Do you ever get frustrated with your faith?
The expectations for an ideal Christian life are impossible to meet by our own strength. Forgive those that have hurt us? Bless those that have cursed us? Serve the unworthy? Heal the sick? Cast out demons? Sometimes, we pat ourselves on the back for just being able to get out of bed in one piece! But, to live purely, powerfully, and passionately for Christ on the day-to-day?
In John 14:12, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” That’s a tall order, Jesus.
We experience God and His kingdom through our faith. But sometimes we feel that something is wrong with the faith that we have. Why? Because we do not know power and presence like the people of the Bible did. You may know your church programs better than knowing the God who healed the sick and split the Red Sea.
Christ’s disciples understood the need for more faith. When they cried out to Jesus, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5), Jesus replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you,” (Luke 17:6).
If a faith as small as a mustard seed could be so commanding and powerful, does this mean that our faith is even smaller than this? No, because the point of what Jesus was saying was not in the size of the faith. When Jesus said “have faith,” that word “have” is translated as echó in Greek, and it means to hold, to keep.
Nothing is wrong with your little faith. So, do not despise it. Do not criticize it. Just, hold onto it. A better way to repeat what Jesus said would be “If you hold on to your faith as small as a mustard seed…”
In light of this, the following are some practical tips on how to hold on, thereby allowing what little you may have to grow and to flourish.
1. Have a regimen for your eyes
These days, people have regimens for everything: diet, exercise, finances, etc. A regimen for your eyes is something that will greatly affect the health of your faith.
Before Eve rebelliously consumed the fruit, she saw the fruit and noticed that it was pleasing to the eye (Genesis 3:6). While Peter was walking on water towards Jesus, he saw the winds and began to sink (Matthew 14:30). The author of Hebrews encourages Christians to fix their eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2).
You worship what you set your eyes on. Perhaps it is high time that Christians make more of an effort in monitoring what they allow their eyes to see. These days, you almost have no control over what you end up seeing on Facebook, Snapchat, or even an advertisement around the mall! It is impossible to control it all, so be strict on the sort of ads, commercials, and memes you allow yourself to get sucked into.
You can make a choice as to what you allow your eyes to maintain its gaze upon. You can choose not to click on certain videos, read certain tabloids, or even to finish certain commercials. If you want the faith to live a pure life, you can’t keep staring at impure images. If you want the faith for healing, you can’t keep watching TV shows about death and destruction!
2. Read a lot of books
Sometimes, you are just a revelation away from a breakthrough in your faith.
Faith operates within the boundaries of your understanding of God. If you do not believe that God loves you, then that is the ceiling to your faith. If you do not believe that God answers everyday prayers, then that is the ceiling to your faith as well.
Read the stories of those with great faith, and raise the ceiling for your faith.
Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” When we read the testimonies and words of wisdom of the spiritual fathers and mothers of the past, we are proactively soaking in revelation that allows their ceiling to become our floor.
Here are some of my recommendations on some powerful books that are filled with practical wisdom and understanding.
3. Exercise your faith
Nothing ever grows stronger unless it is exercised. Don’t you think it was wild that the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish did not begin until Jesus began distributing the food (Mark 6:30-44)? Jesus did not wait until the miracle so that he could exercise His faith. In fact, His faith did now allow Him to be so influenced by lack. He gave the food even when the air around Him was heavy with discouragement and skepticism.
Your faith is like the five loaves and two fish. Don’t wait until you feel as if your faith has grown before you start activating it. Exercise your faith every day. If it does not require the help of the Holy Spirit to live your life, then your faith is not being exercised. Be intentional and strategic. It could be as simple as making sure you begin the day with half an hour of prayer to as radical as stopping for a homeless person on the street.
4. Build a biblical mindset
If you want to build an edifice of faith, then you need to build it on a strong foundation — your belief system.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” A life of doing big things for God, basically a life of faith, cannot occur without abiding in Him. We abide in Him by knowing His words and allowing them to change us, move us.
The more you understand Scripture, the stronger your foundation will be, which is prime real estate upon which faith will grow.
Once, I ministered to a young lady that had run away from the church for years. We sat down and went through Psalm 23 for about an hour. At the end of that hour, her eyes were filled with tears. She said, “I wish I had understood this years ago. If I did, I wouldn’t have run away for so long.”
5. Fellowship with those of greater faith
Faith is contagious. Lack of faith is also contagious! If you look at the history of the Old Testament kings, you see a pattern. There are kings that stir up faith in their kingdom. There are kings that stir up sin and rebellion. God made sure to bless the first and rebuke the latter.
If you are struggling with your faith, then it is worthwhile to pursue fellowship with those that are not. Get connected with those who have personal stories of God’s goodness and breakthrough. Listen to their testimonies. Watch them endure the walk of faith. Sometimes, faith has to be caught and not just taught. Joshua spent most of his days with Moses. Elisha gave up his life to follow Elijah. Both Joshua and Elisha caught the faith.