I don’t know about you, but I want to grow more and more in my faith this year.
I’m so grateful that over the years God has helped me grow in faith, but I believe it’s his will for all his children to grow more and more. Here are some suggestions to strengthen your faith this year.
Faith grows as we meditate on God’s word
Psalm 1 says:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Here is the starting point for faith: to meditate on God’s word – “day and night” – all the time. To not listen to “the counsel of the wicked,” or the wisdom of the world, which bombards us all the time, saying, “Here’s what you need to be happy,” or “This is what will satisfy you” or “here is how you can be successful.” There are a thousand blog posts that give us life hacks on how to save time and money and make friends and influence people, and many give helpful ideas, but none can give you faith and produce joy like God’s word. If you want to grow in faith this year, the best way to do that is to try to spend time regularly in God’s word.
Read God’s word, meditate on it – dwell on it, mull it over, think how it applies to you. Memorize God’s word. One of the best ways is to write a couple verses on a 3×5 card and review it on some kind of regular basis. I not only use note cards, but I use Evernote and keep a notebook titled “Scripture Memory” in which I write every verse I am memorizing. The key is to regularly review the Scriptures. One man said that if you simply read a verse every day, without even trying to memorize it, eventually you will.
Faith grows as we meditate on God’s Attributes
God’s attributes are aspects of his being. For example, God’s holiness, God’s infinite nature, God’s love, God’s power, etc. Each of his attributes is an aspect of who he is. As you meditate on his various attributes, you will find faith rising in your heart. And where do we learn of his attributes? In his word, of course. I have found that as I have spent time dwelling on God’s attributes, he has increased my faith to face good times and bad, and to be content in him and seek help from him. Here are some attributes of God to dwell on to increase your faith.
Have Faith in God’s divine, infinite perfection
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? NU 23.19
God is divine – he is God. He is the infinitely perfect one. There is not one single bit of imperfection, weakness or sin in him. Because he is God he does not lie, or change his mind, or forget to fulfill a single promise. If he promised something, he will do it. He is not like us humans. We sin, we are weak, we fail. We may be well-intentioned when we make promises, but then forget to fulfill them or simply find out we can’t. God is not man. God is not like us. If he has said it in his word, he will do it. He will fulfill it.
We may not be able to see how he can do it, but if he has promised something, ask him to do it. Especially when it comes to our children and grandchildren. God has made numerous promises to bless and prosper and help the children of those who love and fear him.
God has promised to provide for his children. He has promised to give us peace and joy. He has promised to answer our prayers. Don’t go by what you see. Go by God’s integrity. This is where Satan tempted Eve – to doubt God’s integrity. To doubt his promise and his word. So dwell on Numbers 23:19 and you will find faith rising in your heart.
Have Faith in God’s plan and purpose for your life
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. PS 138:8
So often I feel like I don’t know what God wants me to do. I’ve never been very good at planning and strategizing. I’m not good at setting long term goals. And I never could have guessed all God had in store for my life. And even now, after retiring from full-time ministry, I’ve not known for sure which direction to go. But I know this – God has a purpose for me, and despite my many weaknesses and questions, God has a purpose and he’s not going to fail to fulfill it in my life. He will fulfill it until my final breath. Same for you. Meditate on this verse. If you feel like your life is going nowhere, or you are in the midst of confusion or darkness, God has a purpose for you and nothing in this world, even your failures or can stop him from fulfilling it.
The greatest plan God has for you, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, is to make you like his Son, to conform you to his image. And he will not fail to fulfill that purpose for you.
Have Faith in God’s sovereignty
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 1 CH 29:11-12
God’s sovereignty means he is in control of all things. Not one atom in the universe is outside his control. Because he is sovereign over all, he causes all things to fulfill his plans and purposes. God is sovereign of the angels of heaven and the demons of hell. He is in control of every nation, every leader, every event of history. And he causes all things to work together for good for his children, as he promises in Ro 8:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (RO 8:28)
Have Faith in God’s faithfulness and love for you
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. LA 3.21-23
Here’s how to have more faith this year: Regularly call this to mind. Meditate on this. Dwell on this. Thank God for it when you wake up each morning: His steadfast love for you never ceases. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. RO 8:38-39
If you regularly call these verses to mind you will find your faith growing this year more and more.
Have faith in God’s care for you
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pe 5.7
God doesn’t simply love you, he cares for you! In my early years as a Christian I believed that God was so busy running the universe, he couldn’t have time for my petty needs. But I was wrong. He deeply, intensely, personally cares about his children. He cares for you. Jesus is a sympathetic high priest. He knows what you’re going through. He knows the ways you are tempted, because he’s been through it too. So come to him, cast your cares and anxieties on him because he’s waiting to help you. He cares deeply for you. Meditate on this and thank him for his care and your faith will grow.
Have faith in God’s wisdom
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! RO 11:33
God’s wisdom is infinite. In his wisdom he created and upholds the universe. In his wisdom he planned our salvation through the life, death and resurrection of his very own Son. Who could have thought of that? Because God is infinitely sovereign, loving and wise, his plans for our lives are perfect. He has a wise plan for your life. In his wisdom he takes us through the things he does because he knows they are the most perfect things we need.
Whatever God allows you to go through it is because in his wisdom he knows you need it. And he has the wisest solution for all you need. So dwell on his wisdom and your faith will grow.
Have faith in God’s goodness
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! PS 34.8
God is not only sovereign, loving and wise, but he is infinitely good. He cannot do and will never do anything that is not good for us. As I meditate on God’s goodness, he causes me to grow in faith and peace and joy. I know he only has good in store for me. And even the things that don’t seem good, I know he is working for my good. And as I mentioned earlier, the greatest good he has is to conform me to the likeness of Jesus.
What a good, loving and wonderful God we serve! Meditate on his word this year. Try to memorize his word. Think about his attributes. And finally, PRAY FOR MORE FAITH! He’s waiting to give us more and more faith in him. May this year be a year we all grow more and more in the knowledge of our Lord.