YOU don’t just wake up one morning, light streaming in from the window, birds fluttering about and jump from your bed with exuberance declaring ‘I have a faith!’
No, it’s more like a slow crawl from your bed as you try to slam on the snooze button one last time. Getting faith isn’t easy, even though people put the phrase ‘have faith!’ on repeat like it’s no big deal. It’s a slow, sometimes agonising process that many people give up on, but in truth, it’s worth the wait. Having faith puts that pep in your step when you feel like you’ve busted a kneecap. It gets you to try one more time towards your righteous desires and keeps you smiling, when all you want to do is crawl back into bed.
Faith is the end result of a long journey, but it makes the trip bearable. However, sometimes it can be hard to see the road to faith, or at least the end of the road. If you’ve found yourself in this spot, Martin Luther King Jnr has some wise words.
‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’
So what is the first step? Honestly, it’s different for everyone. But if you’re having a hard time viewing that staircase, here are a few steps to get you started.
IDENTIFY THE DOUBT
What’s causing you anxiety right now? What’s making you worry? What’s filling you with doubt? Pinpoint an area of your life that’s weighing you down and take some time to ponder why it’s so hard. If you need to, find a quiet space to meditate or pray about the things that are bothering you, and ask yourself why these things are having an impact on your life. Why are we doing this? Because in order to identify a solution, we need to identify the problem.
FIND YOUR MANTRA
Having a little saying you can repeat to yourself in times of trouble is a great way to dispel fear. Faith is a concept that’s been around since the beginning of mankind, and you can find motivating quotes across the religious or spiritual spectrum. Take some time to search them out and find a phrase or quote that speaks to you. Put this quote somewhere you can see it often, like your phone. And when you feel that fear or anxiety beginning to rise, just take a deep breath and repeat after them:
‘Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone’ – Pope Francis
‘If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use’ – Dalai Lama
‘For with God, nothing shall be impossible’ – Luke 1:37
Now that we’ve identified the problem and have a mantra to keep us focused, let’s work on that solution. Write your problem down and start brainstorming ways to fix it, even the hard ones. What are the obvious ways you can fix it? The not-so obvious? Make bullet points until you have a solid list, then go through and find the solution that would be the most effective.
And now you’ll take action. You might be afraid, but that’s okay. Faith isn’t about not having fear, it’s about acting anyway. So take that solution and run with it, not looking back.
Faith isn’t a one-step process, and it’s also not a one-stop shop. In order to find and keep faith, you’ll need to practice over and over again. But that’s okay! With each step you’ll become stronger and stronger until faith is your first reaction to challenges, not fear.
Prayer to become a giving person
***Loving Father, I come to you today with grateful thanks for the gifts and promises that so readily stream in direction from you. So often, Lord, my foolish heart is filled with worry and anxiety and I find myself looking at the problem of my supply instead of looking to You as my generous supplier. Please forgive this lack of trust in you, for I know that you have promised to supply all our needs according to your riches in glory – for which, Lord, I thank and praise you.
Lord, I want to be able to hand over each and every one of my worries to you and to develop a generous and outgiving personality that keeps my eyes on Jesus, rather than continuing to be the ‘worrier’ that I have become. I know that this does not honour your name and I so desire to walk in the paths of righteousness and become a person with a generous heart that flows from your own generosity – a grateful heart that is full of trust, and thanks to you, who have done so much for me.
Lord, I know that I cannot change my nature myself, but I do know that in the power of the Holy Spirit I can take my worrisome thoughts captive and hand them over to you – and turn my worries and anxieties into purposeful praise, knowing that in all things you are the supplier of all I need. I ask this in Jesus’ name.