Seven Ways to Grow in Faith

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“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”  Luke 17:5


‘Omnia possibilia sunt credenti. Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ The words are Christ’s. How is it that you don’t say to him with the apostles: ‘Adauge nobis fidem! Increase my faith!’?” (The Way, 588)  Saint Luke’s Gospel. (2005). (p. 148). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.

Today’s Readings offer us seven ways to increase our faith.


  1. Faith Begins Small. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (cf. Luke 17: 6).  Cornelius à Lapide explains: “faith small in appearance but of great virtue and efficacy… it’s quick, perfect, burning like a mustard seed.”  Our faith, like a mustard seed,  starts small and stays small always creating new life.

  2. Journal.  God told Habakkuk,  “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time,  presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.” (Hab. 2:2)  When God speaks to us throughout the day and in the pages of Scripture, it’s good to follow Habakkuk, and “write it down clearly.”

  3. Serve.  Remember Jesus words, ” When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” (Luke 17: 10) The disciples understood the dynamic of the slave and his master. Jesus’ point in this short parable is simple, “We serve at the pleasure of our king.”

  4. Remember God’s gifts.  When you serve and use your spiritual gifts, it kindles faith. Paul reminded Timothy “to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”   (2 Timothy 1:6)

  5. Stay Orthodox.    New and creative isn’t the kingdom way.  “Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.”  (2 Timothy 1:13-14)  Even though Timothy’s spiritual father was Paul, Timothy’s knowledge of Scripture came from his mother and grandmother.   James 5:20 asks believers to restore Christians who have left Orthodoxy.  Interestingly, the verses prior to {vv 28-30), describe Elijah’s faith.

  6. Persistence:  If our eternal reward awaits those who finish the race how much more in the matters of faith.   Though we find ourselves doubting and crying out, “How long, O LORD?  I cry for help but you do not listen!”  (Hab. 1:2-3) we are warned never to give up.  Jesus repeatedly urged us to stay the course (cf,  “I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11;8)

  7. The just shall live by faith.  Hab. 2:4 famously states: “The rash one has no integrity;  but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.”  Even though we tremble (like Habakkuk) when godless powers like Korea, Iran, and China threaten us, we can watch world history unfold through faith.

 

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