It’s one thing for us to reach the point in life where we believe Jesus died for our sins and we accept Him as our Savior. It’s something else to keep your faith for a lifetime.
Sometimes in church we witness a person who starts his Christian walk with deep passion only to lose it some years down the line. The question is, how do you keep your faith for a lifetime?
Paul the apostle said concerning himself, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). And as we read about the life of this great apostle in the New Testament, we know he did not have an easy Christian life. He endured persecutions, imprisonments, and beatings. He was even left for dead at least once. Nonetheless, by his own words, he finished his course and kept the faith.
Ways to Keep the Faith
Notice that Paul is talking about how he finished his course not how he began it. According to the Scriptures, we must keep the faith until the end in order to be saved. “For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:14).
So let me share with you three things I believe are essential if you are to keep your faith until the end.
1. Study your Bible regularly, preferably daily. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). So as the Bible introduces us to new truths and we believe in them, our faith grows in those areas.
Sometimes, however, the Bible does not introduce us to new truths for growing in faith. Rather, it confirms things we already know. In that case, the Scriptures reinforce our beliefs, thereby deepening our faith.
2. Practice the things you learn from the Word of God. If we don’t become a doer of the Word, we will remain babes in Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews chastised the Christians for not growing. He said they had been in the faith long enough to be teachers but were in need of one to teach them—again—the fundamentals of the faith (see Hebrews 5:12).
He said the Christian who progresses from babes on milk to adults on meat is the one “who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (verse 14, NIV). Note the phrase constant use.
3. Faithfully serve the Lord. This point brings me back to Paul the apostle. One reason he was so steadfast in his faith was that he continued to be about Christ’s business. Paul was tested on every side. But he kept trusting the Lord to come through for him. This type of experience with God emboldened his faith. You can sense his bold faith in the Lord in his epistles.
Serving God is where the rubber meets the road. As long as you involve yourself in serving the Lord, you will have challenges. These challenges are opportunities for you to trust God. They place a demand on your faith in Him. And the more you exercise your faith in God the stronger your faith becomes.
In summary, if you want to keep your faith until the end, you should be a student of the Word of God, you should put into practice the Word of God, and you should be faithful in serving the Lord. Paul the apostle modeled this life for us and in the end he had an awesome testimony about himself. With the Lord’s help, you can do the same.
Frank King is pastor of the English-speaking congregation at the Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA, 31313.