The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5, ESV)!
Ever feel like your faith is small? Perhaps you wish you could do more or be more. Maybe when you look around you, it seems as if everyone else has BIG BOLD FAITH, while yours is just . . . tiny.
If that’s you, then consider these three things you can do that will immediately begin to grow your faith.
1. Believe that your faith can increase.
Every Christian has been given “a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). While each of us has been given a certain capacity to believe, it can increase. Isn’t that great news? Exhibit A for growing faith is the Apostle Peter. Remember what Peter was like in the Gospels? He tried hard but failed, said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and kept messing up at critical moments. Peter was the one who swore loyalty to Jesus then denied even knowing Him (Mark 14:26–31, 66–72). Peter was the one who followed Jesus after His arrest but only from a safe distance (Mark 14:54). When Peter tried walking on the water, he sank, and Jesus called him, “O you of little faith” (Matthew 14:31). Ouch.
Yes, Peter had little faith and a lot of growing to do, but he made one good decision: He followed Jesus’ instructions, went to that upper room, and waited for the Holy Spirit to come and fill him. When the Spirit of God filled Peter in response to his faith, he was transformed. He preached boldly, and three thousand people were saved. Peter became such a powerful, faith-filled man that Acts 5:15 reports that people “even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.”
Peter was a changed man, transformed by the power of the Spirit through faith. Do you want Peter-size faith? Believe that your faith can increase, and then . . .
2. Expose your mind to God’s Word.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith can’t grow without the soil of God’s Word.
Have you learned yet to love the Word of God? “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). Is your mind steeped in God’s Word? Have you gotten past the discipline stage of reading the Bible (gutting it out because you know you should) to the delighted stage (actually wanting to read it, even craving it)?
The more we wash our minds with God’s Word, the more our faith can grow. When we fill our minds with trash—or with everything but God’s Word—what happens to our faith? It falters and even withers. According to Romans 12:2, your transformation comes “by the renewal of your mind.” So what are you putting into your mind?
We must read the Word, study it, memorize it, meditate on it. Human words don’t build faith; God’s do. And as you immerse yourself in God’s Word, you’ll also learn to . . .
3. Practice genuine prayer.
Faith comes through genuine prayer. Not rote repetition of empty words but genuine, on-your-knees, heartfelt prayer, laying hold of God by faith.
“Hmmm,” you might say, “I’m not very good at that. Where’s the seminar on genuine prayer?” The seminar is conducted in your home daily in a private place where you can kneel down. The seminar is given by the Holy Spirit Himself and is available 24/7. If you want to learn how to pray, get on your knees, open your heart, and ask, “Lord, teach me to pray.”
Prayer has incredible power to build your faith. When you are filled with anxiety, concerns, or burdens, pray. Get by yourself, kneel in humility before God, and in the simplest language you know, talk to your Father about it. Through genuine, heartfelt prayer, you can exchange your anxiety for faith.
So for all those who want their faith to keep growing—believe that your faith can increase, expose your mind to God’s Word, and genuinely pray.
And ask the Lord—as the apostles did—“Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5)!
This post originally appeared on Dr. James MacDonald’s daily devotional Our Journey and was republished with permission.
James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is the founding senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, leads the church-planting ministry of Harvest Bible Fellowship, teaches the practical application of God’s Word on the Walk in the Word radio and television programs, and is a gifted author and speaker. You can find out more about James and his ministries at WalkintheWord.org.