“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith…” (1 Timothy 4:12).
I love this grove of trees. I have no idea what kind they are, but they grow like corkscrews! Never growing straight, but always growing up, reaching for the sun. Their mere height is a testament of their survival over time.
As I look back over my life and see what God has brought me through and how He has provided for me, I am amazed. I see what He has done, and I am encouraged for the future. I know He has a plan, and He will work it out! Not only because of where I’ve been or what has happened in my life, but God has also given me a measure of faith. If you are a follower of Christ, you have also received a measure of faith. “Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3). Faith is something we receive, not something we drum up in ourselves.
So then, how can we be an example in our faith, if our faith is given to us by God? What if we feel that our faith is small, or not worthy to be an example for anyone? Think of the father who came to Jesus, telling Him that His disciples were unable to cast a demon from his son. Jesus tells him, “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23). Look at the father’s response: “The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief'” (verse 24)! Jesus then rebuked the evil spirit, and the boy was delivered. That father is an example to us. Are you lacking in faith? We all are in some respect. Ask God to increase your faith! He is a good Father, and He will not turn away from such a request.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Our stories are not finished yet…God still has work to do in us until the day we die or Christ returns! Keep reaching for the Son, and live out the faith God has given you.