Does anyone ever ask you: “How are you doing, really?” Do you ever answer truthfully?
Our churches are supposed to be the place we can answer truthfully. We, each of us, are to be strength for each other, to be friends who can relate to those times of faith stretching we all go through…when, honestly, we just don’t have the faith we need, want, or think we should have.
But we tend to feel guilty or unsure (“what’s wrong with me”) when our faith seems to be lacking, right? We don’t want to admit it.
In my class on Romans, the instructor: Dr. Ronald E. Cottle explained this in such a simple-to-get way, I have to pass this on. I hope it will come across as simply for you and that you have that same ah-ha moment I did.
“There are three basic elements of saving faith: 1) Acknowledgment: this occurs when one recognizes with the mind the truth of one’s state and Christ’s sufficiency; 2) Acceptance: this happens when repentance takes place in the heart; 3) Appropriation: this takes place when one returns his will to God’s desires.”
Now Dr. Cottle is speaking of Saving Faith specifically; but when I read this, my first thought was that there are so many times I have gone through this process. Not because I needed to be saved again, or because I’d lost my faith, but because I’d come to a hard place I didn’t have enough faith for, and by going through this same process of needing to: acknowledge/recognize Christ’s sufficiency for my life, accepting the situation and repenting of my anger over the situation, and then accepting His will over mine…I grew in faith. I increase my faith each time I go through this process, because next time around when something like that happens, I can confidently say: “Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt, and God is Bigger!”
Bad things happen in this life, hard things happen, but each is an opportunity to grow our Faith. But we have to exert the muscle, make the effort, take the leap…you didn’t lose your faith, your just at a place to grow more faith.
Let’s not be afraid to stretch our faith muscles. Putting our faith in God’s Sovereignty and Power over any and all situations is not in vain. He is Bigger – no matter what it is.
“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” ~ George Mueller
(If you don’t have a friend like that at your church, be a friend like that, and may it will catch on. )
Book: A Commentary on Romans – Volume 1, The Gospel According to Paul, From God’s No to God’s Yes. By Dr. Ronald E. Cottle
Quote: from a friends facebook page