Faith is a powerful force in this universe. Wilma Rudolph demonstrated what can happen when faith is matched by hard work and determination. You might tend to think that it wasn’t the faith, it was the hard work and determination. I would argue that the faith was at the foundation of the hard work and determination. If Wilma had come to the conclusion that there was no hope for her poorly developed legs, she might have “accepted” her situation. However, Wilma did not accept her situation, she believed God has something greater in store for her, so she was willing to endure the pain, and work her legs tirelessly.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. I must believe that God exists and that he is worth the effort of seeking him. Faith is how I receive the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and God’s desire for me is to walk every day receiving his grace by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7, Colossians 2:6-7).
Faith is powerful, but dangerous if we put our faith in the wrong object. If I believe with all my heart that, on my own, I can overcome gravity; that faith could lead me to do something foolish or deadly. There are millions of people who sincerely believe in a false religion. They believe with such intensity that they are willing to give their lives in pursuit of a wrong path. They believe with great sincerity, but that does not change the fact that they have put their faith in something that is not true.
I have placed my faith in the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and that God proved that fact by raising him from the dead (Romans 1:4). I have placed my faith in the truth that Jesus died as a sacrifice for my sins and, by faith, I have received God’s offer of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Furthermore, I have placed my faith in Jesus as the Lord of my life, so my goal is to live every day in obedience to him.
I have also placed my faith in the teaching of God’s word that this world is temporary and Jesus is coming again. When he comes again, he will judge every person who has ever lived on this earth. Those who have received God’s offer of forgiveness will spend eternity in God’s kingdom. Those who have rejected God’s offer of forgiveness will spend eternity separated from God and his people. My faith is leading me to speak to people God has placed in my life about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Faith will lead you to action! In fact, if your faith doesn’t produce visible results, James says that it is a dead faith (James 2:14-26)
So how do you grow your faith? Three ways:
- First, grow in your knowledge of God. The more you get to know God, the more you will know that you can trust him.
- Second, grow in your knowledge of God’s Word. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
- Third, exercise your faith. Live as if God’s word is true. When you study God’s Word always ask the question, ”if I believed this were true, how would I live?” Then live that wa\
Take time to read and meditate on the twenty “cans” of success (p 115). Pick out one or two and make them your own. When you apply the truth of God’s word to your situation, you will discover the great power of faith.
One of the great truths of faith is God’s unconditional love for you. When you stumble in your walk of faith (and you will) realize that God still loves you and that the truth of Romans 8:1 still stands: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and believe that God has forgiven you. Satan will do everything he can to make you “feel” condemned, but he cannot condemn you.
Learning to walk by faith is how you will actually put into practice the truth you’ve gained from God’s Word. It is how the promises of the Christian life will become yours! Let the truth of God’s word shape your perspective on every experience, every challenge, every tragedy, and every blessing of life.
To stir your thought:
- What was your reaction to the story of Wilma Rudolph? What can you learn from her about your situation?
- Hebrews 11:6 says that we must believe that God is a rewarder of those who seek him. What are the rewards that this world offers? What are the rewards that God offers? Right now in your life, which do you value more? How does this affect your life?
- Colossians 2:6-7 says that we should walk every day in the same way that we’ve received Christ Jesus the Lord (by grace through faith). How do you receive God’s grace by faith today? What difference does it make to your life when you live by God’s grace?
- Which of the “cans” of success meant the most to you? How would it change your life if you applied that to your life?