Do you often think about Jesus being the perfecter of your faith? It takes so much pressure off to understand that that’s His job. You don’t have to worry about whether your faith is strong enough. You can slide that burden off your shoulders and right into His beautiful, big, awaiting hands.
Strengthening and purifying the quality of your faith is His project – one that He is passionately committed to. Every day of your life, He is eagerly and faithfully working on this project.
Here is a description of what that looks like: He stands at the door and knocks. As often as we are willing to open to Him, He comes in and dines with us. We spent time communing together, feasting on precious fellowship. During that time of fellowship, Holy Spirit is doing His beautiful work in our hearts, strengthening our faith through the Word and through His personal communication to our spirits.
As we commit ourselves to this regular fellowship, each day we get to know Him a little bit better than the day before. The more you and I get to know God, the more we come to perceive how good and kind He is. That heart knowledge of His nature fosters hope on the inside of us. Our hope grows in direct proportion to our awareness of His unfailing love for us. That growing hope is the substance of faith.
As hope grows, faith grows. Our developing faith then connects you and me into the flow of the good gifts that express His nature. As Jesus would say to the individuals receiving His ministry, “According to your faith it is done unto you.” This statement is not intended to put pressure on us. Instead, the Father intends it to encourage us to continue yearning for and surrendering to His perfecting work of our faith.
Yes, all of this is His work in us. It’s not something we do for ourselves. We couldn’t if we tried. Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. We just need to keep giving Him room in our lives to do the breathtaking work He is so amazingly good at.
So what is our role in this hope-growing, faith-growing process? According to our Scripture for today, two things:
1) “…Let us run with endurance…” Keep on pushing forward on the track that He has set in front of you. The emphasis here is not on your speed, but on your endurance. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t give up! As you keep pressing forward, know that Holy Spirit is doing a breathtaking work on the inside of you, perfecting your faith.
2) “…Looking to Jesus…” Keep on looking at the One who loves you more than anything. When you see Him gazing back at you with eyes brimming over with devotion, it gives you the strength to keep taking that next step forward. As you keep training the eyes of your heart on Him, you will perceive Him more and more clearly. As you run this race in His intimate company, your companionship will continue to build. Hope and faith will quietly and beautifully continue to grow inside of you.
So the pertinent question is not, Is my faith strong enough? Don’t worry about that. Take your eyes off that question and instead fix them on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. He will complete the good work He began in you.
Question for you: What is the difference between the measure of faith God gives to each of us (Romans 12:3), and the spiritual gift of faith mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Do people who receive the gift of faith get a jumpstart on the growth process we have talked about today?
Also, how is your faith journey going? What are your thoughts on Jesus’ work in your life to perfect your faith?