Thankful Thursday ~ Growing my Faith
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I sit here this morning with a cup of tea and a grateful heart. My faith has been challenged and through this there has been a period of growing my faith.
I had a rough couple of days this week. A few days that were full of fears, tears, insecurities and unresolved hurt. The pain inside my heart was overwhelming and I felt isolated and alone. I had to fight the negative thoughts and messages that rolled through my brain several times a day — ok — sometimes several times a minute. Have you ever had a day (or days) that were emotionally overwhelming? Has there been moments that you thought you were going to break in two because the hurt and the pain were so intense? Did it ever feel like it was never going to end and that there was no solution?
It is during these moments of intense feelings of hurt, anger, frustration and despair that I am reminded of my faith. I am so grateful for my faith as it has helped me through so many moments of darkness in my life. In fact, I often wonder how people get through the trials and struggles of life without it. I am aware that people define faith in various ways. My faith can be explained simply — it’s my relationship with Jesus Christ. I know that some people have strong feelings about this in one way or another and I am not really here to debate. It’s not about religion to me or lack of religion — it’s simply all about relationship.
My relationship with God is what nurtures my faith. The more time I spend with a Him in prayer and in a His word the greater my faith becomes.
In order for my faith to grow and to not wither away and die, I need to be active in cultivating it and in taking care of it once it is cultivated.
Growing My Faith
I have learned that I am responsible for my own faith. It can not be given to me by others and it can not be purchased at one of the big box stores that sell everything. It’s not a thing Costco carries and it’s not at the local bar and grill. Faith is like a seed that is planted in the ground in the spring time. For me it started when I searched for purpose in my life and after many trials and errors and dead end roads I finally found it. It was tiny but to me it was the biggest thing in the world.
Once I found the little seed, I became responsible for protecting that seed and for nurturing it to grow. When we plant a seed in the ground at springtime we don’t just dig a hole in the dirt, drop the seed, cover and walk away. We don’t expect it to grow into something without any care and maintenance. That seed needs attention. It needs watering and sunshine. Once it starts growing it may need weeding and fertilizing. It may also need some pruning. My faith needs all those things too.
1. My faith requires watering. I water my faith by reading God’s Word and by listening to teachers that teach me His Word. It is food for my soul and without food it will start to wither away.
2. My faith requires “Sonshine”. It needs time spent with the Lord. It is during this time that my faith starts to really grow and take shape. Spending time with the Lord is sitting in His presence. Sometimes it’s just sitting quietly with Him and sometimes it’s communicating with Him through prayer.
3. Often my faith requires some weeding. This isn’t always pleasant as it means that I may get dirty. It involves a close look at my life and searching for the areas that are getting in the way of the victorious life that God desires for me. This involves getting rid of bitterness and resentments. It may mean looking at the habits that are interfering with my wellbeing. Sometimes it involves letting go of things that at one time gave me comfort and security only to realize that it was robbing me of peace and contentment. Often it means choosing to forgive whether it be towards others, myself or even (gasp) God.
4. Much like weeding my faith will have times when it needs some pruning. This can be painful and uncomfortable, however if I hang on He will help me through it and in the end I will be much better off. God prunes me through conviction, that small voice that leads, guides and corrects me. I often refer to it as my God conscience. Sometimes the pruning occurs through circumstances and how I respond to them. This is the time when God is helping me walk In the fruits of the Spirit. He challenges me to see which fruit I need to work on – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self control. Finally, He prunes me by leading me to step out of my comfort zone in service of others.
5. My faith requires that it needs to be fertilized. We give plants fertilizer to give it more nutrients for optimal growth. There are various ways that I can fertilize my faith so that it will have the ability to mature into optimal growth. Once again it requires action on my part. These ways include the following:
~ attend church and worship services
~ be mindful of what I am watching on television, at the movie theatre and listening to on the radio
~ watch podcasts online
~ do self bible study
~ be mindful of books I read and music I listen to
~ attend conferences
~ get involved with a small group in my church
~ fellowship with others of the same faith and build relationships
WHAT IS GODS WORD SAYING TO ME TODAY?
~ “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]”. ~ John 15:1-2 amp
~ “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us], is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law”. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 amp
~ “For we live by faith, not by sight”. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 amp
Today I am thankful for the growing of my faith. I would be lying if I said this process is easy, because it isn’t. That said, the rewards are amazing and worth every ounce of effort and every feeling of being uncomfortable. I wish I could tell you that you only have to go through the process once in your life. The truth is that in order to grow in your faith and blossom, it is an ongoing process. Today I choose to continue to take action towards growing in my faith. Like the seed that is planted in the ground to produce a beautiful flower, may God take my faith seed, and as I nurture it, may I also continue to blossom into a beautiful woman.
My hope is that you will take action with your seed. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, all that matters is a desire for it to grow and a wee bit of courage to take action to nourish it. May you blossom into the beautiful woman that God has designed you to be. I am cheering you on.
What are you thankful for today? Drop me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Be blessed 💞💞💞