Is faith grown overnight? As I read the psalms and spend some extended time in Hebrews 11, I see that faith is more like a crock-pot than an InstaPot.
The men and women mentioned in Hebrews 11 obtained a good testimony through faith. This testimony was not obtained by sight, nor was it a quick process. Cultivating faith takes much time...and waiting.
When God warned Noah "of things not yet seen", Noah believed and acted according to God's instructions by faith and waited for the promised judgment.
When God instructed Abraham to leave his home, Abraham obeyed even though he had no idea where he was going. He waited for the city whose builder and maker is God. He and Sarah both waited for God's promise to be made real--a baby for the barren ninety-year-old woman! They had to wait because it was up to God to make this impossible happen; she was past the age and Abraham was as good as dead. They clearly couldn't make this miracle happen by their own abilities!
God has given us many promises in His Word. Sometimes, in the wait, I can begin to believe these promises are for other people, but not for me. He doesn't seem to be answering my prayers, right? But, in the wait, faith is grown. Trust is deepened. Belief is solidified.
And, in the wait there is often an element of chastening.
Faithful waiting brings about the glorious fruit of righteousness in our lives. It is a process and we are trained, or conformed, into this fully grown fruit. Praise God for the careful and purposeful works of His hands.
Tomorrow we begin the season of Lent. In this time, we wait for the day when we celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection. While it is a joyful practice to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ each and everyday to ourselves, this particular Sunday that we wait for, Resurrection Sunday, is a glorious and hope-filled day to rejoice with our brothers and sisters and proclaim the finished work of Jesus Christ.
As we wait over these next 40 days, I encourage you to cultivate faith. What promises from God are you doubting to be true for you? What seems too far out of reach to happen? Ask God to grow this gift that He has given you--faith.