Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to Live a Life of Faith

Some people think faith means a skill of belief you must acquire before you can start calling upon God. That is not what faith means. Faith is simply the decision, each day, to act as if God’s promises are true and present in your life.

It is important to understand this quality of faith because faith is not a state of mind. It is a practice, a daily practice of calling upon God and trusting that he will respond—even when, sometimes, it seems he is far away.

How do you acquire this practice? By doing it. An easy way to start is simply to affirm your faith verbally. Say, “I believe. God is with me right now.” Even if you haven’t completely taken the words to heart, saying them will cause your mind gradually to follow along.

Then pray this prayer: “Dear Jesus, I place my life and the lives of my loved ones in the shelter of your loving arms. I’m going to trust you to care for us in every way today. You only want good for your children, so whatever happens, you’ll work today for our benefit.”

Once you have done this, approach each of the day’s tasks with the assumption that God is working beside you. The key is to hold on to this conviction even when events seem to be going against you. Remember St. Paul’s great promise: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

And don’t be surprised if living by faith brings you victory more quickly than you had expected. When you arm yourself with faith, you tap a wellspring of intellectual and emotional strength. Before you know it, you’ll be overcoming any calamities you face.

This essay appeared in Guideposts magazine.

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