Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Faith-Shaped by the Word and Experience

Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself of what you already know. I've had some difficult weeks where it is tempting to just withdraw from people and worship God on your own. Anybody ever have those same feelings?

However, I know God values His people greatly. "He chose one man of faith, Abraham, and created God's people from him." I believe He expects all faith-walkers to live in faith TOGETHER.

Today, I'm recalling a post written a year ago about Abraham and faith. It reminds me faith grows by the Word and by past experiences. I'm renewing a call to be in the Word and to remember His faithfulness.

Care to join me?


Something that has impacted me greatly was a simple question asked by a dear old saint leading a bible study one time:

"What do you think is the one quality God values in us above all others?"

Several people offered answers that basically boiled down to loving God and loving others.

He agreed love was important but he said, 

"Faith is what God's looking for. He chose one man of faith, Abraham, and created God's people from him."

The bible tells us in three different places that Abraham believed and God counted it as righteousness - which means right standing with God. Because of his faith, Abraham also earned the title of "Friend of God."

I don't know about you, but I think it would be awesome to be a BFF of God!

Let's talk about what faith is. Here are two scriptures I think is key:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 ESV
If we could see what we were hoping for, then we really aren't using our faith.

Of course, the most important thing to have faith in is the fact God exists!

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 ESV

The bible tells us each has a measure of faith. It also tells us we can pray for increased faith.

Let's talk about how faith can be increased.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

I've found in my own life that two things shapes my faith - the Word and experience. 

The more I'm in the Word, the more I hear the Word preached, the more my spirit grows into a woman of faith. When I hear the truth about God's love for me, His attributes and characteristics, my faith grows believing He is who He says He is, and I am who He says I am. I won't know those things if I'm not in the Word, though!

The second thing that shapes my faith is my experiences in life that prove to me God is always there with me. When you've walked through the valleys of mental illness in the family, infertility, job loss, natural disasters and come through on the other side, you can testify to God's presence and deliverance.

I can never be persuaded that God does not care, because my experiences tell me He does.

I invite you to study His Word. Seek Him with your whole heart. He promises to be found by you when you do. If you do these things, I guarantee your faith will grow.

I'm linking this post with the community at #TellHisStory.


Linda Stoll said...

For sure, the more we're in The Word, the more we have the opportunity to soak up all God's love and instruction.

Our lives are changed, transformed.

Yes, yes.

Bethany McIlrath said...

Amen, Jerralea! His Word is truth- and we accept it by faith and find He proves it true! I don't remember the exact quote, but I was once read that you can argue with logic, theory, and all, but you can't argue with what God has done in you!

ellen b. said...

Absolutely! We have to stay in the truth for growth and encouragement. God bless you Jerrelea!