Faith must be nurtured to grow and thrive
by Billy Graham
August 31, 2013 12:02 AM | 707 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: How can I get a stronger faith? I admit my faith is kind of like a roller coaster — up one day and down the next. Or is this the way it's supposed to be? — D.T.

A: No, this isn't the way God wants our faith to be. Instead, God wants our faith to be strong and stable, not battered by changing circumstances or shifting emotions. The Bible says, "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

What is the problem? Think of it this way. Suppose you decided to stop eating, or at least you decided only to eat junk food with little nutritional value. What would happen to you? The answer is obvious: you'd grow weaker and weaker, and if you didn't change your habits you could end up dying. We all need food, and without it, we'll waste away.

The same is true spiritually. In order to be spiritually strong, we need "food" — the spiritual "food" that God has already provided for us. What is this "food"? First, God has given us the privilege of fellowship with other believers. He's also given us the privilege of prayer. And He's given us, as well, the privilege of learning about Him and His will for our lives through the Bible, which is God's Word.

Fellowship... prayer... God's Word — these are the spiritual "foods" God has given us. Make them part of your life, and if you do, you'll no longer be on a spiritual roller coaster. Ask God to give you a hunger for Himself. Then seek out a church where Christ is preached and followed, and take time every day to pray and read God's Word, the Bible. When you do, you'll have "an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

Q: I have my own views about spirituality, but I don't believe in forcing them down anyone else's throat. I think people ought to be free to believe anything they want to about the Divine. Why do you Christians insist on forcing people to believe exactly the way you do? — A.L.

A: Jesus certainly didn't force people to believe in Him; many, in fact, openly rejected Him. Nor did Jesus ever tell His followers that they ought to force people to believe in Him. On one occasion, He told them, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet (Matthew 10:14).

At the same time, Christians want to share their faith with others, and for good reason. Imagine for a moment that you were a medical researcher, and one day you discovered a cure for cancer. Would you say to yourself, "Oh, well, I don't think I'll bother sharing this with anyone. Let them discover their own cure for cancer"? No, of course not. Instead, you'd do everything in your power to let others know you'd found the answer to this dreaded disease.

Cancer is a deadly disease, but even more deadly is the spiritual disease the Bible calls sin. Sin is nothing less than rebellion against God, and not only does it bring us into conflict with others and cause turmoil in our lives, but it also cuts us off from God. The Bible warns, "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

This is why we need Christ, for only He can bring us the forgiveness and new life we need. Don't be deceived into following a road that may seem good at first, but actually leads away from God. Instead, by faith turn to Christ and open your heart and life to Him.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.

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