Growth and victory in the Christian life is the fruit of faith. Hebrews 11 records many of the heroes of the Old Testament, and it reminds us that all of these exploits for God were accomplished “by faith.”
Faith is what enables us to live in the victorious reality of the promises of God, rather than in our feeble efforts that sooner or later bring defeat.
So, if faith is this vital to our Christian lives, how can we develop faith?
1. Read and meditate on the Word of God.
The primary nourisher of faith is God’s Word. Romans 10:17 plainly says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If we are to increase our faith, we must spend time in God’s Word, reading and meditating on His promises.
When we neglect God’s Word, we lose sight of what God desires and can do in our lives. Like an unused muscle, our faith begins to atrophy. On the other hand, when we feed our souls on God’s promises, our entire perspective changes. Although we are aware of our weaknesses and the impossible circumstances surrounding us, we are focused on God’s power.
Remember the ten Israeli spies who Moses sent out? Ten of them saw only the giants, and they discouraged the Israelites from claiming the land that God had promised to give them. But two of the spies—Joshua and Caleb—focused on God’s promise and encouraged the people, “the Lord is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 14:9).
2. Maintain a right conscience toward God.
A person who is living in private sin (or even open rebellion) will always have doubts of what God may do for him. No matter how he hides or justifies his sin, he knows he cannot claim God’s promises with confidence.
Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” If we want to boldly approach God’s throne and claim His promises, we must be willing to respond in repentance when His Spirit convicts us of sin.
3. Do not run from trials to your faith.
The Israelites stood on the very threshold of the Promised Land, but they refused to possess it because they were afraid of the giants. Although their faith was weak, it would have been greatly strengthened had they been willing to press forward. In our lives today, there are likewise opportunities for us to face fear and allow God to strengthen our faith.
Also, God sometimes allows trying circumstances into our lives that He intends to use to strengthen our faith. James 1:3–4 challenges us to not run from these but to allow God to do His work through them: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
4. Let God be your deliverer.
Faith refuses to see only the surrounding circumstances and looks past them to God’s mighty power. Every time we experience God’s deliverance, our faith is strengthened…and our God is glorified.
Victory in the Christian life is not based on our strength. It is the product of faith, and faith comes as we choose to know and claim the promises of God.