Growing Faith

A weekly thought from J.O. Sanders

Your faith grows exceedingly 2 Thess. 1:3

Jesus commanded His disciples to forgive a repentant brother though he had sinned against them seven times in a single day. Their bewildered response was, ‘Lord increase our faith.’ But was their need not increased love rather than increased faith? No, their diagnosis of their own need was in the main correct, for it stemmed from a consciousness of their inability to fulfill the more requirements Jesus had enunciated in the previous verses. Only faith would bring the enabling.

Yet it was not wholly correct, for in His reply Jesus instructed them that their need was not so much of additional faith as of vital faith. The tiniest mustard seed enshrines a germ of life. It was a question of quality, not quantity. There must be a growing faith, for life spontaneously issues in growth. In writing to the Christians at Thessalonica Paul said, ‘We are bound to thank God always for you, for your faith grows exceedingly ( Thess. 1:3). The depth and progress of our spiritual development depends on the growth of our faith.

Growing is automatic when the conditions are fulfilled. Faith feeds on the promises of God. The presence of God is the atmosphere of faith, but it will remain stagnant in the malarial swamps of man’s question marks. It is strengthened by the removal of human props. It increases through response to the requirements and challenges of His word. Contrary to popular belief it is not always fostered by great encouragements and swift answers to prayer. It thrives more in the midst of difficulties and conflicts when all secondary support has been removed.

Faith grows most when we believe our beliefs and doubt our doubts.

J.Oswald Sanders

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