Are You Afraid to Grow Your Faith?
Your Christian principles say no. But deep down, are you thinking something else?
Faith takes courage. It’s risky. It acknowledges your weakness as a human; your lack of control. It asks you to lay down your own plans and will for something you don’t really know. It’s walking into the unknowns, putting trust in a God you can’t see, and may question if you can accurately hear.
Your flesh (old way of thinking before you were a Christian) tells you that the more you trust in Jesus and choose His way, the harder and less satisfying life will be. You’ll have to give up everything you enjoy in order to sacrifice as Christ sacrificed for you.
Is that true?
No. In fact, I believe life becomes more satisfying. There’s more peace, joy, and hope. You see life through a healthier perspective. It has purpose and value. Taking your control off of your life is more freeing. However, there are moments and assignments He gives you which do initially seem to make things more difficult for a time.
You will be called to give up some comforts. For someone, it might be moving away from friends and family. For another, it could be living in a rougher neighbourhood to reach people in need. It may be sacrificing an extra paycheck in order to stay home with your children and homeschooling them. Or, giving up your savings to adopt a child.
Does it mean it’ll be tough for the rest of your life?
Not necessarily. There are times and seasons for everything. Only the Lord knows how long He’s called you to that assignment. Some people are called to the vocational mission field for two years and others for 50.
This is where trust comes in.
When the Lord calls you to do hard things, you need to trust in His reasons and timing. It’s tricky because He may choose to tell you why and/or how long, but other times He doesn’t. Either way, it’s in your best interest whether He does or not. He knows best what you can handle.
By trusting in the Lord and allowing Him to increase your faith, great things take place. The Lord never gives you hard assignments because He’s angry with you or wants to oppress you. He does it to refine you and actually strengthen your faith and trust in Him. In the meantime, because He is a Good Father, He gives you gifts to keep you moving forward.
In the scenario of moving away from home, He will bring you people who will act as your spiritual family. He has a way of creatively filling your needs. While living in the rougher neighbourhood, He’ll protect you. He’ll create beautiful moments of connection where the Lord will give you His eyes to see the people you’re serving as His creation, worthy of His love and gospel just as much as you are. If you’re homeschooling, He may choose to bless you with the excitement of your children learning new concepts you taught them or a gift of a friend watching your children so you and your husband can go on a date.
Stretching your faith is like growing pains. It doesn’t feel good in the initial moments, but the outcome is worth it every time. By growing your faith, it means you’re deepening your relationship with the Lord. You’re seeing Him in new ways. You’re trusting in His word and His promises. You’re able to take your control off of various aspects and embrace the life the Lord has for you, which in turn will open your spiritual eyes to the blessings He’ll give you for your obedience to Him.
More often than not, the Lord will replace the thing you felt you sacrificed with something even greater because He knows your true needs.
Michael and I sacrificed a lot while we were paying off our mortgage. We didn’t go on vacations apart from a family cottage. We rarely ate at restaurants or bought new clothes. We focused on renovations in our house which would yield lower utility bills and left the cosmetics to later. We kept our house colder in the winter, used less water, and unplugged anything we weren’t using at the time to save electricity. We didn’t replace our car when it died.
It was really hard at times. We sacrificed a lot of comforts. But the result was totally worth it. The Lord taught us delayed gratification and the discipline and endurance resulting in reward for hard work. He formed stronger gratitude for what He’s given us and a greater desire to be generous.
On top of those spiritual gifts, our finances increased. This removed fear and brought peace. It brought greater trust knowing everything we own is God’s; given by Him to be used for Him, as well as to enjoy. We can do things we’ve talked about for years now because we’re free.
Though it was a painful process at times, the sacrifice has been worth it.
What is the Lord prompting you to do? Is there something you’ve been having a hard time giving up or doing because you’re afraid of the sacrifice you’re going to have to make? You can trust that the Lord is going to be with you every step of the way. He’s got good plans for you. The process might not be easy, but the rewards will be worth it.
I challenge you to walk by faith into the unknowns and see what the Lord will do. I look forward to rejoicing with you when you experience those moments of blessing and closeness God will have with you for your obedience.
Do you already have a story to share of God growing your faith? I’d love to hear about it and, if you’re wiling, sharing it here on the blog or our podcast. Send me an email at [email protected].