6 More Faith Tips
October 30, 2010
by Maria Fontaine
6 More Faith Tips
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Several weeks ago I shared with you “Three Items In My Treasure Chest.” Last week I added six additional things, and today I have six more. These items are like precious jewels in my treasure chest: my personal list of things that help me to keep going, my personal survival list. You might have different things, but these are mine.
So many people are faced with difficult circumstances in their day-to-day lives. Christians aren’t immune to these same difficulties—family problems, fears, uncertainty, too much to do, financial needs, and so much more. It’s not that having faith keeps us from facing difficulties; but we know the Lord, and we can avail ourselves of His promises, test them, and prove them. This knowledge—that my faith is a help to me in times of trouble—gives me conviction to put my faith into action and dedicate my life to serving others and helping them to find His love and answers, too.
So what are some other things that help me during difficult times? Here are a few more:
First, the knowledge I have that character is often forged in adversity. The ABCs of spiritual growth: Adversity Builds Character. It’s part of life; it’s one of God’s laws. All those who have done great things for God and mankind have experienced difficulties and obstacles, and have been challenged by all manner of hurdles. In fighting to overcome, they have become strong. As all of us have experienced, it isn’t pleasant to go through adversity, but I know that once I’ve gotten through it I have gained wisdom, patience, understanding, experience, and I’ve been better equipped for the future.
When I reflect on the advantages of adversity, I know that it’s not just a wasted period of meaningless pain. Think of the example of Joseph, only one of the many millions in history whose character and potential were formed in the furnace. Someone put it this way: “If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he would have never been Egypt’s governor. The iron chains around his feet ushered in the golden chains around his neck.”
There is an African proverb that says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
Another thing I do that I’m sure helps me to carry on is to pray for faith. There are scriptural examples of praying for faith—and I know God always answers the hungry heart:
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.
And in another instance, [They] said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
Next: At times when I feel too weak to pray for myself, I ask others to pray for me.—Not trying to cover up my battles and pretend they don't exist, but asking for prayer and counsel and help from Peter and others whom I feel confident to confide in. When I’m having a tough time, I’m thankful that I have people who can support me in prayer; who I feel I can go to, knowing that they’ll give me the gift of their time and concern by asking the Lord for His strength and faith for me.
I hope you have at least one or two people to whom you can go for prayer when you need a pick-me-up in spirit.
Something else I do is to review past experiences of how Jesus has never failed me, which is always a faith booster, because there are so many of them. There is never one in which He didn’t bring me out of the storm into a peaceful place in His time. Focusing on all that the Lord has done in the past in response to my faith and prayers enables me to expect more of the same.
Additionally, reviewing testimonies of how He never failed others is a tremendous inspiration, because then I not only have my own experiences, but I have resources from a large body of fellow believers throughout history. Reading how God has come through for others and the miracles He’s done for others is something that I do to strengthen my faith, which gives me the assurance and peace that He will do miracles for me, as well.
I know that no matter how bleak the circumstances, God is able to do miracles. He’s not limited by circumstances.
Another thing that helps me a lot: I do all I can to believe that things will get better. I try to look beyond the present difficult circumstances because I know that pleases the Lord. I know if I have faith that He’s going to work things out and He’s going to bring me through and He’s going to make things better, then He will, because He honors me for having that trust in Him.
Like the story about a father and his little daughter, who came to him and asked for a dollhouse. The father nodded and promised to build her one, then returned to his book. Soon he glanced out the study window and saw her arms filled with dishes and dolls, making trip after trip until she had a huge pile of playthings in the yard. He asked his wife what she was doing.
“Oh, you promised to build her a dollhouse, and she believes you. She’s just getting ready for it.”
“You would have thought I’d been hit by a bomb,” the father later said, “I threw aside that book, raced to the lumber yard for supplies, and quickly built that little girl a dollhouse.
“Now, why did I respond? Because I wanted to? No. Because she deserved it? No, not necessarily. Her daddy had given his word, and she believed it and acted upon it. When I saw her faith, nothing could keep me from carrying out my word.”
That’s how God is with us. So I’ll do everything possible to strengthen my faith, because I know faith results in God’s hand at work, because faith always results in God honoring His promises. The fulfillment of those promises doesn’t always happen immediately, but He always fulfills His word in His perfect time and according to His purpose.
So that’s my list which helps me when my head is barely above water and I’m about ready to panic because I feel like I’m going to drown! (And let me tell you, when I’m in the lake or the ocean—or even a swimming pool—water closing in around my face really does panic me. Even if I’m not actually drowning, my fear of water makes me feel as if I am. So I can use that illustration and feel the emotion attached!—Although I’m trying to use my faith to overcome this fear, as well!)
When I incorporate these faith-building principles and practices into my daily walk—even if it’s thought action or prayer action—they activate my faith and it goes from being theoretical faith to living faith. I don’t always use every point on this list, but in general when I do these things, they result in welcome benefits in my life.