My roommate is training for a marathon. Well, it’s not specifically a marathon. It’s only a 5K.
“Only a 5K.”
I don’t run. The only time you’ll see me run is if someone is chasing me. And the way I see it, when the zombie apocalypse gets here, I don’t have to run the fastest. I just have to run faster than the guy next to me. So I’m set.
Running is one of those things you don’t just go out and do if you haven’t done it. I mean, you can, but you’ll probably hurt yourself. If you want to run for any length of time, you have to work up to it. You have to train for it. If you don’t, your body won’t be able to handle the strain.
But lots of things are that way in life, not just running or physical activity. You have to work up to them. If you try to accomplish something without preparing yourself first, you’re likely to fail. So is it really surprising that faith is the same way?
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” That’s what the Bible says in James 1:2-3, one of the shortest, most practical, most painful books on the New Testament.
You don’t start out with strong faith. Faith starts small, and it has to grow into something bigger. But it can’t grow until it’s tested.
Faith starts small, and it has to grow into something bigger.
What does a test of faith look like? That varies from person to person, but some tests of faith are financial (do you trust God to provide?). Some are relational (do you love God more than your significant other?). Some are physical (do you believe that God has your best interests in mind whether He heals you or not?).
Tests of faith come in many forms, but they’re always about the same thing. Do you trust God?
That’s what faith is about, following Jesus, trusting that He knows best, trusting that He’s got everything under control even when it doesn’t feel like it.
But God doesn’t drop you into these situations until He believes we’re ready. Looking back on my life, some of the tests He gave me as a child seem pretty insignificant. But I chose to trust Him then, and He came through for me. So I learned that I could always rely on Him, no matter what I needed.
So do you want powerful faith? Start small. It’s like training for a marathon. You can’t just do one day of training and expect to run the whole race without stopping.
Trust God for something small. And when He comes through, trust Him with something else. And something else after that.
Just like anything else you have to get better at, faith is a process you have to repeat. You won’t always see immediate results, but neither do runners.
The more God answers you, the easier it is to trust Him. The more you trust Him, the bigger you’ll realize He is. And before you know it, those giant problems that seem overwhelming to you today will just be a tiny blip on your radar that God helped you overcome.