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“I’m not sure I have enough faith to make it through this.”
“Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5).
“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
When you go through a personal crisis your faith is tested. Your friends might say, “just have more faith.” Taken as a cliché, it’s not only not helpful, it can be annoying. But as you’ll see, where you focus makes all the difference.
Seek Genuine Faith
Just have more faith is all about your effort–as in you’re not trying hard enough. If you hear “have more faith” and groan or feel even more discouraged, you’re focusing on a powerless effort devoid of God. You might feel cynical: Why should I try if it feels like God has abandoned me? But this won’t be fruitful because your focus is on yourself.
Now, let’s consider Have faith in God which is all about God. It’s genuine because God is the focal point. Genuine faith looks, sees, believes, and trusts. It’s not about how hard you’re trying.
For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.John 6:40 NLT
This shifts the focus from what is impossible for us to do, to what is possible for God to do. The ability to believe connects us to God, giving us eternal life. God intentionally divides people into two groups (consider John 10:1-16 and Matthew 25:31-46). The only significant difference between the two is that God’s people undergo a transformation from spiritual death to spiritual life made possible by seeing and believing. Being born again forever changes a person. That’s what it means to have eternal life.
Your primary work is to believe in God. This means something different than “have more faith,” which is useless when it lacks belief. With genuine faith, you believe and are able to walk forward in the power of what you believe (see James 2:14-26 for more on this).
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”John 6:29 NLT
Belief Comes From God
God is at work in believing process.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Ephesians 2:8 NLT
For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.John 6:44, 47 NLT
The power is in the believing. What should you believe? Your primary work is to believe God is who He says He is. God is good. God is your source of eternal life.
How to Increase Your Faith
I want more faith, don’t you? You can’t run a marathon or even to your street corner without food. Likewise, you can’t finish a spiritual race without a vibrant faith.
To strengthen your faith, you feed on God’s words. You meditate on God’s truth. You consume God’s words and allow them to become a part of you. How positive and hopeful you are depends on how much you reinforce your belief in the Good News about Christ.
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.Romans 10:17 NLT
If you’re a believer, then you have faith already, but for it to do you much good, you have to exercise it regularly. Get your running clothes out of the closet and put them on.
Take the time throughout your day to be aware of your belief: I have faith. I believe. I can see and hear God. God is real. God is my help. I trust God. Then move forward confidently with all you have going on in your life. God is with you.