Faith perseveres to the end. It takes “the stand of faith,” and it is not an effortless one. After you know something is God’s will, you know His Word grants you the authority for it, and you can claim His promises and take a stand of faith.
Winds and rain and storms of adverse circumstances may come and push you away from the spot you were standing on for a moment. Circumstances and conditions may make it seem as if your stand is impossible, that you should give up‚ or settle for less than the best, or compromise just a little. But if you have faith and know and trust His will and His Word, you will reclaim and resume your stand of faith, being fully assured that what He has promised, He is able to perform. (Romans 4:21)
You will be like Job, who, even though he lost wealth and health and family, was still able to say, “Though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him!” (Job 13:15) You will be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego‚ who, even though they were about to be tossed into the furnace, said, “Our God in whom we trust is able to deliver us. But if He doesn’t, we’ll trust Him anyway!” (Daniel 3:17–18) You will be like Abraham, who staggered not at His promises through unbelief, but trusted that He would raise him up a child, even though he was as good as dead‚ and that God would raise that child from the dead if need be. (Romans 4:16–21; Hebrews 11:17–19)
You will be like Martha, who continued to believe in spite of Lazarus dying and being in the grave for four days. (John 11:21–22) You will be like Paul on his voyage to Rome, trusting in Jesus’s words to him and His deliverance, even though the storm had raged around him for days. (Acts 27:22–25) You will be like Joshua, who was willing to merely march his men around Jericho for a week, trusting God to do the miracle of bringing down the walls. (Joshua 6) This is the stand of faith.
To have faith, make sure that something is God’s will, that His Word grants you the power for it, that you are striving to live in obedience to His Word, that you are willing to persevere to the end, and take the stand of faith—despite the sight of your eyes, the reasoning of your mind, or the conditions and circumstances. Then, having done all this‚ stand. (Ephesians 6:13) If you are moved by adverse circumstances, determine to go back and resume your stand. If you do, you will eventually see the answer to your prayers and the good fruit of your faith. You’ll join God’s other servants who exercised their faith and stood on their faith in His hall of fame in Hebrews 11 (the faithful ones) those who were full of faith. Read it often to encourage your faith, and claim its promises and the other promises God has given you through His Word.
These men and women of old were men and women just like you—men and women full of faults and failings‚ with like passions, like sins, like shortcomings. But they made the decision to trust God and to have faith. Sometimes their stand of faith went against every evidence of their senses or every voice of their friends and family but they stood anyway‚ they trusted anyway, and they received the promise. They took the stand of faith, determined to please God and determined to believe His Word—and they were rewarded for their faith. According to your faith be it done to you. (Matthew 9:29) Those of great faith will receive great answers.
Remember‚ faith is the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) That means that when you have faith, that faith is the proof that an answer is on its way. Like a detective on a case‚ each bit of evidence is a clue leading him to the final answer of the mystery. Your active daily faith is the evidence that will lead you to God’s response to your every need.
The faith workout
The greatest increase to your faith comes through the Word. Faith is built through your intake of God’s Word. As you learn to drink it in and absorb it, making it a part of your life, the Word will enlarge your faith.
Learning to set aside the time to spend with Jesus and being faithful to take that time regularly is the most basic step in your faith-strengthening program. That aspect of your faith-building program is akin to signing up for a workout program and then showing up each day at the gym. But really getting a good workout goes beyond just showing up; you have to actually follow the workout regimen if you expect to see results. You have to be committed to lift weights to increase your strength, to do something to get your heart pumping in order to feel the benefits of a cardiovascular workout. Often it means pushing yourself a little more than you feel you’re capable of, which will gradually increase your strength and stamina.
The same can be applied to your faith. Just reading the Word will benefit you to a degree, but in order to get the full spiritual workout that you need that will increase your faith muscles, it takes focusing‚ studying it, and putting your energies toward finding that truth that Jesus want’s to speak to you about for the day.
The Word is the basis of faith enhancement, and when you find that your faith is running low or just doesn’t seem to be as strong or progressively growing as it should be, that’s a good place to start for a faith workout program.
Living in faith
Faith is more than just an action; faith is a way of living, the reason you live, and the substance within you that compels you to live for God. Faith is the substance. Faith is the evidence of things not yet seen. (Hebrews 11:1, 6.)
Living in faith is actively living the Words of Jesus. The more you fight to live by the standards in His Word, the more your faith is strengthened. Then as you pass those daily tests of faith, your ability to depend on your faith grows‚ so that when greater tests or needs arise, you will be able to meet those with a stronger stand of faith.
That’s how you will be ready to take on the tests and challenges of the future—by living in faith today.
An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers. One day a passenger noticed that the good old man had carved on one oar the word “Faith” and on the other oar the word “Works.” Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this. The old man, being a well-balanced Christian and glad of the opportunity for testimony, said, “I will show you.”
So saying, he dropped one oar and plied the other called “Works‚” and they just went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to ply the oar called “Faith,” and the little boat just went around in circles again—this time the other way around‚ but still in a circle.
After this demonstration the old man picked up “Faith” and “Works,” and plying both oars together, sped swiftly over the water, explaining to his inquiring passenger, “You see, that is the way it is in the Christian life. Dead works without faith are useless, and ‘faith without works is dead’ also, getting you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing.”
—Paul Lee Tan