Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Grow in Faith by Allison Bown

This was an encouraging word from Allison Bown posted on Brilliant Perspectives:

How to Grow in Faith.

By Allison Bown
“I wish I had more faith.” It’s a statement I hear often in conversations with people who are looking for more in their relationship with God. Sometimes it comes with a bit of a sigh or sense of recommitment to try harder. And my response?5
“Please don’t.”
Please don’t depend on wishing or trying harder. It puts the weight of having faith all on your shoulders—and our shoulders weren’t created for that. Trying to have more faith turns a partnership with God that was made to be shared and light into a one man show where we bear all of the responsibility.

Instead, faith is our response to God’s ability, not our own.

Faith is a natural outcome of knowing who He really is, not a goal to be attained. Think of a child that’s willing to be tossed in the air by a good Dad. They don’t study the physics of it all or ask for the father’s previous tossed-to-drop ratio. Their faith is in who is about to throw them into the unknown, an outcome of a lifetime relationship that says, “I can trust my Dad.”
Faith is relational, not informational—it works through love, not intellect or effort12 (Galatians 5:6). We live our way into greater faith. It’s the process of knowing by experience the loving, faithful, peaceful, powerful nature of the One that we’re believing in. From that place, we’ll gladly relinquish our hold on the outcomes of our lives and know that we’re in a safe place (2 Timothy 1:12).

Our faith rises when we’re thankful because thanksgiving is an act of receiving.10

Faith is accelerated in an atmosphere of thanksgiving. We’re saying, “I believe this promise is mine. I believe You’re really like this God.6 Thank you for such a gift.” When I’m filled with gratitude for His provision, then I’m agreeing with Him that it really does belong to me—and I’ll take it. You can’t write a thank you note for a present you refused to receive.
So make a divine exchange in your thinking about faith and be free from the weight of trying to have more of it. Instead, cultivate an internal atmosphere of thanksgiving and bask in the affection of the God who adores you.5 Faith will naturally rise in that environment and your confidence in the Lord who promises to catch you always will become your greatest reality on earth—-which just happens to be how it exists in heaven too.
— Allison Bown,  from her book Joyful Intentionality which you can purchase here.

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