It has been said that, if we feed our faith, then our fears will starve to death. Unfortunately, sometimes our fears are better fed than our faith is. Which are we feeding?

Faith is important. Mary McLeod Bethune said, "Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible." The writer to the Hebrews tells us, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

So we need faith since, without faith, it is impossible to please God, and pleasing God should be our number one goal in life.

How do we get faith? Do we have enough faith? If it is weak, can we increase it? The apostles made this request to Jesus when they said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." No doubt the apostles realized that there was room for improvement in their faith department, and certainly it could also be true for us.

How do we increase our faith? Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God. We need to do our Bible readings.

But, we may be afraid that we are too weak, and we wonder if our faith is growing at all. Or perhaps we find it hard to absorb properly the words we read in the Scriptures. That word "impossible" may seem impossibly big, too big for us to overcome, and we may start feeding our fears instead of our faith.

To stop this way of thinking, Jesus explains, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." The angel Gabriel reassured Mary, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

So it is possible, with God's help, to overcome our fears and grow in faith - but how? Is there more to it than reading the Bible?

The answer is love. When we read the words our God has written for us in the Bible, we must respond with love and thankfulness in our hearts for all the loving kindness God has shown toward us - in giving His Son, and in His wonderful plan of salvation. The way to feed our faith and starve our fear is to love. The apostle John tells us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

When we love the way God intends for us to love, fear is defeated, we grow in faith, and then, truly, nothing is impossible. What many consider to be the impossible dream, the hope of being with the Son of God in his Kingdom, becomes a crown of rejoicing because our faith gives us confidence that God loves us and wants to save us and bring us into His Kingdom.

John counsels us "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

We need to be working at developing and increasing our love for God and our brethren by reading the Bible to learn more about the goodness of God towards us, and by showing love to each other. Our faith will grow as we grow in understanding and love for our heavenly Father, John tells us, "God is love , and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." "If we love one another, God abides in us and His love has been perfected in us."

What a great way to live. Our life needs to be filled with faith and love. To do this we must fill ourselves with God's word, for that is the only way we can truly understand the love God has for us. Realizing God's love for us will help us to develop the kind of faith and the kind of love that is pleasing to God.

Let us ask our heavenly Father to increase our faith, and to increase our love, so that nothing shall be impossible for us when these two virtues consume our very being. Then we will feed our faith and our fear will starve to death, for "perfect love casts out fear." As John says, "if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us".

Robert J Lloyd


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