Holding Fast to your Faith – not just having faith – but holding fast to it and not wavering is a responsibility that we have as Children of God.
I like to look up words, I don’t like to take for granted that I know what a word means, because in some cases I could be wrong.
I looked up holding fast – Merriam-Webster defines it as
Something to which something else may be firmly secured,
The Urban Dictionary defines it as
To beardown, grit it out, stay the course. It said Hold Fast originally was a Norwegian nautical term – hold tight – referring to the importance of securely gripping a ships rigging.
With that being said, lets discuss what it means to secure your faith. Do you know your level of FAITH; what are the obstacles that hinder your faith; and finally, how do you grow your faith.
What is FAITH?
Hebrews 11:1 says
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In other words, FAITH is the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true.
The Bible Dictionary defines FAITH as
a Belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one’s life
Having faith is the result of teaching. When you look at Romans 10:17 it says
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Bible has much to say about levels of faith.
I must make a disclaimer, having FAITH has nothing to do with your age or how long you been a Christian. But the maturity level or the growth of your faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustardseed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Levels of FAITH
1. “Faith Without Root”
Jesus spoke of having faith without root. It is the kind that springs up quickly, and beautifully, but because it has no depth, fails just as quickly when temptation and trials come along. For the most part this is because the soil has not been properly prepared by digging and searching for knowledge, guidance, and truth, in God’s Word.
“11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
” (Luke 8:13).
2. “Wavering Faith”
“To bend,” “to be insincere,”
James encourages believers to put their faith in action: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed,” For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, (James 1:5-7, KJV).
A wavering faith is one that doubts, and one is unstable in all his/her ways. Unbelief is either refusing to act, or ignorance of the Word of God.
A wavering level of faith is also double-mindedness, which means, “two souled,” a constant changing of the mind, (Vines). One minute you trust and believe God, the next you question whether God is with you at all.
A double-minded person cannot maintain a consistent course of action, but wavers back and forth, both in faith, and in their actual requests of God. Double-mindedness will keep you from holding tightly to your requests until you have received the answer.
3. “Weak Faith”
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb,” (Rom.4:19.
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables,” (Rom 14:1-3).
Examples from the Bible of weakness in faith, were of those who considered it a sin to eat meat. In our day, a person weak in faith might continually argue over areas of the Bible he/she does not properly understand, but has formed a personal opinion.
For someone to constantly forbid and condemn the things he considers to be sin, when there is no clear leading in scripture, would be sin.
“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin,” (Rom 14:23).
A person of little faith will find limited opportunities to benefit from the Gospel, and very little of the peace and joy that should accompany the life of a Believer.
Those who are strong in faith are told to accept the weak:
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” (Rom 15:1).
4. “Little Faith”
Little faith is being Fearful, displaying a lack of total trust. In the scripture Christ issues a tender rebuke for anxiety and fear.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary)
“if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt 6:30)
And in Matthew starting at 8:23
“23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
When in the midst of what appears to be a challenging situation, one of little faith immediately sees destruction and despair. There is no room for the possibility of being victorious. That is until there is a conversation with the one in control of everything, who reminds them, as long as you are with me you will be fine.
5. “Common Faith”
A faith commonly or mutually shared by all Christians, that believes mankind can find salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ the Messiah, Savior of the world.
In Titus 1:4, it is referred to as, “common faith;”
“Titus, a true son in our common faith…”
In Romans 1:12, The Apostle Paul uses the word, “mutual faith”
“That is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
6. “Active Faith”
“Doer of the Word,” (James 2:14-26; Heb. 10:19-38).
This is the level of faith that goes into action, according to the Word of God. It is actively doing and living in faith, as though the things requested of God, although we haven’t seen them yet, are a reality. Active faith is a requirement for receiving from God.
Answered prayer is perhaps the greatest faith building experience possible. How great to pray to Almighty God, and to have Him answer. This is God’s plan, and it can happen to each and every child of God.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you,”
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
According to 2 Cor 5:17, anyone in Christ is a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new.
You must become aware of your new life in Christ.
You have the Spirit of Jesus within you, as well as His love and nature. His power flows through you to bear much fruit. Jesus died to make this possible. Cling to His promises, allow His Words to give you the faith to ask and receive.
Do not waste these benefits, be a doer and not a hearer only. Being in Christ gives you the right to act on the Word in order to bear fruit in obedience to Jesus. Faith is a mighty force that knows no defeat.
7. “Faith without Works”
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works,” (James 2:18).
A faith without works passively believes and accepts the Bible literally, but without action. Many people believe and have faith that God can do all His Word says. They believe in miracles, yet fail to act on His Word.
8. “Unwavering Faith”
Sincere, Unbendable – (opposite of wavering) – To believe God without question.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23).
Unwavering faith is to count those things that be not as though they are, (Rom.4:17; Mark 11:22-24).
There is no need for God’s Children to be trapped in fear, weakness, poverty, or despair.
In order to receive from God we must believe and hold to our faith without wavering, (Heb 10:23).
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” (James 1:6-8).
All things are possible with God, nothing is beyond His power. Unwavering faith gives thanks for the answer from the moment it is asked, then looks forward to it’s fulfillment with child-like expectation.
When you really believe, you have acted. The act of believing is a necessary step in getting a response from God. Faith is action, in counting those things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17; Mark 11:22-24).
9. “Great Faith”
An unrelenting, totally persuaded type of faith, that does not give up until there’s an answer to the request.
A Centurion who had asked Jesus to heal his sick child, and whose faith was so great that he said,
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” “When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” (Matt 8:8-10)
And there was the woman from Canaan, a Gentile, (not a Jew). The Gentiles as a rule, had very little, if any faith in God.
This woman requested Jesus to heal her severely demon-possessed daughter. When Jesus refused, saying that He had only been sent to the Jews, she persisted, and demonstrated a faith so great that it brought the following response from Jesus:
“…O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire…” (Matt 15:21-28).
Great faith will always move God to answer.
10. “Strong Faith”
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God,”(Rom 4:20).
Abraham had a faith that refused to surrender or be defeated. Following the example of Abraham’s faith is a way to receive what might be considered impossible and unprecedented.
Strong faith will not be turned away. Regardless of the situation or outlook, it digs in and holds fast until it receives what has been asked of God.
Most Christians desire this kind of faith, but it seems that only a few can maintain faith, while thanking God for the answer in advance.
I believe another term for strong faith might be, “Ruthless Faith.” The kind that refuses to doubt and waver when things do not seem to be going as requested of God. This is the way to get tangible answers from God.
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Rom 4:20-21).
Obstacles of Faith
Obstacles we deal with – why we struggle with faith:
“Human Level of Faith”
We use FAITH in various everyday activities. I’ve heard this example several times.
Everybody stand up from a chair. Now sit back down. You made the unconscious decision to sit in that chair, by faith that it would hold you. The Human level of faith is to have confidence in any object or person you choose. Including the Word of God. It’s an obstacle because you may or may not CHOOSE to have faith in God today!
The devil caused mankind to fall in the Garden of Eden, and is the one who brings doubt and unbelief. He doesn’t mind if you chose to believe in a chair, or the word of another person, but will do all in his power to destroy your faith in God’s Word.
Human Reasoning – unreasonable to me because of where I am right now not unreasonable to God
Living by sight – I don’t see it, God has to prove it to me. You can’t live by faith and sight at the same time.
Surrendering to my feelings – I don’t feel like I can do it.
Negative counsel from others – when God challenges you to do something you can’t ask someone about it. He gave you the challenge he will equip you to meet it.
Feelings of guilt – looking at your past forgetting he is a forgiving God.
Neglecting the Word of God – the Word is the fuel of our faith
Continue in sin – you can’t believe God
Satan’s tactics – causes doubt. If you don’t believe God you believe the devil.
How to Secure Your Faith
Identify the problem that causes your faith to waiver. I’ve given you a few to start with.
The key word in faith is FOCUS. What are you focused on?
A growing faith steadily progresses from a weak little faith to a strong great faith.
A growing faith is pleasing to God:
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly…”
(2 Thes 1:3, English Standard Version)
Paul was clearly disappointed when the Corinthians failed to grow in their faith:
“I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,”
(1 Cor 3:2, ESV).
Nutritious milk helps a baby to grow strong and healthy; Spiritual food will help a baby Christian to grow into a deeper level of faith. – Samuel L. Mills
– Dr. Charles Stanley once said
There is no way to measure your faith until it has been tested.
By Barb Felder