What would cause anyone in their right mind to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, drive in the bitter cold winter weather, and show up at their local gym hours before most people get out of a warm bed?
A burning desire to look different or a passion to improve performance.
If you go to any gym at this crazy early hour in the morning, you’ll see people with passion. You’ll see a man with a strong desire to get stronger. You’ll find a woman with a burning intensity to look better.
Take this from experience. I’ve been getting up and going to the gym at this ridiculous hour in the morning for years. Stronger muscles only come through sweat. Similarly, stronger faith only comes through sweat.
I want to use this idea of exercising to get stronger to describe the word faith. Stick with me, and you’ll see how you can strengthen your faith today.
Sore today, stronger tomorrow
Most people want a stronger faith. The problem is that most people don’t really know how to grow their own faith. Most people have never really learned what it takes to exercise faith. We treat faith like the models in magazines or sports stars at the championship game. Most of us would love to look like the magazine cover or perform like champions, but have no idea what it takes to get to that level.
This is how most people treat faith. They would love to have the strong faith that they see in other people; they just have no idea how to get there. Well, let me be your personal trainer today and describe how to have the kind of faith that others only wish for.
I want you to think about your faith like a muscle. Faith isn’t one of those muscles that gets bigger over time. Rather, faith gets stronger the more that you use it. Conversely, if you don’t use your faith, it will get weaker. If you don’t exercise your faith, it won’t grow stronger. You have to work it in order to grow it.
Don’t get me wrong; growing your faith can be back-breaking, hard work. There are some ups and downs while growing your faith. Sure, you have to sweat a little, but there are also opportunities to enjoy yourself as your faith grows stronger. Here’s a recent article I wrote about making faith fun again.
Most of your time spent exercising is done in a comfortable range. However, in order to measure your strength, you occasionally have to put your strength to the test. Personal trainers call this test the one repetition maximum (1 Rep max). This test measures your total muscular strength in one single repetition of an exercise. It tests the maximum amount of weight a particular muscle can lift.
The faith equivalent of your 1 rep max would be how much stress or suffering you can handle before you have a complete nervous breakdown or a total loss of faith.
No one enjoys the 1 Rep Max test. However, anyone who is serious about getting stronger or looking better does this test regularly. Similarly, challenges to your faith are never easy, nor are they fun. However, these challenges are extremely important to growing your faith.
Think about the challenges in life that test your faith as an opportunity to demonstrate your faith. It demonstrates to you that your faith is getting stronger. It demonstrates to others the strength of your faith. If you want to know more about how to demonstrate your faith, here is a recent article I wrote about how to show the strength of your faith.
Beasting it up
All of us want a strong or beautiful faith. Bodybuilders say that you have to “beast it up” to have this rare combination of strength and beauty. I spent the last couple of weeks wrestling with this idea of growing my faith. I really wanted to understand what it takes to have a “beast-mode” faith.
After a lot of prayer and study, I finally realized that there is a variable in the faith equation that can’t be accounted for totally on your own. This variable is the Holy Spirit of the living God.
You see, there are some exercises that you must do in order to grow your faith. Sometimes, when challenges in life happen, your faith grows stronger through the struggles and difficulties of life. There are a lot of events in life that that you cannot control. When those times come, and life seems out of control, your faith has an opportunity to grow in ways that you couldn’t personally control, as well.
I’m convinced God allows these challenges in life so that our faith can grow. This is what it takes to have a supernatural faith. If you could personally do everything necessary to grow your faith… it wouldn’t be genuine faith. There must be an element of faith that is beyond reason and out of your control.
The more that I read the Bible and the longer that I walk with Jesus, the more I recognize that it is not necessarily the size of my strength that matters during the toughest challenges of life. Rather, it is the source of my strength that matters most.
God wants to show himself to you in powerful ways. He does that when you reach out to him during the challenges of life. This is why your faith grows strongest during the most difficult circumstances. This is why stronger faith only comes through sweat.
How strong is the source of your faith? How powerful is your God? Do you believe that you are in the hands of an all-powerful God who loves you and will take care of you no matter how challenging the circumstances of life get?
The source of your faith is much more important than the size of your faith! It takes both sweat and a supernatural work of God in order to have mountain-moving faith.
If you want to know more, check out my recent sermon on the gift of faith.