“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
We have been talking about faith. Many people want to know how to build their faith. Faith is one of those things that will build over time as we follow Jesus. But there is something you can do to help build it. And it is really very simple. It’s this. Open the word!
I became a Christian in my teens and I went to church and I would fall off, and I would come back to church. I truly believe that I gave my heart to Jesus at that time, but I had no clue what it meant to follow Him daily at that time. Reading the Bible was hard for a girl who had only attended church on Easter Sunday, Christmas and VBS for most of her life, with occasional short seasons of going regularly. When I was younger, I would decide I was going to go to church but since my family didn’t attend regularly I would walk down the street to the church right around the corner. I would have to get special permission to pass the stop sign as that was our boundary and the church was on the next corner. But usually after a VBS that I had attended I would feel the pull to start attending and I would walk to church. But it seems all it would take was a rainy or a cold Sunday where walking was more of a hindrance and I might fall off of my church attendance. Until the next big event they had that I would get invited to and my passion to attend church would be renewed. But in my teens when I could drive to things and attend more regularly I remember giving my heart to Jesus and being baptized. Then I would go more regularly but still I really knew nothing of walking daily with Him. That didn’t come until my adult years.
But even as a young adult for many years I was a Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night Christian. My Bible might lay on a shelf from Sunday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Sunday and might get opened but might not. Over time, I began to teach Sunday school classes and/or children’s choir and different things around the church and I would at least have to study a bit to know how to teach it. I learned a lot of Bible stories that way, out of necessity.
I remember when God really began growing my faith though and it came through some tough times and some things that I really began to seek His direction for my life. And the way that faith grew was from studying His word and hearing His word and seeking His word. You see it’s us that complicate this Christian life so much. It’s us who beg God to grow our faith and to show us the way but many times, it’s a wonder if we even open the word and seek. I am so grateful to the grace of God on my life. You see all of the little jaunts I made, not attending church, before and after I became a Christian could have taken me over the rails. But God in his love, grace and mercy kept drawing me back to Him, to His church and to His people. My faith grew because I kept returning to hear the good news. My heart knew what my head didn’t. Many times as I was drawn to the church and the people of God, I found God! I found my faith because I kept opening my ears and eventually His word.
If you need your faith to grow, the first thing you do be sure you are attending a church that preaches the gospel. I remember a pastor saying in a sermon one time “it is just as much your responsibility to know if what I am preaching is true as it is mine to preach what is true.” That was probably one of the things that set my heart to His word more than any other thing because I realized at that point in my life he could have preached anything and I would not just know if it was in the Bible or not. That brings us to the second thing you do. Get in the word. Study it for yourself. If you don’t understand it, ask Him to give you understanding. I promise you if you hear the word and study the word your faith will grow!