My faith looks up to thee,
Thou lamb of calvary,
Saviour divine; now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
Oh, let me from this day,
Be wholly thine.
We cannot forget that faith is one of the most central parts of our relationship with God. Times to make our faith waiver will come, difficult times to test of faith, to try us but the more we live and stand in faith, the better we are able to make our way in this world we live in and trust God’s ultimate plan for us.
WHAT IS FAITH?
Faith like many other words is one that is commonly used but not always understood. Faith, in its raw state which was derived from Latin – fides and from French – feid, means confidence or trust in a person, thing or concept. Biblically, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”: Hebrews 11:1
Faith is much more than confidence in the divine offers of eternal life or just believing the promises of Jesus Christ or accepting facts about Him. Faith is the person of Jesus Christ, believing in Jesus, therefore receiving Him for all that He is (John 1:12). It means confessing Him as Saviour and totally yielding to Him as Lord; having the strong conviction that the world around us is part of a greater plan, God’s plan
When believers profess their faith in God, it means they are openly declaring their faith journey with Christ. So why then do people, Christians, believers stop believing or declaring their faith journey?
- One cause can be your insatiability from the teachings of the Word of God.
- Another is when faith competes with other priorities in our hearts.
- For others, it can be as a result of the cares of life (disappointments, wounds etc) weigh them down completely that they give up their faith.
“When life squeezes you, what comes out of you is what you have inside”- Pst Lawrence Onochie. Working with God is by faith.
Certain actions or thoughts can show when one is losing faith in God. What are the signs that on is losing faith?
- Dying prayer and study life: When one stops believing in the role of the Bible, Prayer, The Trinity, in fulfilling spiritual needs, one’s faith in God begins or can begin to waiver; Inconsistency in spiritual strengthening activities decline. Our souls need care too, otherwise, faith can’t take root, and then just anything will be able to steal it away from our hearts. Many misplace their faith in God by placing it elsewhere, forgotten where and when needed, begin to search everywhere. Look at it like your keys. Instead of dropping or hanging your keys at the normal place you do, you drop it somewhere else, forget where you did and when it is needed, you begin to look for it in various places. Therefore, one must be decisive in constant daily work to grow.
- Entertaining possibilities of various overwhelming and unanswered questions: When one begins to feel there is an unnerving intellectual incoherence or lack of clarity in the Christian faith. Questions like “Is hell really eternal?”,”Is there a place like heaven?”, “Why does the scripture contradict each other?”…The crisis of faith begins. This gives room for increased doubt and blasphemy.
- Increasingly give way to doubts: Doubts can start small. It can start with, questions like Is there any point in praying?”, Does God care?”, “Why did God allow these happen?” Then, “is God even real?” Doubts are like weeds, they grow when unattended to. Confess your doubts to God; He is well able to forgive.
- Blasphemy: Here, one begins to speak against the same faith that was dearly uphold formerly.
- Conforming to worldly standards: Anything that is not of God, is of the world. When one agrees with the world and walk in its ways, then he/she must watch it, as that is a sign of drifting faith. You no longer feel guilt when committing sins. You become tolerant and immune to sin!!! One who is on the right standing with God doesn’t do that.
- Engaging in immoralities without guilt: Just like the point above, you know you’re drifting from faith when your heart if hardened when sin is committed. No remorse after such act. Check out what happened to the people Rome in Romans 1:28.
- Dying prayer and study life
- Entertaining possibilities of various overwhelming and unanswered questions
- Increasingly give way to doubts
- Conforming to worldly standards
- Engaging in immoralities without guilt
Faith is likened to love. The heart may grow cold due to ignorance, misunderstandings… You need to recover your faith.
Courage is not the complete absence of fear. Faith is not the complete absence of doubts. Faith is trusting even in the presence of doubt- even when we don’t understand. In fact, some kind of spiritual crisis occurs for our faith to be made real. Such times can be used to call us to a deeper relationship with God.
How can one stay in faith?
- Develop a strong discipline of staying in prayer and the word of God
- Study the Bible and meditate on it. Joshua 1:8, 2 Timothy 2:15
- Be planted in a local church and surround yourself with strong believers who will hold you accountable. Hebrews 10:24-25
- Let the knowledge of God’s word be balanced with regular personal experiences with Jesus.