Faith.....the essence of things unseen, of things hoped for. Faith, necessary to a relationship with God. It is gifted to us by God. Free and for the asking......enough to accept Christ. Then others are blessed with more, as a part of their Spiritual gifts when they receive Christ. I seem to have inherited an ample share, on the whole. God didn't bless me with this gift because he likes me more. He blessed me so that I may share it. Spread it around. Work it.
Faith is a journey. The path goes up and down through valleys and over mountains. Sometimes the sun is in your eyes. Sometimes a fog rolls in. Sometimes trees and brush hang over the path and hinder your way. But you have to keep taking steps. Small ones. Or big strides. Depends on the strength of those faith muscles that day. Depends on how far the Guide has marked for that days journey, also. The Guide is dependable. You have to trust that. And that in itself is a big part of faith. He'll urge you on and sometimes He'll tarrly His stride to wait on you.....quietly. When those muscles cramp up and your knees buckle below you, he'll catch you and carry you if you just whisper His name. And then sometimes if your throat is too parched from the journey to speak His name, He'll call it for you.....from His Sweet Spirit within you.
Faith is much like a muscle. It has to be excercised. How do you excercise it? By using it. When do you use it? To a point everyday. But then there are other times it really gets a work out! And there are blessed times of "cool down". When you revel in the afterglow of faith extended and met with Faithfulness.
There are times when you can't feel your own faith. Sometimes because it is out in front, driving and supporting you. Sometimes because it is weak and fragile. Sometimes it's like breathing, and at other times it takes every concious fiber of your being. Sometimes you are bare-knuckles hanging on to the last shread for dear life. Sometimes you are rolling in the green pastures of abundance.
As for advice. Stay near the source. Even when you don't feel like it. Even if you feel let down or ignored. Stay in the Word. It's full of faith commended, faith tested, faith failing, faith restoring examples. Continue to pray, even if your prayers sound more like rants. I say it often, but He's big enough to take it! And He loves you enough to put up with it! You can't make Him unlove you. He is unchanging.
Draw on every memory of faith you have. That's what they are there for. Little exercises of the past, to strengthen us in the here and now. Recall every answer, every gesture. Praise Him and thank Him for these. Even if you don't feel like it now. (If you love me you will obey me He says. We are told repeatedly to give thanks in all things.) Do it because you are supposed to.
New to faith, not enough life experience and water under the bridge? Surround yourself with folks that have a testimony of faith. Call on them often. Hear their stories. Over and over. Use their blocks to begin building your tower.
And don't ever think yourself unworthy or second class when your faith waivers! We all do it in some form, to some extent! You need look no further than the twelve to see twelve examples of this. Fact is on our own, none of us are worthy. We are worthy only because He decided we were worthy on a hill two thousand years ago.
And buy some mustard seed! Get a good look at it. For He tells us from His own mouth if we have faith even of the grain of mustard seed, we can speak to mountains and move them. Mountains of doubt, fear, dread, indifference. Any mountain on the horizon of your life.
Whatever else, know you are not alone Stacy!