by Rick Warren — September 10, 2017
“Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (Mark 9:23b GNT).
As a pastor, probably the question I’m asked more than any other is, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand it.” When you don’t understand God’s six phases of faith — the steps he uses to build your character — you will get discouraged. You may become resentful. You will certainly worry. You may become fearful about the future or get depressed. And most of all, you can’t cooperate with what God is doing when you don’t understand the process he’s taking you through. But when you understand the six phases of faith, then you can say, “Oh, right now I’m in phase four” — or phase six or phase two. You understand better what God’s doing, and you don’t get disheartened when times are tough.
The Bible says in Matthew 9:29b, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (NIV). That’s the key to the great adventure of following Jesus Christ. God says, “You get to choose how much I bless your life. You believe, and I’ll do it. You believe, and I’ll bless.”
Faith is like a muscle — it develops. It can be strengthened or it can grow weak, depending on how much you use it. God builds your faith with a very predictable process. If you understand it, you can cooperate with it.
First, God gives you a dream for your life. Then, you have to make a decision about it. The third stage is delay, where you wait for God to work in his time. The next stage is difficulty, where God tests you. Then, you might reach a dead end, which will make you want to give up. But in the end, God always brings you to deliverance, the final stage of his six phases of faith.
Mark 9:23b says, “Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (GNT).
Do you want to have a stronger faith as you go on this great adventure with God? You first need to understand the six phases of faith that God takes you through so that you won’t get discouraged when you don’t see results or answers right away. Over the coming days we’ll examine these six phases.