Have you ever heard stories of people who went through the most incomprehensible struggles – things like losing a child or a spouse, getting a horrible diagnosis, or losing everything they had – but maintained an inspiring level of faith and hope through it all?
Have you ever heard one of those stories and thought to yourself, “Couldn’t be me!” Well, what if it could be you?
We are not promised an easy life – and Christianity isn’t meant to protect us from suffering or hardship – but a strong foundation of faith is the key to handling anything that comes our way in life. So how do we make sure we’re growing in faith so we can build our resilience?
What does growing in faith mean?
“Growing in faith” can sometimes feel like a Christian-ese phrase that doesn’t seem to have a lot of meaning. It sounds nice, but what does it actually mean to grow in faith?
Growing in faith means that your relationship with Jesus doesn’t look the same as when it first began. You’re advancing and maturing in your knowledge of his Word, your prayer life, and in the choices you make each day.
If your faith is feeling stagnant or stale, it probably isn’t growing – and if that’s the case, you’re missing out on something truly life-changing.
Why do I need to keep growing in faith?
When we put in the work of building a strong foundation of faith, lots of incredible things happen. As you grow in faith, you become more able to:
- Detect God’s presence in your life and recognize his voice.
- Follow God’s plan for your life.
- Tolerate seasons of pain, struggle, or doubt.
- Help others grow in their relationship with Jesus.
No one can make you have a thriving, growing relationship with Jesus. It’s something you need to choose for yourself every day. But doing so can unlock peace, hope, and joy like you’ve never experienced before!
How do I keep growing in faith?
Jesus lays out a fascinating story for us in Matthew 7:
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the flood waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash. Matthew 7:24-27
What Jesus is saying is that listening to his words and following what he says is the key to growing in faith. And with that growth comes the ability to withstand the figurative rain, flood water, and wind in our lives.
Ways to listen to Jesus
In the verse we just looked at in Matthew 7, Jesus talks about “anyone who listens to [his] teaching.” Luckily, Jesus’ teachings and words are really easy to find – they're available to us in the Bible! In fact, many editions of the Bible highlight words Jesus spoke in red as an easy way to identify what he said.
There are all kinds of ways we can listen to the words and teachings of Jesus:
Spend time praying and talking to Jesus, inviting him to give you wisdom, hope, and peace.
These are just a few ways to listen to Jesus more in your day-to-day life. But like Jesus said, listening is only part of what it takes to keep growing in faith – we also need to follow what he says!
Ways to follow Jesus
Let’s zoom in on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:26:
Anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.
It’s not enough to simply hear what Jesus says – though it’s certainly a great start! It’s on us to apply what Jesus says to the way we live our lives, and that’s essential to a faith that grows stronger and stronger with time.
The key to following Jesus is accountability. We need people in our lives that will support us in our faith, cheering us on and helping us course-correct when we get off-track. Here are two easy ways to find your people:
- Join a Group where you’ll get around people who are excited to follow Jesus together.
- Start serving on a team where you can lean into your passions and stay motivated to show up at church.
The wisdom of Proverbs 27:17 is easily applied in this scenario: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Keep your faith strong!
There’s a lie that Christianity is all about minimizing pain – but if you’re going to church to numb the pain or make your troubles stop, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s only when you start listening to Jesus and following what he says that you’ll become better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.
And when the day inevitably comes that the unexpected happens, discover how to keep going when life throws you a curveball.
LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!