog and also producing short ten-minute STRETCH my F A I T H “Stretch of the Week” videos for my newsletter subscribers.
STRETCH my F A I T H is a tool to enable you to simultaneously take time to refresh yourself holistically while also spending time with God.
When you sign up, you will automatically receive a free 30-minute stretch session on overcoming the winter blues as well as a free mini-course called Empowered by Truth. You’ll also receive weekly mini “Stretch of the Week” classes that work as a tool to help you practice slowing down, caring for the body, and meditating on God’s truths.
Linking up with these wonderful bloggers this week!