How Faith Found Me- And Why I Share It
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17 (ESV)
I believe faith found me. More specifically, God brought me to Him. And because this is true, I can’t help but share what I know with others. It’s a gift that I can’t keep to myself.
I was a kid who grew up in church and faith in God has long been a part of my life. Christianity was the faith of my parents, and as a young child, I would have said it was mine, too. But mostly, I was going through the motions. I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. I didn’t understand what that even meant.
I heard the Word of God, though, over and over- from my parents, from my Sunday School teachers, and from other people who loved me and invested in my life. Does the fact that in my early years, when I lacked a personal relationship with God, mean their efforts were wasted? Not at all. I just wasn’t ready yet.
Faith comes by hearing: sometimes for a long while.
In my teen years, I was no longer content to accept anything, belief in God included, based upon what I was told to think. I had to figure it out for myself and make it personal. I started asking the hard questions- and by the grace of God, I found the answers I was looking for.
It took a few years. The turning point, for me, in coming to faith in God, was during my sophomore year of college. I was married already and living in Moscow, Idaho. That is when my beliefs went from head knowledge to heart knowledge.
I went to a church where the Word of God was preached, and I was surrounded by friends who weren’t too shy to talk about God and what the Bible said. Eventually, I started searching the Scriptures for myself.
My faith became personal by the grace of God.
I know that it wasn’t anything I did which brought me to God. It was the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart that brought me to faith. However, God used people who were willing to speak up and tell me what God’s Word said. They were instruments of his grace. I want to be used like that, too.
What exactly does this faith in God entail? Simply put, there is a God, made of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible is God’s Word. It’s true and is written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. There is only one true God and one way to right relationship with him- through his son, Jesus.
I couldn’t force myself to believe- not through my own willpower. Faith is a gift- not something that comes through a “try hard” attitude. My desire to find out the answers to the hard questions, and my eventual desire to draw closer to Jesus, in a personal relationship, was a gift. Sometimes a person needs to hear the truths of God’s Word over and over again before it “clicks” and makes sense. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes that happen. It’s never forced upon us. The Holy Spirit speaks to hearts that are open and sincere in seeking God.
“Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says, “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.” -1 Corinthians 12:3 (ESV)
Faith leaves no room for boasting. We are given free will in choosing to follow Jesus, but at the same time, even that ability to choose faith is grace.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
I am sure of whom I place my trust in because of faith. And that faith continues to grow, through the continued hearing of God’s Word and through the work of the Holy Spirit.
“We must do more than possess faith intellectually- we must own it in our hearts. Faith is not something to be reasoned from afar, but something we throw ourselves into- heart, mind, and soul.” -Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart
I want to trust God with all of my heart, mind, and soul. Is that what you want, too? Continue going to the Word of God and continue to seek God in prayer. Or maybe you’re praying for a loved one to come to faith in God? Don’t give up on praying for that person and don’t be shy in speaking the truth of God’s Word in love.
Never give up!
I have doubts sometimes and my faith wavers. Maybe you do to? That’s okay. Sometimes I pray the same prayer that a father said to Jesus long ago.
There’s a story in Mark chapter 9, starting around verse 17, about a time when a father brought his son to Jesus to be healed. The boy was mute and deaf, and had been having convulsions since childhood, so bad that he had often been thrown into the fire or water. It was a heartbreaking and dangerous situation. The father went to Jesus then said,
“…’But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’
‘If you can’?” said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:22-24
Then Jesus healed the boy. I love this story, because it’s an example not only of the healing power of Jesus, but it shows that Jesus knows and understands our unbelief, and he has compassion on us anyway.
Even our ability to believe is something that we need help with. We bring nothing to the relationship on our own, not even our desire or our ability to believe. Where does faith come from? Faith is a gift from God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, and it’s all through the power and grace of Jesus and his work on the cross. People need to hear this.
Father God, please help us to be bold in sharing our faith and the truth of your Word so that we can be instruments of your grace and love in the lives of others and so that they can come to a saving relationship of faith in you, too.
In Jesus name, Amen.