“When will these muscles stop hurting?” I asked again as I completed another month of workouts. It’s been ten months since I left couch potato status
and moved to a committed schedule of time in the gym. Even now, I am reminded of muscles that I had forgotten existed as I continue to improve my strength, stamina, and flexibility. The journey is long, but the rewards far exceed any pain endured along the way.
This health journey parallels a spiritual journey. Just as muscles develop and strengthen as I use them, so does my faith as I exercise it. Romans 12:3 tells us that each one has received the same measure of faith. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” We all have biceps; some are stronger than others depending on how much they are used. The same is true for our faith. We all have faith as a gift from God, yet it is up to us to use it, developing and strengthening it over time. As we do, our faith gets stronger and more mature, able to withstand difficult times.
Jesus assured us in Matthew 17:20 that the faith we have is enough for the challenges we face. “So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you.’” Matthew 13:32 tells us that the mustard seed is the least of all seeds, yet faith of that size moves mountains in your life. Isn’t God faithful? He gives us what we need to live powerful, faith-filled lives with what He has already planted within us.
Philippians 1:6 promises us, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Therefore, if God placed faith inside of you, He is also able to complete that work by helping us develop it.
How do you exercise your faith? You don’t pick up heavy weight when you begin weight training. Similarly, faith isn’t the strongest the first time you are challenged. You start small and develop over time. When faced with a challenge, seek out promises in the Word that apply. Then start praying those promises over your situation. Resist the temptation to do God’s part. Stop worrying and walking in fear. Replace that anxiety with trust that God will perform His promise. Also, as stated in a previous blog, praise God for Who He is. Focus your attention on Him and not your problem.
As you exercise your faith, you will find it getting stronger. If you continue to struggle, ask someone strong in faith to pray with you and ask for encouragement. Allow others to come alongside you in this faith journey. As you stay consistent in developing your faith “muscles”, you will be surprised at how you move those spiritual mountains in your life.