This week Women of Faith blog asked "Who is your faith center?". Inquiring if you turned to others, if others turned to you, or if you focused where we all should - on Jesus.
Jesus is undoubtedly the center of my faith and my life, without Him I am nothing. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for His presence. I have some wonderful Christian friends, although they are not my "center" they certainly help keep me centered. You know what I mean? The friends that you know will give you good, healthy Christian counsel when you need it. Those friends who aren't afraid to pray with you or for you - the ones that keep you walking your walk and aren't dragging you off the path into the brambles. The WOF blog got me thinking not just about faithful friends, but faith itself.
Did you know the word "faith" appears in the NIV Bible 257 times? Two hundred forty-two of those are in the New Testament. It seemed at first glance most references are to our lack of faith:
Feeling a little less chipper after all those verses, I thought I better go back for more. Amazing things can happen if you put your faith in Jesus!
- "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"(Matthew 8:26)
- And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:58)
- "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31)
- And he was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:6)
- "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." (Luke 17:6)
- When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." (Luke 5:20)
- Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke7:50)
- You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galations 3:26)
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- (Ephesians 2:8)
Ahhh, don't you feel better? Now that we know that God is fully aware that we frequently lack faith and also know we can find peace, forgiveness and grace through faith, how do we keep our faith strong?
First of all we have to know that Satan is going to take every shot he can to keep you in the "Ye of little faith" category. The more full of the Spirit we are, the more desperate he gets. If you faith is feeling a little weak at the knees - ask for more! In Luke 17:5, "The apostles said to the LORD, "Increase our faith!". If those who were physically walking with Christ here on earth had to ask for a faith increase, don't hesitate to ask this for yourself! One of our weapons against Satan is a strong faith : " In addition to all this (the full armor of God), take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Ephesians 6:16).
Keep reading your Bible, doing your daily devotions, sharing with others and PRAYING to exercise your faith muscles to keep your faith strong.
Lord, You ask very little of me but to love you completely and trust in your promises. Sometimes, Lord, living in this world gets to me a little and I feel like my faith is smaller than the tiny mustard seed. Help me remember to run to you and ask for a a faith increase. You prayed that Simon's faith would not fail, I ask that for others who are struggling with their faith-- increase their strength to endure and increase their faith in You, so they can help others who are feeling faith-weakened. In the name of Jesus, Amen
In His Peace --