Faith in God is an amazing gift. It starts the moment your heart says: I believe Jesus is God's Son and that He came to rescue me. That alone is an incredible truth. But I wonder how many Christians decide that's where their faith ends, when the truth is, there's so much more to believe for in this life!
One of the reasons I think this happens is because many Christians feel they don't measure up to what they think they should be. They get stuck focusing on their weaknesses and mistakes, rather than focusing on who God is and what He's doing in and around them.
John 3:17 (AMP) tells us, "God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him."
Jesus is not only your Saviour; He's your advocate. And He wants you to start believing God for much more than a trip to heaven.
FAITH IS THE ANSWER TO EVERY PROBLEM YOU FACE
The Bible says the just shall live by faith (Hebrews 10:38). In other words, faith is an attitude that can become your way of life - and there is no better way I can think of to live.
Faith replaces fear and worry with peace and joy. It purifies the heart, fills us with the Holy Spirit, brings blessing and hope, receives provision, produces all kinds of positive results, and quenches all the fiery darts of the enemy.
The Bible says that faith is a shield (Ephesians 6:16). So when the enemy starts to fire off darts of fear and insecurity, you can get behind your shield of faith and keep going forward with God.
But here's the thing: A shield won't do you any good unless it's lifted up. You need to raise up your shield by praying, saying, and doing things that line up with God's Word.
Second Peter 1:5 (AMP) says to "employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy)."
If you will exercise your faith to become more like Christ Himself, the way you think will change. The things you say will change. You will begin to live with greater love and compassion. And it will become very natural for you to encourage others in their faith.
I encourage you to put your faith into action in a practical way. Make a habit of getting up in the morning and thanking God for what He's done in your life. Praise Him for what He's going to do. Release your faith for what you know you need in Him that day. And ask Him to prepare you for whatever challenges may come your way.
FAITH BECOMES A PART OF WHO YOU ARE
Something I've learned over the years is that you cannot change yourself. It's spending time with God that transforms you.
One of the things the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian church was that the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself in their inner being and personality - that they would see who God had created them to be through Christ.
Ephesians 3:16-17 (AMP) says, "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love."
I believe this is also God's prayer for you and me.
He wants us to be firmly rooted in the love of Christ so we can stand in authority over our enemy. And He wants us to be so stirred up in His love that we can't help but share it with others. I believe if every Christian were doing this today, it wouldn't take a lot of time for the entire world to hear and believe the good news of the Gospel.
FAITH LEAVES A FOOTPRINT FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW
Ultimately, it's not the things we do but our faith that pleases God. He wants us to have faith for incredible things. And when look to the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, we see how God was able to work in their lives because they believed. And they never stopped believing God for something greater than before (Hebrews 11:13)! The Bible says that they were sustained and controlled by their faith. And their faith still inspires us today.
Noah prepared an ark to save his family. It took him 100 years to build and he was made fun of every single day because where he lived, there was no rain. But he stuck with God's plan. The Bible says that by faith Noah "became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith" (Hebrews 11:7 NIV).
By faith, Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, with the hope that God might raise him from the dead (vv. 17-19).
Rahab was a prostitute but she chose to believe that God could use her in a mighty way. And because of her faith, she and her family were saved (v. 31).
What will be your great story of faith?
First John 5:4 (AMP) says, "For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith."
Decide today that, with God, the impossible is possible. Amazing things can happen when you choose to believe. So be bold in asking God to reveal what His promises mean for you, and never stop believing for more than what He's already accomplished in your life.
God created each of us for a specific time, with a specific plan and purpose for our lives... and He wants to make you a real life hero of faith.
For more on this and other topics visit www.joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living Courageously (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.