A Deeper Faith
May 21, 2019
“…For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11, ESV).
The noise of a hundred conversations made it difficult to listen to each other. We had just watched a tribute to our classmates who had not survived the years to attend this high school reunion. A friend whose husband had died was speaking to me, and I leaned across the table that I might hear: “When my husband was alive, I had him; and my faith in Christ was superficial. Sometimes, I wish he were here again, even if that returned me to a superficial faith. But, losing him has made my faith grow so much deeper. What I really wish is that he was here with me and my faith remained deep.”
What does it take to grow a deeper faith? All of us need a deeper faith. Some of us are like the “seed that fell on rocky ground,” and our faith has no roots. Some of us are like “seed that fell among the thorns,” where “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things” have grown in and choked our faith (Mark 4).
All of us need a deeper faith in order to truly love and abide with the Christ who created us and died for us.
For some of us, like my dear friend, it may take tragedy to turn us toward our Lord. As Oswald Chambers described, “We begin our religious lives by believing our beliefs; we accept what we are taught without questioning; but when we come up against things, we begin to be critical, and we find out that the beliefs, however right, are not right for us because we have not bought them by suffering. What we take for granted is never ours until we have bought it by pain. A thing is worth just what it cost.”
So many cancer patients have told me, “The relationship with Christ I have gained from my suffering is worth all the pain of my disease.”
Though absolutely true and deeply hopeful, most of us don’t wish to go that far to grow our faith.
For those of us who are yet shallow in our faith and have not yet faced a tragedy to grow us deeper, we can move toward a deeper faith, with or without that tragedy, if we:
- Study God’s Word daily.
- Gather with God’s people regularly.
- Pray for God’s presence and guidance throughout our day.
- Worship recklessly.
- Witness authentically.
If we want a deeper faith, some of the digging is ours.
Grow my faith and let me work with You to dig deeper.