Do you ever struggle with having enough faith? It can be tough to tell your friends about Jesus when you are going through a rough patch yourself and you don't feel like your faith is strong enough. Well, sometimes those rough patches are exactly what we need to go through in order to grow our faith to handle the next step on our spiritual path.
I recommend reading Acts chapter 28 along with this short study. (quick tip: click on the Bible verse references in blue to access YouVersion bible and read along from your screen)
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“But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.”
Time and time again Paul evaded death by the mercy of God but that doesn't mean he didn't suffer. His heart for spreading the gospel outweighed the obstacles he faced. Even as he was being sent to his eventual death, he was being used for ministry many times over. No matter what he came up against, he pursued faith and followed the path God had set for him. Not every situation was a pleasant one, but still he walked the path of righteousness.
A walk such as this takes an abundance of faith, but where does this unshakable faith come from? Just a thought here, I'm willing to stand on the idea that it comes from suffering those trials and tribulations, each one in turn growing his faith enough to face the next one. Now, hear me out. Romans 5:3 tells us that we should glory in tribulations because they produce perseverance, through perseverance we gain character, and thought character we gain hope. All this we got by first having Faith that we are saved through the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
There it is....Faith! We already have it. All we have to do is build on it and continue to live by it. No, it won't always be easy. Sometimes having faith is the hardest thing we have to do, but oh, what a prize to be striving for. Abraham was made a father of many nations as a result of his faith. Peter walked on water. I"m not saying to look for something amazing to happen to you, but having faith in Jesus is an amazing experience all in itself.
“Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.”
God always prepared a way for Paul to continue preaching, whether in the streets, on a ship, an island, or in prison. No matter what your circumstances are, God has a calling for you as well. It may be training up your children to follow Him, or sharing His love with your neighbors, coworkers or spouse. Maybe you have a social media following or simply a lot of friends you can share with.
Having faith is more than hoping for good things in this life, its also following our Lord when we are weary, suffering, and downtrodden. No matter what we are personally going through, we can still share His love with others in our actions and speech. We can still be a light in the darkness by trusting that He is with us even when we don't necessarily feel it.
Faith is stepping out on a limb when you don't see how it can hold you, but you trust that it will anyway. Be strong my fellow believers and glean your strength from the Lord. Only He can fill up your life with purpose and hope.
“So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’ “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.”
Not every message we share with the world will be received with a light heart or taken in with a friendly response, but our task is to share the word of God no matter what our personal circumstances may be. God will always provide you a place and a way to minister and your faith will grow as you see Him working in your life. Hold on to that faith in the hard times and watch Him change you from the inside out.
Have a blessed day little sparrows