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Growing in Faith

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“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 Romans 1:17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
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; Galatians 3:11 Galatians 3:11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
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; Hebrews 10:38 Hebrews 10:38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
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).

In the previous chapters we saw the Bible’s definition of faith. We considered examples of faith in action in the people of God. We learned that we must have faith to receive God’s gift of salvation. In our faithless age (Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
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), how can we develop living, active faith?

Don’t be discouraged if you think you lack faith. Sometimes people who profess belief in God are deeply ashamed when a crisis occurs and they find their faith is weak. This may happen to you. But don’t despair. The Bible shows that even men and women of powerful faith struggled at times with faith-testing challenges.

The Bible relates their anguish as they wrestled with their trials. Hebrews 11:34 Hebrews 11:34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
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tells us that “out of weakness [they] were made strong.” These men and women grew in faith through the crucible of challenges and—at times—setbacks and failures.

Jeremiah’s example

The prophet Jeremiah was just such a man. He was one of the people listed in the faith chapter who suffered “chains and imprisonment” (Hebrews 11:36 Hebrews 11:36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
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; compare Jeremiah 37:15-16 Jeremiah 37:15-16 15 Why the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison. 16 When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days;
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). Jeremiah’s captors not only imprisoned him, but they lowered him into a “dungeon”—an abandoned cistern that was deep with mud at the bottom (Jeremiah 38:6 Jeremiah 38:6Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
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). This was the third time Jeremiah was imprisoned and the most harsh. His situation was so dire that he nearly died (Jeremiah 38:10 Jeremiah 38:10Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.
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).

Jeremiah’s undeserved imprisonment was the culmination of a long period of abuse he suffered at the hands of his own people. God had called him to prophesy and warn the people of Judah that, because of their sins, their kingdom would fall to foreign invaders. Rather than repenting and heeding God’s warnings, the people turned on Jeremiah and hated him. They tried to assassinate him (Jeremiah 11:19-21 Jeremiah 11:19-21 19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. 20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judge righteously, that try the reins and the heart, let me see your vengeance on them: for to you have I revealed my cause. 21 Therefore thus said the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek your life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that you die not by our hand:
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). They accused him of treason; they arrested him, brought him before the king and imprisoned him.

In the face of such determined opposition, Jeremiah struggled spiritually. He had not wanted to prophesy in the first place (Jeremiah 1:4-8 Jeremiah 1:4-8 4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said to me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatever I command you you shall speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you, said the LORD.
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). He voiced his misgivings and essentially accused God of forcing him to be a prophet (Jeremiah 20:7 Jeremiah 20:7O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and have prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocks me.
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). At one point he decided he would no longer speak God’s word (Jeremiah 20:9 Jeremiah 20:9Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
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), yet he found his convictions compelling him to continue. As his struggle continued, he wished he had never lived (Jeremiah 20:14 Jeremiah 20:14Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bore me be blessed.
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).

Jeremiah’s life was an endless struggle. His was not the smug, sunny faith of a man impervious to doubt. The Bible instead records the all-too-human battle of a troubled and sometimes weary man. But Jeremiah triumphed through faith in God. He cried out to His Creator: “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved … You are my hope in the day of doom” (Jeremiah 17:14-17 Jeremiah 17:14-17 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise. 15 Behold, they say to me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now. 16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow you: neither have I desired the woeful day; you know: that which came out of my lips was right before you. 17 Be not a terror to me: you are my hope in the day of evil.
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).

God delivered Jeremiah from the dungeon and from death. Today we recognize Jeremiah as a great Hebrew prophet. More important, he gained the approval of God and awaits the resurrection of the righteous. Jeremiah’s life was not easy, but his faith matured throughout his trials.

Many other men and women of the Bible who professed faith in God cried out when their belief wavered in difficult times. Choosing to obey and serve God will lead to difficulties that challenge our faith. Paul tells us that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:12Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
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). We need to go to God asking for His help to build a loving, trusting, faithful relationship with Him that will enable us to endure such trials.

You may find yourself like the father who came to Christ with a severe problem: His son was demon-possessed, and the father wanted Christ to heal him. When Jesus told him “all things are possible to him who believes,” the man knew his faith was weak. In his anguish and tears he cried out to Christ, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24 Mark 9:23-24 23 Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help you my unbelief.
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).

Jesus did not condemn or refuse to help the man whose faith was weak. Nor will He turn us away when our faith is weak. But there is something we should do under these circumstances.

Grow in faith

God expects us to grow in faith. It is crucial that we grow in faith, because it is impossible to have a relationship with God without it (Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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). Faith is one of our most precious possessions and a key to everything important. It is because we have faith that we can receive the commendation and approval of God. Those whose examples of faith are recorded for us in Hebrews 11 were “commended for their faith” in God (Hebrews 11:39 Hebrews 11:39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
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, NIV).

Because they had faith, God will resurrect them at the return of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
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; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
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). Faith is a crucial key to the Kingdom of God and eternal life.

As discussed earlier, we cannot muster up faith on our own and determine we will never doubt or question again. Instead, true, living faith emerges as a result of a maturing relationship with God. Let’s notice what we can do to strengthen this most important of all our relationships.

Vital importance of prayer

We begin our journey to living a life of faith by asking God for it. It is His will that we have faith, and He is willing to give it to us (Luke 11:9 Luke 11:9And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
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). We should pray to God for faith, and we should pray for it often (Luke 18:1 Luke 18:1And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
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). Prayer for faith should be an integral and regular part of our lives.

Many scriptures show that we need to maintain daily contact with God (Matthew 6:11 Matthew 6:11Give us this day our daily bread.
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; Luke 11:3 Luke 11:3Give us day by day our daily bread.
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; 2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
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). King David, to ensure a close relationship with God, prayed three times every day (Psalms 55:16-17 Psalms 55:16-17 16 As for me, I will call on God; and the LORD shall save me. 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
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). The prophet Daniel similarly prayed three times daily (Daniel 6:10 Daniel 6:10Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
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).

Prayer, along with study of the Scriptures, is a vital part of conversation with God. It is a way of expressing our love, as well as our concerns, to Him. This heartfelt communication with God increases faith.

Prayer also results in God responding to us. Notice this promise from Scripture: “You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29 Deuteronomy 4:29But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
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).

If we devote ourselves to earnest prayer and ask for faith, God will not refuse us. He wants to give us spiritual gifts just as a loving parent wants to feed a hungry child (Luke 11:11-12 Luke 11:11-12 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
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). Jesus promised that whatever we asked in His name God would grant to us (John 14:13 John 14:13And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
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; John 15:16 John 15:16You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
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; John 16:23 John 16:23And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
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).

Read the Bible regularly

In prayer we talk to God. When we read the Bible, we let God talk to us through His Word.

The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
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). Let us remember what faith is. In its simplest form, faith is believing God will do what He says He will do (Romans 4:20-21 Romans 4:20-21 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
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). To know what God says to us, we must read the Bible, God’s revealed words to man. It tells us how He wants us to live. It tells us what He will do for us. It includes many accounts of His dealings with and intervention for individuals and all mankind.

As you regularly read the Bible and pray, you will grow in faith in two ways. First, you will learn what God promises. He makes promises you can claim. Second, the inspiring stories of the Bible will reassure you and help strengthen your faith.

Speaking of the Holy Scriptures, Paul said, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 Romans 15:4For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
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, NIV). As our hope increases, our faith increases. The two are intertwined. (Read the free Bible study guide booklets Is the Bible True? and How to Understand the Bible . They can help you learn more from your study of the Bible, strengthening and building your faith.)

Obey God

Another necessary step to grow in faith is to do what God says. We must heed His commands.

Many people do not have a proper understanding of obedience. On the one hand, some think they can earn eternal life by their deeds. They fail to understand that salvation is God’s undeserved gift to us (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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; Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
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) and that we could never earn this priceless gift by our own efforts. At the other extreme are those who want God to accept them just as they are and have no intention of making any changes in their lives.

Heartfelt obedience is a statement—an expression—of faith. It is empowered by faith—being, with the help of God’s Spirit, our grateful response to all that God has done and promises He will yet do for us as well as the way of life we now want to live (drawing near to God and becoming more like Him). Jesus promised that any who obey Him will enjoy a special bond with Him and the Father: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
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).

This shows us we can grasp the reality of the presence of Jesus and the Father if we obey Them.

The link between obedience and faith is evident throughout the Bible. If we have faith, it should be evident by our conduct. (See “How Faith Empowers Obedience—and More Faith “.) The faithful men and women of the Bible had this in common.

However, heartfelt obedience to God requires a good understanding of His law. To learn why God gave us His law and to understand the fundamental principles found in the Ten Commandments, read the Bible study guide The Ten Commandments .

You’ll walk with God

If you live a life of prayer, studying the Bible and obeying God, you will develop a close relationship with Him. As you walk with God, your faith will grow. To walk with God is to have deep faith. Enoch and Noah are two examples in the Bible described in just such terms (Genesis 5:22 Genesis 5:22And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
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; Genesis 6:9 Genesis 6:9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
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).

Walking with God means a daily relationship with Him of earnestly and consistently seeking His will. When you live a godly life, walking with God with a pure heart, you grow in faith.

Frequent, regular contact with God is essential because faith is a by-product of godly living. Faith increases over time. A bricklayer knows a wall doesn’t spring up in a moment. He must build it a little at a time, brick by brick. In the same way, we develop and enrich our faith through frequent, regular contact with God.

When your faith is tested

Everyone who has faith is tested. The Bible says such tests of our faith, which is “more precious than gold,” are necessary (1 Peter 1:6-7 1 Peter 1:6-7 6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
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). Although gold will ultimately perish, our faith will forever be a part of us when we are resurrected at the return of Jesus Christ.

Trials and problems are not pleasant. When they hit us, they may at first seem terrible, traumatic and even devastating. But trials are opportunities to build faith and grow spiritually.

When the guards cast Daniel into the lions’ den (Daniel 6:1-28 Daniel 6:1-28 1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts to them, and the king should have no damage. 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; for as much as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus to him, King Darius, live for ever. 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which alters not. 9 Why king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. 11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree; Have you not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which alters not. 13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regards not you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day. 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men assembled to the king, and said to the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establishes may be changed. 16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you. 17 And a stone was brought, and laid on the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel: and the king spoke and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Then said Daniel to the king, O king, live for ever. 22 My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: for as much as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt. 23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he believed in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. 25 Then king Darius wrote to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
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), he didn’t know what his physical fate would be. He had been commanded to pay idolatrous homage to a man. He refused. Although he didn’t know what would happen to him, he knew the only right thing was to obey God, even if it meant his death. He refused to compromise, and God saved him from the lions.

However, before God delivered him, Daniel had to put his trust in God. He knew that, even if God did not deliver him from the lions right then, God would nevertheless deliver him ultimately, as his future with God was assured for eternity.

Anyone who decides to follow Christ will eventually face tests. You may be asked to compromise with the truth God reveals in His Word. The genuineness of your faith may be tested in such a moment of truth. How will you fare?

As we have learned, God is kind and understanding toward our weaknesses, but He nevertheless requires that we go forward in faith. In times of testing we must seek His wisdom even more earnestly. We must pray for Him to show us His will.

We should seek wise spiritual counsel (Proverbs 24:6 Proverbs 24:6For by wise counsel you shall make your war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
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). Then, with His courage and faith within us, we should move forward.

Since God may allow smaller trials to fall on us to prepare us for bigger trials that lie ahead, we should daily strengthen our faith. If we do not practice trust in God until a major crisis arises, we will find the going much more difficult.

Living a life of prayer, Bible study and humble obedience to God clarifies and strengthens our faith. We can’t always choose the time in our lives for a faith-testing crisis, but if we seek God now we can be much better equipped when such a test arises.

Faith in the promise of the Kingdom of God

Like the prophet Daniel, we should have faith and hope in the promise of the Kingdom of God and all it entails. The Kingdom of God is the eternal realm that Jesus Christ will establish on earth at His return. It will supersede all other earthly governments and last forever (Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
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).

The saints—the servants of God—will rule forever in that Kingdom (Daniel 7:18 Daniel 7:18But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
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). Any sacrifice we are called on to make for that future reward will pale in comparison to the greatness and magnificence of the reward God has in store for us (Romans 8:18 Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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). (To better understand the awesome truth about the Kingdom of God as Christ taught, be sure to read the Bible study guide The Gospel of the Kingdom . )

We will inherit the Kingdom in the resurrection to eternal life at Christ’s return (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
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). Our belief in this coming Kingdom is, in itself, an act of faith. This is because we do not now see the Kingdom of God, but God tells us it will be a reality. To inherit a future of such magnitude and glory calls for us to live by faith.

A life of faith may require that we, at times, step into uncomfortable situations. We may find ourselves in circumstances in which we can no longer be assured of our customary comforts. Even our personal safety may be threatened. In such times we must stay focused on the Kingdom of God. After all, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
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, NIV).

Our faith takes its stand based on the sure Word of God, which stands forever: “All flesh is as grass . . . But the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:24-25 1 Peter 1:24-25 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass wither, and the flower thereof falls away: 25 But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you.
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). The people of faith whose stories the Bible preserves for us took their stand on the Word of God. They believed God.

God promises a better reward (Hebrews 11:40 Hebrews 11:40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
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) for those who devote their lives to seeking the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
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). Even though this life has its pleasant moments, Paul kept the proper perspective: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8 Philippians 3:8Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
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, NIV).

God promises us eternal life at the resurrection. In the meantime, He will comfort us when serving Him brings painful sacrifices (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.
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). Maintaining a clear vision of the magnificent future and remembering God’s promise of comfort help us develop living faith.

The calling to a knowledge of and faith in the Kingdom of God is a precious one. Not everyone is called to understand or receive it in this age (Luke 8:10 Luke 8:10And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
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).

Understanding these truths of God is a gift from Him. If you understand them, God is calling you to participate in His great plan. To claim this gift you must act on it. Follow the advice of Hebrews 6:12 Hebrews 6:12That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
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and “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Begin now to develop the living faith that will see you through the trials of this life and into the coming Kingdom of God!

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