rebelling against low expectations

How can I make my faith stronger?


R. WRITES: I wouldn’t say that I have a weak faith, but I do want to make it stronger. There have been days I had doubts about whether I was really saved and days where I’ve been overwhelmingly discouraged by sin. How do I bolster my faith? I know spending time in God’s Word and prayer are key, but what else can I do?

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  • I’ve been struggling similarly (and look forward to seeing others’ responses to the topic!) but I’ve been reading a lot of Christian apologetics and theology along with my Bible. A.W. Tozer is a fantastic author (read “The Pursuit of God”–it’s amazing!) and I just finished The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel (great apologetics.) John Piper, C.S. Lewis, and David Platt are other great Christian authors. God uses books to reveal His truth and Himself to us, too, and I’ve found some amazing revelations through these kinds of things. Find a book about something you’re struggling with (for instance, “When I Don’t Desire God” by John Piper) and dig in. 🙂

  • Like Kimberly, books have been very influential to me. If I hadn’t read Do Hard Things (and found you guys here on the reb), I would be a different person. Since Do Hard Things, I have also read Start Here, Radical (David Platt), and am now reading The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney.

    Struggling with faith can be hard, and there was a time when this was a huge problem for me. Keep trusting and you’ll make it through and probably become stronger than you were before. I’ll be praying for you 🙂

    James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    Romans 5:8 “By this we know the love of God, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

  • I think that talking to a youth leader or pastor about it is helpful. I am part of the ministry team at my church which is a small group of kids that want to minister in the youth group.

    We were literally just talking last night about how most kids, when they have doubts, they internalize them, but it is so helpful to talk to someone. You never know if maybe they have struggled with that as well. I know its not much, but I hope it helps!

  • Godly friends.

    Books are great and sermons are helpful and praying is key but I cannot stress enough how important good and godly friends are to strengthening your faith. They set an example, they can recommend books, they’ll pray with and for you, they’ll be with you through your struggles and joys, and they will keep you accountable.

    Seriously. Godly friends.

    • I’m sure that’s true, but in some cases such as me, Godly friends just aren’t there.

      I’m not mad, but this does upset me a bit to be honest, because well, God doesn’t give good friends to all of us, and he hasn’t chosen to give good friends to me. A year and a half ago when my family had to leave my last church, I was left with no friends. I see how God has used that experience for good in my life, but he hasn’t given me friendships to replace the ones that I lost then. I’m ok with that now, but it doesn’t mean that there’s never pain in knowing that I don’t have a best friend to talk to and confide in, or simply just have fun with.

      I know you didn’t mean any harm or anything, and maybe I’m too sensitive, but I think that could have been worded in a way that seemed less as if you were suggesting that if you don’t have a best friend you better go find one or else you’re missing out on a key aspect of life.

      That being said, if you do have a good friend you can trust, certainly talking with them about it is a good idea, and that’s a great opportunity that you shouldn’t take for granted.

      • Olivia, in my experience, a lack of friends has strengthened my faith by forcing me to rely on Jesus (and my family).

        I’m not disagreeing with Kumquat Absurdism, because I’m sure in some circumstances godly friends might strengthen faith.

      • I’m so sorry that it upset you! Please forgive me.
        To be honest, the reason that I say that people like that are so important is because they are in such short supply. My closest friend lives 300miles. It is a hard place to be (especially when we’re young 🙁 cos we need that input)and it shouldn’t be this way in the church but it is. Were supposed to love and care for each other but we don’t. All I’m saying is, if you are blessed enough to have them, hold them close.
        You aren’t alone, which is easy to say but so hard to believe most of the time. There are lots of coffee-cup-Christian answers to the question but in all honesty, you have to just hold on. God is faithful even when we don’t believe it. When you are discouraged and doubting, try reading Hebrews cover to cover, that’s how the people it was written to were feeling too and sometimes it’s just good to know that others have been through this before. And the Psalms (partularly lament because they are brutally honest about things). Tell God the truth even if it’s uncomfortable, and bring him back to is promises. It is not irreverent to ask why he holds back or seems far away or doesn’t appear to be keeping his promises.

        • I see what you mean now. Sorry, I shouldn’t have been offended like I was, and sometimes what I say isn’t what I meant or doesn’t give the same message that I thought before I wrote it. To be honest, I was kinda grumpy then because I have flu or strep and don’t feel good 😛

          One of the nice things about friends online is that you can’t make them sick 🙂

      • I totally feel you, I went through the exact same thing. I am blessed to have 2 sisters, but they were 21 and 25 at that time and I really didn’t have anyone my age 😐 But almost 3 years later, I have grown closer to the girls in my youth group. We don’t have very much in common (I’m homeschooled, they aren’t etc.) But we have some things 🙂 Don’t lose hope!

  • Faith is not something we can conjure up. It is a gift of God. Faith is a growing thing and can be nurtured in a few ways, be it reading God’s Word, listening to testimonies of believers that have been delivered from hardships and trials and asking God to increase your faith.

    God is faithful and He will allow things in your life to increase your dependence and faith in Him. He sometimes uses chastening because of wrongdoing to get our attention. I have walked with Christ for 38 years and have determined to walk closely with him. My faith has been a product of many trials and tribulations. The more you go through, the more faith you receive. God uses all things to increase our faith. My biggest leaps in faith have been in long trials that He has brought me through. Don’t worry, if you want all of Him, your faith will increase.

    May God bless your desires to serve Him.

    Mrs. Jean

  • Great Question! (This was a question I had once myself:)

    First of all, don’t be discouraged! For “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Don’t be weighed down by your sin. Confess your sin and repent/turn away from it. God both forgives, AND forgets. (Awesome, right?) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12)

    His grace is sufficient for you, and nothing can separate you from His love, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) I’m reminding you because I too have felt the way you do, and because I’ve often struggled to remember these things, especially when I was a very young Christian.

    Secondly, (as far as I know) there is only one foolproof way to grow your faith.

    Plant it! Use it! Exercise it! Trials will test your faith, but acting on faith, stepping out in faith to explore the things God has for you, (that may be outside your comfort zone) making difficult choices, seeking God’s will, believing in His promise of eternal life to all those who believe and stand fast to the end, these things are what grow your faith.

    If your faith is not growing, you may just need to use it more; challenge your faith!

    I too, have often prayed for faith. I have learned from my own experiences however, that God does not really “give” faith, the way He gives wisdom to those who ask Him. Jesus didn’t “give” faith to his disciples when they asked Him, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)

    Faith is so much more than just believing this or that. Faith is both believing, and acting on that belief.

    David in the Bible had faith that the Lord would make him king over Israel, so he waited, he built skills, he prepared. When his men told him to kill Saul, and take his kingdom, he said no. He wouldn’t kill the Lord’s anointed. He knew that when the Lord was ready to make him king, He would, and David would be patient until that day.

    Maybe there is an area in your life where the Lord wants you to exercise your faith, or something you can do for Him, (a good work, or project) or something. I don’t know exactly what.

  • I can only answer that question with scripture. Romans 10:17 ESV, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” So I believe that means to read your Bible, listen to ministers (who clearly follow the Bible), and most importantly your parents. Now don’t worry even the disciples felt a lack of faith as it says in Luke 17:5 ESV,”The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!'” And you know how Jesus responded in Luke 17:6 ESV, “And the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.'” So it does not matter how much faith you have (though it is good) it matters to love God, and love everyone else the same way God loves you (with agape which is a Greek term for self-sacrificial love). So hope I helped. In Christ Alone.

  • Pray for specific prayer requests. When God answers those, it will be a faith booster and you will have confidence to pray for other things.

  • Hi. Im new in here 🙂 But what I want to say thats for me is helping when I have buddy in Christ and we support to each other.

rebelling against low expectations

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