When you accepted Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit came into your life and sealed you forever as a child of God. Salvation is a one-time experience, but our Christian growth is continuous. God wants to use and Bless you to your maximum potential but you must be willing to step out and trust God in faith.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (CEV)
Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
1. Confidence or trust in God.
2. Believing in what is true .
3. Being convinced of the truth, being certain of reality.
4. Believing, hoping in, embracing, and seizing the truth.
When you accepted Christ as Lord of your life, your spiritual eyes were open, and it started a process of growing in Christ, and in some respects it is a slow process. Your Growth will not be automatic. It takes time, work, effort, and patience. Christian Growth occurs in the realms of obedience and trust.
One very difficult thing for us Christians to do is to simply say, “This matter is in God’s hands.” Our human nature likes to retain control, because We want some grip on difficult situations. Christian Growth is something we need to work on every single day. We need to learn to put Christ first in all situations of our lives. One way to do that is to meditate on God's word.
Biblical meditation is of immense value if we are to listen accurately to God. It is the key to our spiritual growth.
Definition: What is biblical meditation? It's a period of time set aside to contemplate the Lord, listen to Him and allow Him to permeate our spirits.
Psalms 27:4 (NLT)
The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
Psalms 77:11-12 (NKJV)
I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
We spend so much time in contact with this world's value system, we desperately need to be with God and regain a biblical perspective
(Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Meditation also takes time—occasionally as little as five minutes but often 30 minutes or an hour. IF you don't prioritize time with God as you should, ask Him to search your heart for the reason why. Then pray, asking Him to remove that barrier. God wants you alone sometimes because He wants your undivided attention.
The pressures of our lives begin to dissipate when we are secluded, silent and still before the Lord. Through daily times of meditation, you allow God to love you completely. Nothing will impact your life more than this powerful practice of meditation.
In order for our Christian growth to be strengthened it must be refined...by fire.God allows Satan to test us at times knowing we can overcome the testing from Satan. Such testing, leaves us strengthened for God's service.
The ultimate purpose of a trial is to strengthen our Christian character. as Christians we must die to our old self and become like Christ, in our (spiritual birth) new creation forgetting the things of the past and continuing to our Heavenly destination even though we struggle with trials and tribulations.
James 1:2-3 (NKJV)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Christian Growth is the process of reaching maturity, andconformity to the character of God as revealed in Christ:
Colossians 3:1 (NKJV)
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1 (CEV)
You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God’s right side.
Colossians 3:1 (NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Part of Christian spiritual growth is learning to trust God. Christ said, I am the vine and you are the branches. We must remember that without the vine there is no nourishment for the branches. That is why it's so important for us to stay in Christ for Christ is our source of strength; he makes us strong in our spiritual growth.
AS Christians we don’t court suffering, but we do expect it. We must rejoice when suffering comes, because it is a testing or trying of our faith, helping faith to mature. We need not--and should not--blame God for suffering which is a result of our own foolish, intentional sinful actions. Such actions direct us to the unlimited forgiveness and grace of God. Final response to the suffering and testing of God is always to Praise God.
Job 1:21 (NIV)
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
Hebrews 12:7 (NKJV)
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Suffering, for the Christian, is not punishment. It is discipline, specifically the discipline of Christian character. It is the way God demonstrates that we are His children we are never alone in our testing, even when we feel we have left God or He has left us. As Jesus prayed for Peter while being "sifted like wheat" and as the Father continued praying for the return of his lost son (Luke 15), so Jesus never takes His loving attention from us. He is always praying to the Father on our behalf. Thus, whatever suffering we endure as a testing of our faith is cause for joy, not despair.
2 Corinthians 10:15 ( NKJV )
not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
The hardest thing about suffering is remembering to keep our faith strong. If we lose this focus, we fail the test, but Failure is never final; God is always forgiving and will restore us even when we have failed. We must Praise God always in all situations good or bad.
After the trial, we are never the same. A trial, as God intends, exposes and deepens our weaknesses even as it uncovers and develops new strengths and opportunities for ministry. The tears of trials, therefore, are the chisel God uses to change our Christian’s heart painfully--but skillfully--to enliven our hope in Jesus Christ.
Do not yield to discouragement because of suffering. This is one of the greatest battles we will ever face - the battle to stay encouraged and joyful. PRAISE is a major key to making it through trials. If offered sincerely, in faith, to God, it will help you get out of troubles faster than anything, and you will get stronger and feel less pain in the whole process, because God dwells in the praises of His people. Just consider how quickly God delivered Paul and Silas from the jail in Philippi when they praised Him in the middle of the night (Acts 16)! This is a good example for us. Here is where major spiritual battles are won or lost. Praise God instead of grumbling. It will make the world of difference.