Saturday, November 26, 2016

Want Strong Faith?

I love how the KJV puts the first phrase of Romans 4:20, he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief.... What a word picture!

In my mind's eye I see a man with a huge burden on his back labelled unbelief. He is bowed down with the weight. Staggering under the pressure. Barely able to stand, let alone move forward.

Very Christian in Pilgrim's Progress.

Yesterday I was sitting in the play room of our local children's hospital with my daughter who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma this summer. We were waiting the results of her mid chemo cycle blood work. She was playing. I was plugging my ears and reading my devotions on my iPad, when this verse jumped out at me.

...but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God. (Romans 4:20 ESV)

It took reading that familiar verse in a different version for its truth to resonate in my heart.

Our family has been through a lot this year. But, what amazes me over and over again is the many, many people all over the world who are praying on our behalf. They are praying for us as a family. They are praying for our daughter.

People here in the United States. People in Canada. People in Spain. People in Ireland and Scotland and England. People in Germany and people in Japan. People in Indonesia and people in France.

From young and old, prayers are ascending on our behalf.

I know this, because people have contacted us over and over again, and said they are praying.

But, the even more amazing thing, is that as God has answered our prayers, for big things and small things, praises have also ascended to God on our behalf. Praises for surgeries and good diagnoses, and praises for miracles. Praises for mercies that are new every morning, and grace to keep going, and faith that God is good, and hope that all things work for our good and God's glory.

And, make no mistake. God is glorified as He people pray to Him, and rely on Him. God is glorified as we tell others what great things God has done on our behalf.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongues with shouts of joy; then said they among the nations, "the Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, we are glad. (Psalm 126:2, 3)

This giving glory to God is wonderful, in and of itself. It is such a positive, life giving exercise. In addition, the retelling of God's goodness and grace, has strengthened our faith. We've lived this. And others have seen it, even when it may be a bit murky to us as we're walking this path.

Every time I put a prayer request on FB, and people say they are praying. Every time I put an answer to prayer on FB, and people say "praise the Lord." Faith is being cultivated, stretched and grown.

...but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God. (Romans 4:20 ESV)

How is that for a formula?

Giving glory to God=Strong faith

Giving glory to God-thankfulness to God and praising Him for who He is and what He has done-strengthens faith.

Conscientiously focusing on how God has worked, builds faith. It gives substance to what we hope for, and evidence for what we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Acknowledging repeated evidence of past faithfulness lays a strong foundation of hope and faith that there will be continued faithfulness.

God has done great things for us in the past. We know He will do great things for us in the future.

Want strong faith? Give glory to God!