Fired-up Faith

The daily duties and challenges of living for God can sap our energy.  We are called upon to muster enough strength to keep going through the same tests and to keep doing the same things over and over again.  Satan wants serving God to be drudgery.

It’s kind of like a dairy farmer said, “The hardest thing about milking cows is that they don’t stay milked.”

The ancient Israelites’ faith in God had grown so thin that they dreaded the trip to the Temple to offer sacrifices to Him. Malachi rebuked them:

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.” (Malachi 1:11-13).

Jesus told His disciples to forgive endlessly. The disciples said, if that’s what we’re going to do to serve Him, “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5).

Paul encouraged the churches of Galatia, who were wondering whether doing good things for God was worth it:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9-10).

The lifestyle God expects us to lead requires trust in Him. Here are some practical ways to strengthen our faith:

1. Dig deeper into God’s word. Our faith grows with greater knowledge and love for God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). 

2. Put the little difficulties in perspective. The devil attacks us with a steady stream of small inconveniences. Faith is our protection under this barrage, but a weak faith will mean less security. Paul wrote, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph. 6:16). In the long run, the little stuff won’t matter (see Rom. 8:18).

3. Feed your spirit. The struggle: “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:1-3). The solution: “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” (verses 16-17).

4. Hang with a better crowd. Peter’s weaknesses were magnified when he tried to fit in with the wrong group (see Luke 22:54-62). Use times of fellowship to strengthen – and be strengthened by – others.

5. Pray, and express the specifics about your weakness to the Lord. Jesus can help us (see, e.g., Luke 17:5).

6. Think about the goal. God will not forget us (see Gal. 6:7-8). Eternal life awaits those who lead a life of faith (Heb. 11).