I often hear people mention faith in statements of comfort during a difficult time or when every prospect of success seems bleak – there’s good ol’ trusty faith ready for use like a spare tire. I have referenced faith those ways as well. Sometimes a situation is so big that everything in us wants to have faith but we just can’t. Death, disease, natural disaster, loss of employment, divorce… these are real, hard situations.
I grew up hearing the saying, “keep on living…” and I never quite understood what it meant. Now I know that it means as life goes on, you’ll be faced with many kinds of issues – some so big you feel like nothing can help. Many of us are familiar with Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen: it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” But knowing the definition of faith without proper application is like having the ingredients to a cake with no recipe – it’s useless. You’ll probably come out with something but it sure as heck won’t be as good as the real thing! I’m going to share how I’ve applied faith to move from just having faith to exercising bold faith! Let’s bake a cake!
What is Faith?
The passage in Hebrews says, “Faith is the confidence…”, confidence in what? God? Ourselves? Both! 1 John 5:14-15 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” First our confidence is in God because what we are asking is pleasing to Him. Think about what you’re believing for. If it’s pleasing to God, then you can have confidence that it will happen!
Philippians 4:13, another well-known scripture, says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” After we’ve put our confidence in God, we can have confidence in ourselves because Christ lives in us! I find it reassuring that I don’t have to rely on my own strength or knowledge for the things I need. The same power that Christ used to perform miracles is the same power He will use to move mountains in my life. All I have to do is believe!
Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” There’s that word – bold. It’s one thing to make a timid request being unsure if it will happen or if your request will be heard. We already read in 1 John 5:15-15 that God always hears our prayers. Now this passage in Hebrews is telling us that we can make our request with boldness! I can ask God boldly for the things I need and rely on the power of Jesus Christ to help me endure until it’s fulfilled. When I ask my husband to fix something that’s broken, there’s no doubt in my mind that he will take care of it because that’s what he’s always done. This is how we need to view our requests to God. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in all places – there’s nothing He can’t (and won’t) do for us!
Hebrews 11:1 goes on to say that we’re depending on what we hope for to actually happen. There are countless accounts in the bible of great acts of faith. Abraham and Sarah. David and Goliath. The Woman with the Issue of Blood, and so many more! Why not add our names to that list? Having faith isn’t just a pleasantry to share during a time of trial. It’s vehicle that we use to navigate from despair to triumph! Don’t cheat yourself by wishing and hoping and praying. Be determined to have bold faith!
How do we use faith?
Sometimes opportunities fall into our laps. For the other 6 ½ days of the week, we gotta work for it! Don’t wait for the “perfect time”, that doesn’t exist (I’ve searched every clock – it’s not there ;-)).
These are the three ways I put my faith into action:
Mark 11:24 “ I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Isaiah 55:11 “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Romans 4:21 “He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”
Tell God what you want. Pray about it. Journal it. Create a vision board. Habakkuk 2:3 says, “The vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will to be delayed.” Make plans for what you’re believing in to come to pass. If you truly believe that God will do what you asked for, you’d prepare for it! Think of it this way: When I was pregnant with Cheyenne, I couldn’t see her. Even the image on the ultrasound wasn’t really her in the flesh. But, I could see my belly growing and feel the changes in my body. Her doctor gave me an estimated due date but no one knew exactly when she would come. I knew and believed that she was going to arrive soon so I made preparations. This is the same way we need to view God’s promises. Sometimes we see and feel small changes but we can’t see the promise nor do we know when it’ll happen. Despite our inability to see the end result, we need to believe that it’s going to happen and make preparations!
When faith doesn’t work
Faith always works, but, not always in the way we hope for. We can all name a time when we really believed in something and it didn’t happen for us. From passing a test to the passing of a loved one, there are times when we put our all into a thing and find disappointment. As discouraging as it is, that doesn’t mean your faith isn’t working! Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” We may not understand why things happen the way they do. In fact, scripture says that we can’t understand all of God’s ways. But we can believe that in the long-run, there is purpose for everything. It hurts to lose someone we love or something we’ve worked hard for, but, your resilience after a storm can ignite someone else’s faith. After all, isn’t that precisely what we’re here to do?
Having Bold Faith
So how can we take our faith to the next level? By taking the training wheels off! It’s time to put away the recipe card and bake that darn cake from memory! If you mess up, it’s okay! Go to the store (The Bible) and buy more ingredients (your faith) and try again! 2 Chronicles 15:7 says, “But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
If that dream doesn’t come to pass. Create a new dream! Read my blog about overcoming obstacles. Don’t just talk about faith, be a living example of it. Of course it’s scary to step out into the unknown but that’s where all the good stuff is. Your comfort zone will always be there, don’t go through life wishing and hoping when you can be living!
One thing I know about faith is, the scarier of a situation you apply it to, the stronger your faith becomes. Faith is like a muscle, you need to exercise it. And like a muscle, if you lack to give it proper nutrition and exercise, when it’s time to utilize it – it will fail. Don’t allow that to happen! Trust God and ask Him to increase your faith and give you the boldness to use it!