From rocky faith to spiritual insight — how Scripture shapes my faith in God
Mary Justina Obiri CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Mary Justina Obiri / THE MIKE
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we don’t see” (Hebrews 11:1). I read this at a time when I was anxious about my future and its outcome — I just needed someone to tell me what to do. But, the more I talked to people about my life, the more I ended up confused. So, I began reading God’s word and realized how many promises God makes us by assuring us of His goodness.
I knew I could benefit from an abundance of the Lord’s promises. With so many distractions around me, I tried to practice stillness in the Lord so I could build my relationship with Him. I realized this practice requires tons of work, as it isn’t automatic. I would quietly read a verse or two and think about how it applied to my life and then prayed for the Holy Spirit to help me. It’s good knowing the Holy Spirit does help me — He even “intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). Before I was saved, I was skeptical as I thought it was going to be hard to please God. As a sinner, I struggle with so many things. But the good thing about having faith in God is that I don’t rely on only myself. God helps me by giving me the fruits of the Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
Several strong men and women in the Bible persevered through difficult times. We’ve all heard about Abraham and how he had faith in God, believing he was going to be the father of nations just as God had promised him even though he was old without a son. There’s also King Jehoshaphat who prayed to God when he was getting attacked by three different armies. When God told him to “take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 20:17), his faith granted him God’s peace. There’s Bartimaeus whose faith in God allowed him to see after being blind for so long. Jesus told him after he had made a request to him, “Go… your faith has healed you” (Mark 10:52).
I encourage you to read the stories of these men and so many others who got to see great things happen to them in their lives because of their strong faith in God. While there are so many people with faith in the Bible, we also know of others who didn’t have faith in God and how different their lives turned out. I’ve been keeping a record of the values of men and women who have faith in God and how much it built their character and gave them great rewards. Jonathan, for example, was faithful and loyal. David’s faith in God made him a generous, brave, forgiving, and kind man. He also got to rule over Israel. Hannah’s faith in God gave her not only one but six children.
Faith in God is not limited to His existence, but rather extends to believing in his divinity and trusting in Him. God has been guiding me to be a better person; I’m learning about my virtues and myself. I’m learning to appreciate people more and build stronger relationships with them. I’m challenging myself to persist in prayer and read scripture; doing so provides me with peace. I am growing more confident in my position as a woman of faith in God and I’m starting to set goals for myself spiritually. Soon, I will be prophesying and I know this will happen because I’ve asked God. He says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). My faith in God involves me asking Him to help me by guiding my steps and believing He’s doing so. It’s not worrying about what I have to eat or where money is going to come from because I know He’s going to provide for me. In Mark 11:24, He says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Whenever I go through difficulties, I truly believe and trust in these words. After all, He said, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). Ultimately, God comes as close as we allow Him to; He doesn’t force anything on us. So, I’m learning to choose Him, have faith in Him and His love for me, listen to Him, and obey Him.