“God, please give me faith and help me stay strong.”
How many times have we prayed something similar? When it feels like nothing is going right, you wonder what God’s plan is for your life (or if He has one at all), and life is beating you down – some variation of this prayer seems to be our “go-to” prayer. The problem is, that’s not how faith works. Faith is developed, not given.
Isaiah 7:9 – “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
Did you catch that? God didn’t tell us to ask Him for faith when we are desperate, like some sort of 5 Hour Energy faith boost. He says that unless our faith is firm, He cannot make us stand firm. Our strength in difficult times comes from our faith in God and trusting that He is in control; the deeper and more developed our faith in God is, the more we will be able to endure. We must have faith in God’s promise that He is in control – not that He will give us faith and strength any time we ask.
If we want to have the kind of faith that will help us endure even the most difficult and dark seasons in life, we need to be intentional about developing our faith. You could spend your entire life learning facts about something and why it works and even watch other people experience it, but until you do it yourself, you will only have knowledge, not faith.
It can be inspiring to hear other people tell of how their faith helped them endure difficult seasons or circumstances, but in the end it often leaves us wondering why our faith doesn’t seem as strong as theirs. Faith is developed and strengthened through experience – we will always have more faith in something we are constantly around than something we view from a distance. Faith in God is developed through study, prayer, worship, and a commitment to consistently pursue Him. If you want faith that will see you through the difficult times and inspire others, you have to do the work.
God doesn’t give faith to some people, but not to others like some sort of door prize. He gave everyone the capacity for faith; it’s up to us to grow it. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. You can’t feel the presence of someone you keep at a distance and you will never feel the embrace of someone that you refuse to let come near you.