Take a walk with me through what many have called “the great hall of faith”—Hebrews chapter 11. The men and women listed in this chapter are people whose lives were pivot points in Bible history.
Notice the portraits lining the walls in this hall of faith. Here we find Abel, whose faith to obey God’s command for a blood sacrifice singled him out as the first martyr. Here is Enoch—a man who by faith, walked with God so closely that he was privileged to skip death. Here is Noah, whose faith changed the entire course of human history.
We move on and see Abraham and Sarah, the father and mother of God’s chosen people. The landscape of the Old Testament was shaped through the faith of this couple. Then there are Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph—three more great heroes in Scripture. Further on we see Moses, Rahab, Gideon, David, Samuel, and others—all people we recognize and admire.
All who are portrayed in this chapter lived lives of great significance, not because they were powerful people who could control others and manipulate their circumstances, but because of their extreme faith in God. Most of them were ridiculed, misunderstood, and knew what it was to suffer defeat. Most of them started as insignificant and would have been labeled as very unlikely to succeed. They just didn’t have what we think people need to favorably shape their destinies.
So how did they do it? The key is faith. These people lived and walked by faith. A life of godly significance is always a life of faith. And this faith is developed one day at a time.
Exercise Your Faith to See it Grow
Perhaps you’ve heard the statement, “Faith is not a pill you take; it is a muscle you use.” As we exercise our faith, it grows.
True faith moves beyond belief to action. Faith is not simply a feeling, but rather a choice to obey God and trust that He will come through.
I’ve been privileged to closely observe a man of great faith—my husband. In the forty-two years of our marriage, I’ve watched him over and over seek God’s vision for our family and our ministry and then by faith move forward into humanly impossible undertakings. And every time, I’ve seen God honor his faith.
I know that my faith often isn’t great. Sometimes when I see the great faith of others, I question if my faith is too small for God to even bless. Matthew 17:20 gives a promise that I have learned to love and claim: “. . . verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
The very essence of faith is remembering our great God and trusting Him to do what we cannot. When we place our focus on how little our faith is, we forget to focus on how great our God is. Furthermore, if we wait to use our faith until it is great, we will never do anything by faith. Faith grows through use.
Nurture Your Faith by Walking with God
From our earliest years we’ve learned to be cautious of trusting those we don’t know. We drill this into our children as soon as they are old enough to walk and wander away from us in public places. Many times this caution explains why we struggle to trust the Lord. We simply don’t know Him.
Notice in Psalm 9:10 that the people who trust God are the people who know God: “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” We may know in our head that God is absolutely and completely trustworthy, but until we grow in our relationship with Him, we will struggle to trust Him.
Faith doesn’t come just because we want it. Faith comes as we read God’s Word and discover who God is. As we grow in our knowledge of Him, we learn that He can be trusted. Romans 10:17 explains, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Additionally, there’s nothing like seeing God answer prayer to increase your faith. I’ve found over the years that keeping a prayer journal provides a written record of God’s answers and becomes a great faith-booster. I simply record the date I begin praying for a particular request. Then, when God answers, I record that date and a brief description of how He answered.
Build Your Faith by Claiming God’s Promises
When you are faced with overwhelming circumstances, open God’s Word and remember the unchanging promises of God.
There are two important keys to claiming God’s promises.
First, we must know God’s promises. For many women, the promises of God mean nothing—simply because they don’t know them. As you read your Bible, begin marking the promises that speak to you. Write them down in a journal. Memorize them. Make them accessible for easy reference when you need to claim them.
Second, we must use God’s promises. Like a check that is only valuable when cashed, God’s promises do not help us unless we trust them.
Trust God One Day at a Time
Walking by faith is a daily journey. As A.W. Tozer said, “Faith is not [just] a conclusion you reach; it is a journey you live.”
God calls us to a continuing journey of faith as we grow in our relationship with Him. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that the diligent exercise of faith is key to our growth in the Lord: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God desires to reward your life as you pursue Him in faith one day at a time.