Focus: Building your faith
Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
During times of discouragement, depression, and dependency—the strongest weapon you can use to keep fighting and win the battle–is your faith. The only problem is, when you are in this weakened condition, your faith level may be at an all time low. Another obstacle you face is getting up the energy to do anything about it.
There is a way to get more faith–if you need more. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Some people might recognize that verse and think—“Yeah, I know that. I believe the Bible and I’ve known what it says all my life.”
Well, I’d like to give you a couple of illustrations to consider. Think about a canary who sings a beautiful song that is sweet and melodic. All its life this canary has been surrounded by other cute little canaries and they have always sung the same beautiful song. They are so happy singing together. But, one day somebody takes that darling little bird and puts it in a cage next to a noisy old crow. The canary is literally out of its element. There aren’t any canaries around anymore—just the noisy old crow. Does the crow start to sing like a canary? No. Over time, the beautiful little voice the canary has always had changes. The canary goes from singing beautiful songs like canaries sing–to cawing just like a crow. It forgets its native tongue. It still knows how to sing, but until it gets back in good company, it will keep cawing like a crow.
Before we move on to the next illustration, let’s take a moment and think about what you are exposing yourself to on a daily basis. What kind of balance is there in what you ‘hear’ throughout your day? Are you hearing things that agree with the Word of God? Do the things you are seeing and letting into your brain remind you of the promises of your faithful heavenly Father—or are you spending more time taking in negative thoughts and worldly messages? If you’re spending hours a day in the world watching and listening to ‘the crows’, pretty soon you won’t be much different than they are.
Another illustration I’d like you to think about is this: Suppose you suddenly became extremely dizzy and weren’t able to get enough air to breathe? What if you were only able to inhale and exhale a tiny amount and you felt like you were going to pass out? Let’s say that an ambulance came to your rescue. The paramedics arrived with everything you needed to survive. They quickly assessed your crisis. Your need for oxygen and fluids was critical. They told you they would be able to help you by setting you up with an oxygen mask and then taking you to the hospital where you would be able to get your bodily fluids out of the danger zone and back up where they needed to be with an IV. They told you if you didn’t get to the hospital you’d be at high risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death.
After hearing their analysis—you say, “Oh, I’ve had oxygen before and I’ve also had an IV. I know what they do.” The paramedics persist—eager to do what they came for—save your life. They can give you the help you need—but you have to give them permission. You are gasping for breath and are close to unconsciousness, but you just repeat, “I know all about that.” Knowing all about it isn’t the point, is it? You can have a whole refrigerator full of wonderful food. If you don’t eat the food, you will starve. You can know the Bible is full of life, health, and answers to your problems—but, if you don’t read it or listen to it and allow it to feed your spirit–your spirit will starve, too.
Your faith is like a muscle. You need to use it so you don’t lose it. You get stronger faith by dwelling in the Word of God. If you are at a desperate point in your life—sometimes considering suicide as an alternative—you need to get the Word of God into your heart and mind. You need to ‘hear it’ and be reminded of the life, health, and answers it has for you.
Declaration: I will find new strength by making a serious effort to ‘hear’ the Word of God. I will not continue to be complacent about my need of hearing the Word. As I hear the Word, my faith will return.
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