We all want to live victoriously, and that is only possible by living a life of faith.
As mentioned in my last post, faith comes only when given. Truth is: we cannot will ourselves into a place of faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Emphasis added). We are saved through our faith, but our faith is given to us by the grace of God.
How Does Faith Grow?
So how, then, do we grow in our faith?
We are told in Hebrews 12:1b-2:
…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Now, that’s a mouthful. Do you realize that is one sentence? And this one sentence contains the essentials to our growth as Christ followers.
Lay aside every weight.
Run with endurance.
And, most importantly, look to Jesus.
That about covers it, folks. I believe this one passage holds the key to victorious living. Now, I don’t want to oversimplify things here. I know we are strengthened in our faith by many things, but I believe this passage in Hebrews lays out the essentials for us. And I am convinced that if we simply take time to meditate on Hebrews 12––or even Hebrews 10-13––we would start to get a lot of things right in our lives.
Faith is Enough
In Luke 17:5, “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
And do you want to know Jesus’ response? He said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6).
At first hearing, Jesus’ response sounds like a riddle. He doesn’t seem to answer their request. But I think what Jesus’s getting at is that faith, in whatever amount, is enough. I love what the ESV Study Bible says about this verse in it’s notes. It says, “even a very small amount of faith, if it is genuine trust in God, can lead to remarkable results. The issue is not the size of faith but its presence.”
When real faith is present, great things happen. [Tweet that] Once that faith seed is planted well, it is sure to grow. But Jesus is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). And we are told, “he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6), which tells us Jesus needs to be at the center of our faith. Jesus says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22, KJV).
What Are We to Do?
Jesus is our answer to faith. He supplies it, and He grows it. But our faith was never intended to be passive. Grace is given to us––it is something that is always at our disposal––that we may use it to be participants in our faith.
So what is our part in all of this?
Once again, we are to lay aside every weight and sin. We are to run with endurance. And, most importantly, we are to look to Jesus.
All of these commands require action. While it is true that we cannot will ourselves into a place of faith, we can choose––by the grace God has already extended to us––to act and intentionally draw near to the only true source of faith. So, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).
What specifically has helped you grow in your faith? Share in the comments by next Monday, and I just may include your insight as I continue this topic in next week’s post.