Anthony Layman: Growing in Faith
The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is around the corner and just a week later the books will be closed on 2017. Many of you will peer into 2018 with expectations to do something different, something better. As certain as I am that these thoughts will come to mind as the year ends, I want to offer three ways to grow in faith.
Prayer is your Warrior: Ephesians 6: 13-18 NIV paints a powerful picture that embodies the strength of prayer. This passage is affectionately, and biblically known as putting on the “Armor of God.” The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer. Think of prayer as the effort that can conquer any adversary or enemy. Simply put, prayer works.
Trust in God’s timing: God hears us the minute we speak. “Before they call I will answer; while they are speaking I will hear,” (Isaiah 65:24). It’s important to remember that prayers are answered in God’s time. Therefore, reference 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV which reads, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Replace “Hope” with “Faith”: Hope is a desire in a future outcome; something we want to happen. Faith is about conviction! The difference is allowing the outcome to be revealed by God, trusting that He knows what is best without the burden of proof. James 1:6 NIV reads, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Don’t “hope,” have “faith,” and trust God’s answer.
As Christians, we will all struggle with one of these individually and some corporately at times. The key is to recognize our personal struggle with control. Instead, rely on God’s strength. Release the anxiety from your own shoulders, as Christ can carry the weight for you.
Pray like a warrior, trust in His timing. Allow hope to become faith, as Christ can carry our burdens and produce a divine outcome, on His time, every time.
Anthony lives in Rockwell. He has worked in the financial advisory business 17 years and is currently a consultant for DNA Behavior. His passion for writing became a creative outlet in 2006, first writing for an online blog. Since then, he has developed and refined his passion for the written word over the last ten years. His work can also be found at Journey Christian News online and in Journey Christian Magazine. “21 Days with Paul” is his current work in progress; a Christian nonfiction book contracted to be published. You can follow his “blog-to-book” project at 21dayswithpaul.blogspot.com