The Exercising of Faith

22nd April, 2011 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

“To possess only a small degree of faith is a major catastrophe for Christian believers.” With these words Peter¬† Masters starts his book Faith, Doubt, Trials, Assurance. Do you agree with these words? If so, what makes it a catastrophe?

As believers, we have access to the greatest power in the universe, and though we aren’t to assume that God’s power is ours simply to meet our own selfish desires, we do have a sovereign God with immeasurable power who has promised to be with us and use His power for our benefit and protection. The fact that we might even have to consider whether we agree with Masters’ strong declaration confirms to some degree that we don’t take the necessity of faith seriously enough.

Faith in a sovereign God who loves us and who has a wise purpose and plan for each of us is crucial to our daily life as believers. Doubts are part of a life of faith; doesn’t the nature of faith infer that doubts may accompany it? We don’t doubt something that it takes no faith to believe in. On the other hand, doubts come less often and are less damaging when we know what we believe (in other words, who is the God that we worship and what is He really life) and when we have taken time to exercise our faith. Like the muscles of our body, our faith needs daily exercise to be strengthened.

Physical exercise takes time and energy and sometimes it’s painful. Spiritual exercise also takes time and energy and can be painful as well. Exercising our faith means that we must make a conscious effort to make strengthening our faith a priority. Masters gives eight ways to strengthen faith, and each one requires some self-disciplined thought or action to make it happen. I guess the first question I need to ask myself is this: do I see little faith enough of a disaster that I will sacrifice doing other things and take the time to exercise my faith?

Within minutes I’ll be on my way to Baltimore to catch a plane to Orlando to spend Easter with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. As I drive to the airport, I need to think about this questions:¬† just how important is having strong faith to me and how much time am I willing to invest in the effort to make it stronger?

Posted on: April 22, 2011

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