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Thread: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

  1. #1

    increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Been trying to increase my faith. Asked God for a lot of stuff, mostly that had to do with me: a girlfriend, wisdom, purity, knowledge, willpower to stop sinning. Some of it was for others: my dad to be healthy after surgery, other people to do well at work, brethren at church to overcome cancer.

    Unfortunately I have become selfish. I kept on asking God for possessions. Even to the point of covetousness, idolatry. Now I want to be thankful for what I have, but when I give thanks, my faith dies. I hope you know what I mean. Giving thanks does not produce the same kind of faith in me as when I ask God for things, believing. I feel like I'm in a bind because when I give thanks, for some reason, I become more timid, and have less courage. But when I continue to ask for stuff, I become even more selfish, unable to see things from other peoples' perspectives, and I think thoughts like "me me me me I want this, that, more of this!"

    Even when I give thanks for food, a small honest part of me knows that my faith got a bit weaker. Why does this happen and how can I incorporate thankfulness into my life without my faith getting substantially weaker?

    Josh
    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

  2. #2
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    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    I think you must be misinterpreting either the thankfulness part or the faith part. It's possible that in your desire to be thankful, you are still growing in it and so your heart hasn't yet "reached" thankfulness in this testing period. So that could be why when you offer thanks, it isn't genuine and feels as though you are giving up the desire for whatever it is you want. That loss of pride is then perceived as loss of "faith", when in reality, your faith is being built up so that you won't feel that you need those things.

    One of my favorite promises in the Bible:

    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4)

    Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55)

    So as you continue in truthful prayer and repentance, you will receive peace through the lacking and (at least in my experience) thankfulness as a natural side-effect. But in the early stages, I think a good approach is to be as straight-forward with God as possible. If covetousness is what He is disciplining you against, then that could be a good place to start. Probably the most valuable advice I could give someone just from personal struggles is to not put on an air of "politeness" with Him (not to mean reverence, but sort of the "face" we put on for people while holding something in our minds/hearts).

    Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! (Psalm 139)

    I still think it's a good idea to press yourself into giving thanks for things, even if you don't want to, because it helps you stay focused in the trial. Don't leave it as "Thanks for X," when you really want to say, "Thanks, but I would rather..." But always try to end with acknowledging, "Your will be done."
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
    The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Ph 4

  3. #3
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    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    Been trying to increase my faith. Asked God for a lot of stuff, mostly that had to do with me: a girlfriend, wisdom, purity, knowledge, willpower to stop sinning. Some of it was for others: my dad to be healthy after surgery, other people to do well at work, brethren at church to overcome cancer.

    Unfortunately I have become selfish. I kept on asking God for possessions. Even to the point of covetousness, idolatry. Now I want to be thankful for what I have, but when I give thanks, my faith dies. I hope you know what I mean. Giving thanks does not produce the same kind of faith in me as when I ask God for things, believing. I feel like I'm in a bind because when I give thanks, for some reason, I become more timid, and have less courage. But when I continue to ask for stuff, I become even more selfish, unable to see things from other peoples' perspectives, and I think thoughts like "me me me me I want this, that, more of this!"

    Even when I give thanks for food, a small honest part of me knows that my faith got a bit weaker. Why does this happen and how can I incorporate thankfulness into my life without my faith getting substantially weaker?

    Josh
    Hi Josh, before I comment it might help me to know this, in what way(s) do you believe God normally works to increase the faith/trust that His children have in Him?

    Thanks!

    ~Deut
    Matthew 5
    16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.


    Matthew 7
    12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.


    1 Corinthians 13
    1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    1 Peter 3
    15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.


  4. #4

    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuteronomy Skaggs View Post
    Hi Josh, before I comment it might help me to know this, in what way(s) do you believe God normally works to increase the faith/trust that His children have in Him?

    Thanks!

    ~Deut
    -Not sure how much God is involved vs. how much the Christian is involved. In having faith increased. I know that by reading the Bible and allowing the words to convict can produce faith (Rom 10:17), strengthened by brethren and church (Acts 16:5), but I think it boils down to what you are willing to do, and what you do. E.g. you can ask something from God but not in faith. Serving God, serving people, letting God know your requests, giving cheerfully, showing hospitality, praying for enemies, forgiving, overcoming evil with good-- all of these show faith. So I think faith is largely something that the person can basically choose to do. Like a huge change of heart. Largely comes by action, but has to be of the right type, i.e. "in faith"-- that's where God comes in, and Jesus. You can do all the stuff but if you don't do it in faith it's not enough and it's not right.

    I think my problem was the way I was giving thanks. I realized that if all I do is give thanks but not serve, or forgive, or ask, then my faith is weakened. Likewise if I only ask for stuff my faith is not as strong as it could be, and I get some negative consequences. Realized that my heart already knew what it needed, the right things to give thanks FOR, the right way to do it. Doing this has helped, allowed me to give thanks and to have a strengthened faith, not a weakened one.
    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

  5. #5

    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    I hope this isn't too random, but I want to make a distinction that I hope exists. Emotions vs. faith? E.g. when I was asking for stuff in faith I was trying to purify my heart because I felt sinful. It helped me feel purer. I continued to do this and at length I realized if I tried to think of my own accord and use brainpower then I began to sin. I saw in my mind blackened, unusable "mind". Does this make any sense or is this delusional / a psychiatric problem? Sin distorts the mind and the thinking. If I am interpreting 1 jn 1:8 correctly, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves", that means we can never truly be 100% free from sin? At least on this earth? Is this emotional thinking, or is this true? Because as I felt like my mind was getting purified and thinking correctly, getting the distortions out, I began to see more and more how my mind had been dilapidated my sin. And I realized that there was always more to purify in mind. My conscious mind may have been purer than it was previously, but I saw my super-conscious, i.e. the part of my mind that I was dimly aware of, not the deeper desires but the part of my mind that was above my conscious mind-- again had been wrecked by sin and wrong thinking. In any case, whether emotional or truly there, it always helps to get rid of it anyway-- the impure thinking. Helps me think clearly-- except that my mind seems to go blissfully blank, with little intellectual content and a mind almost purely composed of emotion. And then I begin to feel like if I think, I sin. I see black thoughts in my head when I try to use my mind. Is this normal?


    (As I continued to ask God in faith my faith grew and so did my knowledge, I think. I think it's the distinction between emotional knowledge and static, intellectual knowledge.)

    I'm trying to ask: I have a growing nagging. When I think, and use my mind-- I see blackened parts of my mind forming, I see and hear "sin" in my mind--
    but is that really sin, or is that simply my emotions or some delusion telling me that I'm sinning?
    Last edited by Joshua1; Jul 14th 2018 at 04:01 AM. Reason: clarification
    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

  6. #6
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    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    Been trying to increase my faith. Asked God for a lot of stuff, mostly that had to do with me: a girlfriend, wisdom, purity, knowledge, willpower to stop sinning. Some of it was for others: my dad to be healthy after surgery, other people to do well at work, brethren at church to overcome cancer.

    Unfortunately I have become selfish. I kept on asking God for possessions. Even to the point of covetousness, idolatry. Now I want to be thankful for what I have, but when I give thanks, my faith dies. I hope you know what I mean. Giving thanks does not produce the same kind of faith in me as when I ask God for things, believing. I feel like I'm in a bind because when I give thanks, for some reason, I become more timid, and have less courage. But when I continue to ask for stuff, I become even more selfish, unable to see things from other peoples' perspectives, and I think thoughts like "me me me me I want this, that, more of this!"

    Even when I give thanks for food, a small honest part of me knows that my faith got a bit weaker. Why does this happen and how can I incorporate thankfulness into my life without my faith getting substantially weaker?

    Josh
    It's a continueing battle daily for Christians. All Christians have different roads to travel in their growing salvation. "We die daily" is a verse in scripture that "you" have seen in your life. You "see" your problems. This is good to see the problem. Some don't see their own problems. Do you think your "weaker in thought" faith could be contentment with the Lord instead? Just asking.
    It's no easy road. Tests will always be there for us to overcome. We will be here for advice and prayer, my friend.
    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6

    I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15

    Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matt 25:46


    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
    and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim 6:10

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    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua1 View Post
    I hope this isn't too random, but I want to make a distinction that I hope exists. Emotions vs. faith? E.g. when I was asking for stuff in faith I was trying to purify my heart because I felt sinful. It helped me feel purer. I continued to do this and at length I realized if I tried to think of my own accord and use brainpower then I began to sin. I saw in my mind blackened, unusable "mind". Does this make any sense or is this delusional / a psychiatric problem? Sin distorts the mind and the thinking. If I am interpreting 1 jn 1:8 correctly, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves", that means we can never truly be 100% free from sin? At least on this earth? Is this emotional thinking, or is this true? Because as I felt like my mind was getting purified and thinking correctly, getting the distortions out, I began to see more and more how my mind had been dilapidated my sin. And I realized that there was always more to purify in mind. My conscious mind may have been purer than it was previously, but I saw my super-conscious, i.e. the part of my mind that I was dimly aware of, not the deeper desires but the part of my mind that was above my conscious mind-- again had been wrecked by sin and wrong thinking. In any case, whether emotional or truly there, it always helps to get rid of it anyway-- the impure thinking. Helps me think clearly-- except that my mind seems to go blissfully blank, with little intellectual content and a mind almost purely composed of emotion. And then I begin to feel like if I think, I sin. I see black thoughts in my head when I try to use my mind. Is this normal?


    (As I continued to ask God in faith my faith grew and so did my knowledge, I think. I think it's the distinction between emotional knowledge and static, intellectual knowledge.)

    I'm trying to ask: I have a growing nagging. When I think, and use my mind-- I see blackened parts of my mind forming, I see and hear "sin" in my mind--
    but is that really sin, or is that simply my emotions or some delusion telling me that I'm sinning?
    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

    All Christians

    1 Peter 3:4 Let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6

    I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15

    Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matt 25:46


    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
    and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim 6:10

  8. #8

    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Are you trying to get "more faith"? What does that even mean?
    "Bigger faith?" Again, what does that even mean?

    Years ago, I used to do the same thing. "God, give me more faith. Lord, increase my faith."

    Finally, after years of knocking my head against a wall, I finally understood.

    I don't need "bigger" or "more" faith.

    I needed a better understand of how big and how great and how gracious and how loving Jesus is.

    WHen my "faith," in whatever "measure" that is, was placed in a Jesus that I understood and loved better, I didn't worry anymore about how "big" my faith was.

    Here's an illustration someone gave me once.

    If a 1/2 inch manila rope will hold me up, and it will, will my believing in it more make it hold me up more? Nope, not a bit.
    If, on the other hand, I'm holding on to a 3 inch manila cable, does may believing in it more hold me up more? Nope, but it's sure a lot easier to hold on to, and I don't worry about it breaking at all!

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
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    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedMan View Post
    Are you trying to get "more faith"? What does that even mean?
    "Bigger faith?" Again, what does that even mean?

    Years ago, I used to do the same thing. "God, give me more faith. Lord, increase my faith."

    Finally, after years of knocking my head against a wall, I finally understood.

    I don't need "bigger" or "more" faith.

    I needed a better understand of how big and how great and how gracious and how loving Jesus is.

    WHen my "faith," in whatever "measure" that is, was placed in a Jesus that I understood and loved better, I didn't worry anymore about how "big" my faith was.

    Here's an illustration someone gave me once.

    If a 1/2 inch manila rope will hold me up, and it will, will my believing in it more make it hold me up more? Nope, not a bit.
    If, on the other hand, I'm holding on to a 3 inch manila cable, does may believing in it more hold me up more? Nope, but it's sure a lot easier to hold on to, and I don't worry about it breaking at all!

    Hope that helps.
    The idea is to move from faith in our faith to faith in Jesus. That way, we don't measure our faith so much. Though there is such a thing as asking for increased faith, I think your answer is better... see Jesus better, then you'll have all the faith you need.

    Good post.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  10. #10

    Re: increased faith --> increased courage + knowledge

    Maybe you need to read the bible more ?

    Our books for this time are .......... Romans - Philemon

    I know every time I read the bible I am seeing some thing I missed..........
    Eph. 2:8
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

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