God Helps Us Have Faith
Driving the other day, I pulled up behind a car with a license plate that read, “Feith.” And next to it the words, “In God We Trust.” I felt the Holy Spirit keep my attention on this.
“Feith” is an old English spelling of the word “faith.” Later I looked up its meaning. The definition of “feith,” in a Scottish-Gaelic dictionary, was “await, expect, stay, remain.”
When I saw this, I thought again of “feith” being right next to the words, “In God We Trust.” I felt God lovingly remind me that our faith, our trust, needs to be solely in Him and not in our own capacity to believe. Sometimes, we can mistakenly feel that faith is something we must work up, that it’s all on us. “I need to think right, feel right, work up a powerful attitude on my own.”
I felt God say, “Instead of looking to yourself, hold onto my record of faithfulness. Remember who I am. Remember what I have done. Watch what I am about to do.” When we’re trying, perhaps struggling to have more faith, to trust God, here are three thoughts that I think will encourage you and I hope will stir your hope:
1. Deeper Faith Comes From Thinking About God’s Heart and Character
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 NIV
“He who promised is faithful.”
God is underlining such a precious truth. By reading scripture, we see what God has done through history with people who try to follow Him. He has been faithful. Again and again.
And all of us have a personal history too. What has God done in your past? What has He brought you through? Remember those times. Keep bringing them to mind and giving thanks for them.
In this season, I believe we are becoming so ripe for new forms of revival. God is waking us up. He is helping so many to move forward. He is changing lives in radical and good ways. We must receive again the idea that faith is staying in confidence in Him. Faith is not a character trait of ours because we can “wobble” in it. Instead, faith is remaining relentlessly sure that the One we trust in is good. His heart and ways are unfailingly good. We waver. He does not. We must keep our attention on His Heart.
2. Deeper Faith Comes By Ignoring Lies
Close the door on any whisper that says, “What you’re hoping for is not coming…it’s been too long…it’s too impossible…He’s forgotten you.”
That can sound hard. How do you turn off those lies that nibble at your peace and at your trust in God? Filling your mind with scriptural truth is one of the best ways to shut off this negative stream. Read the promises of God. Read the stories of Jesus. Read about the Holy Spirit’s ministry in this age. Write the words in a journal. Memorize those that touch you the most. This “sword of the Spirit” cuts down the whispering lies and doubts. You get set free and can feel light as a feather.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Be glad for those who may seem “ahead of you,” especially if you are feeling stuck. Praise for others and joy for them sets you up to receive your breakthroughs too. Happiness for others opens doors for you. But do it because it is right to do. Keep your heart aligned with your Father’s.
3. Deeper Faith Comes by Waiting on God to Act
The Lord wants us to know that if ever there was a time to stay in watchful expectation, with our eyes fixed on Him, it is now. He is working and His breaking through is so near.
I believe He is reminding us that the way His words come to pass in our lives is by our remaining confident in His heart. As the definition of that old English word feith suggests, we must “await” Him to act. We must “expect” only goodness from Him. We must “stay” positioned in this trust in Him alone. We must “remain” confident that we will see His promises and that what we have heard from Him will come to pass.
Hebrews 11:1 in the ISV Bible says it this way:
“Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.”
Of course, we must do our part, live our lives, do the things that are within our power to do. But those things that are beyond us, that only God can do, look for Him to do.
Deeper Faith Comes from God-Consciousness, Not Self-Consciousness
I felt joy rise up in seeing the license plate and thinking about its message. (God is always speaking, isn’t He? And sometimes through the strangest things.) I felt His reassurance that we will “see His goodness in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13 NIV)
And I sensed this word, “Take heart!” Keep your hopes up!”
But the way to do it is to keep our eyes fixed on His character, not on our emotions, not on circumstances, and not on our own ability to stay steady.
“His steadfast love endures forever,” is repeated again and again in Psalm 136. He says, “Trust Me!”