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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

God Grows Faith in Six Phases

In review of Mark 9:23b it says, “Everything is possible for the person who has faith.”

Bottom Line:
Anything is possible if you have faith

What this means to me
Anything is possible if I believe and demonstrate faith.

Matthew 9:29 states, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (NIV). What I’m learning is that this statement is the key to the great adventure of following Jesus. God tells me that, “I get to choose how much He’ll bless my life. I believe, and He’ll do it. I believe, and He’ll bless it.”

I’ve often heard and believe that faith is like much like a muscle. As such it can be strengthened or it can grow weak, depending on how much I use it. What I’m also learning is that God uses a very predictable process to build faith in my life. As long as I understand this process, I can cooperate with and obtain value from it.

First, God gives me a dream for my life. Secondly, I need to make a decision about it. The third stage is delay, where I learn to wait for God to work in his time. The next stage is difficulty, where God will test me. Then, I might reach a dead end, which will make me want to give up. But, in the end, God always brings me to deliverance, the final stage of his six phases of faith.

Often we ask “Why is this happening? or I don’t understand it.” I can see that if I don’t have a handle on understanding God’s six phases of faith he uses to build character, it's easy to get discouraged, resentful, depressed, concerned and fearful about the future. In addition, If you don’t understand God’s process it’s difficult to co-operate with him.

However in understanding the six phases of faith, I can say, “Oh, I’m in stage 4 right now” or stage six or stage two. The better I understand what God’s doing, I can hang in there when times get  tough expecting the next phase will come.

Today’s verse in Mark 9:23 it says, “Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (GNT).

In order for me to have a stronger faith as I go on this great adventure with God, I’ll really need to have a grasp on the six phases of faith that God takes me through so that I won’t get discouraged when I don’t see results or answers right away.

In retrospect I think we learn better when we experience things first hand, which is part of God faith building process. If everything came to me right away, I think I might take things for granted and expect it to always be quick and effortless. What I have come to believe is that God is more interested in building my character than he is in my comfort.

I think that today I’m in between stage three (delay) and stage four (difficulty). I just need to have faith and do what I know I need to do today while I wait for his next steps of direction. I am also having some difficulties with my health (conditions that had been in remission for a year are starting to return.)  These health issues affect how I feel, but I just need to have faith that God will work things out and I’ll be able to get in with a specialist and restart treatments soon.  Meanwhile, I need to keep pressing on, knowing that this is just likely a temporary thing and God will work through this process.