Faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1). It is a gift from God and by it we receive the grace that saves us from the penalty of sin (Eph 2:8-9). Not only is it a prerequisite for having a relationship with God (Rom 5:2; 10:9), but it is necessary to please God in any way (Heb 11:6). In fact, the Bible says that God doesn’t like it when we exhibit a lack of faith (Heb 10:38). So, if faith is so important, how can we increase our faith so that we don’t crumble under trying circumstances?
One of the first steps to increase our faith is to know who we believe in. The apostle John teaches that Scripture was written to help us believe (John 20:31), so it’s important to spend time reading God’s word so as to understand the object of our faith. The Bible is not just an ordinary book; it is God-breathed, living, and active and can admonish and grow us (Heb 4:12).
Prayer is also a key component to growing one’s faith. It is through prayer that we communicate with and meditate upon the unseen God. With frequent prayer, our relationship with God grows stronger, and our faith in Him also grows stronger.
Lastly, faith is an activity that must be exercised. It is not a magical state of mind that comes to us at the right time. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes that faith “does not come into operation itself, you and I have to put it into operation.” We exercise our faith by first not letting a situation overtake us; by not panicking. Then we must turn our attention to God, and remember that He controls the universe.
Memorize this short verse and recite it during times of struggle:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones