The Bible tells us that faith is crucial to our lives as believers. The Christian life is a life of fighting the good fight of faith.
As Paul told Timothy…
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Paul told the Ephesians they needed faith in every circumstance of life:
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; Ephesians 6:16
A shield is used in battle. We need the shield of faith because Satan is constantly bombarding us with “flaming darts” – lies about God, accusations, doubts.
Our Christian lives begin with faith – Jesus saves us when we believe the good news of him and all he has done for us. But that is just the beginning. We must continue in our faith, and it is not easy. Satan’s goal is to make us doubt our God and not believe his word. But we can grow in our faith as we fight this good fight. So how do we do this? Here are 9 ways we can strengthen our faith:
1. We can strengthen our faith by consistently taking in and meditating on God’s word
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word. Psalm 119:9
If you wish to know God, you must know his Word. If you wish to perceive His power, you must see how He works by his Word. If you wish to know His purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by His Word. – Charles Spurgeon
2. We can strengthen our faith by memorizing God’s Word
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119.11
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. Psalm 37:30-31
When we memorize God’s word, we store it in our hearts and the Holy Spirit brings it to mind when we are tempted to sin or to doubt. He brings it to mind when we are downcast and discouraged. He brings it to mind when people sin against us and we are tempted to retaliate.
I have found that music helps me memorize God’s word more easily. I have put together a number Scripture songs to help me and others remember verses. You can check them out here: http://bit.ly/2M7IR7U. I also recorded a number of Scripture songs called “Hide the Word” which can be found on Spotify and iTunes.
I usually begin my devotions with 10 minutes of reviewing Scriptures I’m trying to memorize. One way you can memorize Scriptures is simply by reviewing them on a daily basis. You can write them on notecards or in any number of apps and look at them on a regular basis. Pretty soon you’ll have God’s word stored up in your heart. And along these lines….
3. We can strengthen our faith by calling to mind God’s love, mercies and faithfulness.
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. Lamentations 3:21-23
What produced hope in the author of Lamentations? Reminding himself of God’s steadfast love, his daily mercies and great faithfulness. When we are tempted to doubt or fear or lose hope, we must aggressively and actively remember our God. We must “call to mind.” This is another way of lifting the shield of faith and wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
4. We can strengthen our faith by remembering that God is our Father and he poured out Christ’s blood to adopt us
My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, HE is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah! -Charles Spurgeon
If God has given his very Son to save us, will he not help us in every other way? If Jesus poured out his blood to redeem us will he forget us? I love this verse in Isaiah:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15
Even human parents devote themselves in love and care and compassion on their infants. What mother doesn’t care for her nursing child? God says how much more does he care for us. Humans may fail at times to care for their children but God promises he will never ever forget us. Reminding ourselves of our Father’s love will strengthen our faith.
5. We can strengthen our faith by obeying God’s word
Every time we obey God’s word we sow seeds we will reap someday. When we pray we sow seeds that will produce a harvest in time. And one of the ways we “reap” is to find our faith strengthened, especially when we see God answer our prayers.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Notice how Paul says the Corinthians would reap for their giving: They would reap bountifully, they would experience grace in abundance, they would have “all sufficiency in all things at all times” they would “abound in every good work,” God would increase their harvest of righteousness, and enrich them in every way to be even more generous.
When we obey God in any way, by “sowing” in prayer, or sowing our finances, we will reap, and that will strengthen our faith.
6. We can strengthen our faith by listening to preaching
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
God’s word works in us when we hear it. It encourages us, instructs us and strengthens our faith. That is why it is so important to be a part of a church where we can regularly hear God’s word preached.
7. We can strengthen our faith by fellowshipping with others.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:15
We don’t strengthen our faith simply by listening to preachers, but believers strengthen one another. We are to encourage one another, and remind one another of God’s promises. And when we worship together and sing God’s word, we strengthen our faith.
8. We can strengthen our faith simply by asking God to give us more faith
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
When the man humbly admitted to Jesus he was weak in faith and needed help Jesus didn’t rebuke him, but healed the man’s son. So often we have not because we ask not. Ask Jesus to strengthen your faith and he will.
And don’t forget that God can use the smallest and weakest faith.
And the Lord 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
9. And finally we can strengthen our faith by keeping our eyes on God rather than our circumstances
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (Berean Study Bible)
Remember how Satan got Eve to look at the forbidden fruit:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6
When Eve looked at the fruit in front of her, she took her eyes off God.
And remember when Peter walked on the water? He was doing great until he took his eyes off Jesus and began to look at his “circumstances”:
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:28-30
We can strengthen our faith by reminding ourselves that God is in control, that God is faithful, that God won’t forget his children. By fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. If we focus on the wind and waves around us and take our eyes off our Savior, we’ll begin to sink. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, if we ask him to give us faith and help us in our weakness, he will lift us up.