If you are asking this question, you are already moving in the right direction. To ponder and desire increasing your faith in and of itself will help you increase your faith. God helps us more through Bible verses and Biblical principles. I want to share with you exactly what faith is and isn’t, how you can practice your faith daily, how you can have complete trust in God, what the Bible says about faith, 5 ways to increase your faith, and then give you some Bible verses that will help you do just that.
How Can I Increase My Faith?
Faith is something we have to choose to go after. It doesn’t come naturally to put our faith in God. It is a supernatural thing. Increasing our faith is commanded by Scripture (2 Peter 1:5). God calls us to increased faith because of the effect it has on our spirit. Increased faith brings the ‘whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:12-13). This is theosis or becoming like Christ. The level of our faith determines how the issues of life affect us and whether or not they can steal our joy, steal our peace, steal our assurance, steal our hope.
What is Faith?
Often, people mistake faith for an absence of fear. However, without fear, there can be no faith. We want God to remove all of our fear and give us some kind of superman ego that never worries, stresses, or frets. But without these emotions, faith would not exist. Faith is our ability to push through the fear mentally and spiritually. It is not and will never be the absence of fear. I know some of you may be asking about all of the Scripture that teaches us not to fear and yet here I am saying that fear and faith are conjoined twins.
Have you ever noticed how you can’t really control what you feel? Emotional health is tough, but God will help you. Nevertheless, we can’t control what emotions pop us. What you feel bubbles up out of you. Some emotions are like the volcanic fire shooting out of you. These are not under our control though. There is no switch for anger, depression, or even joy. When they are there, they are there. There is nothing we can do at that moment to get rid of them. Whether or not we feel fear is not our decision. But allowing the fear to influence or control what we do is our decision. I can’t decide what I feel, but I have total control over what I say or do.
Most people do not understand this. They live as slaves to their emotions. This is why we yell at our spouse “I hate you!” when we really don’t hate them, but the emotion overwhelmed us at that moment and we obeyed the emotion.
Faith, then, is our ability to experience fear, doubt, and misbelief but refuse to let the ‘feeling’ control our behavior. Instead, we force our behavior, whether word or deed, to follow the teachings of Christ. Many people will pray to God asking Him to increase their faith thinking this means He will remove their fear and doubt. But this is not how God does it. If He removed these emotions from us, it would take no faith to do what He is calling us to do. Instead, we acknowledge what we feel, but do what God says.
How Can I Practice My Faith Daily?
This is really the only way we can practice our faith. Each day, there will be external issues will which produce in us emotions working to kill our faith. When we disobey God or do nothing when He is calling us to do something, our faith faltered. James said faith without works is dead (James 2:26). I can say that I believe all day long, but if my actions do not prove that I really believe what I say I believe, then my faith is not what I thought it was. We increase faith through obedience.
However, if we are only looking at the big moments in life, rather than the little temptations we face daily, our faith will grow, but at a snail’s pace. To really see a difference in our life, we must be fully aware of the small issues in life that tempt us to abandon what we say we believe. The Bible says it is the little foxes that ruin the vineyards (Song of Solomon 2:15) meaning it is easy to resist temptations of what we might think of as ‘big sins.’ If the devil tempts you today to go and rob a bank, most of us are not really going to be tempted by that. If we are tempted to snap rudely at our spouse when they do something we don’t like, that is a little fox that will ruin the vineyard. You can quickly see how many more little foxes there are than big foxes. To increase our faith daily, we must become determined to rid our vineyard of the little foxes.
How to Have Faith in God Completely?
Increasing our faith is not easy and to increase it to where we trust God with all of our Hearts (Hey! That’s the title of my last book!) is a zenith we may never reach. Remember, God is always wanting to bless you so that you can be a blessing to others and proclaim His goodness as the source of your blessing. And His desire is to do this increasingly throughout your life. For this to happen, He is always pushing us further in our faith to receive greater goodness from Him, to increase our anointing, to increase our influence on others to draw them to Him. But our goal is to have complete faith in Him each and every moment. I don’t want to oversimplify the process, but it comes down to obedience when it doesn’t make any sense. Let’s consider this passage:
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
These men had leprosy. First, we need to understand the nature of leprosy. Israel was a theocracy meaning that every part of life including the government was based on their religion. We can look back now and see how God was setting up a system of religion and government to help us understand who He was. One way that God helped us to understand the nature of sin was to join disease with sin. When a person had a disease such as leprosy, they were considered unclean and they were not allowed to worship in the temple. (Sin is not just something we do. We have been infected with sin through the original sin of Adam and now we all have a sinful nature that we contracted like a disease, but I digress.)
Jesus tells these with leprosy to go and show themselves to the priests. Normally, this would be done only after the leprosy was gone and this was rare. But Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priests BEFORE they are healed. So they start walking with their leprosy. Imagine what must have been going on in their mind as they walked. They knew they were not allowed in the temple. They knew the priest was not allowed to be around them or touch them in any way. Not only was it the law, but their sickness was seen like we might look at a rapist or murderer because of how sickness and sin were connected. How much faith did it take to start walking to the priest and to keep walking?
With each step they took without any healing, more faith was required for the next step, to keep going. But they did keep going because they had faith that they would be healed.
There is a way of living that God is calling us to all the time. It is a way of being, a demeanor, an attitude of life-to be patient, kind, forgiving, beneficent in all circumstances. This is love. It is the love He has for us and the love He gives for us to give to others. And there are ways God calls us to react to monumental moments such as the loss of a job, a bad report from the doctor, finding our spouse has cheated on us. In all of these, Jesus reminds us that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In other words, if we respond in our words and behavior, and eventually in our attitude as He has taught us in the Word, this behavior declares our faith that Jesus really does know the way to abundant living.
What Does the Bible say about Increasing Faith?
In the end, faith is believing God when He says something. If God says that nothing is impossible, then nothing is impossible. But faith is also believing that God never breaks character. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus taught that faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains (Luke 17:6), but Jesus said this in response to the disciples asking Him to increase their faith. Let’s look at this passage:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Luke 17:1-10 (NIV)
Jesus is teaching about forgiveness letting the disciples know they are to forgive someone who sins against them not once, twice, or even seven times, but as often as they repent, we must forgive. The disciples understood this required faith. To forgive someone who continues to sin against you requires faith to know that God is going to care for you no matter what they do. And they recognized how hard it was to have faith that this was possible. But remember, Jesus also taught them that all things were possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Do you have faith that all things are possible? Whatever you do, don’t give up!
Then Jesus responds to their request for greater faith and He gives them two parables. The first parable is that of a seed that grows large enough to move the earth. In other words, faith must grow and as it grows, it accomplishes the impossible. Then He gives another parable about being servants. He is teaching them that if they want their faith to grow, the process comes from simply doing what God asks them to do. As we obey and do what God calls us to do, we will see the positive results and it will make it easier for us to believe it can continue to happen. If we don’t believe God will honor his word and we don’t give Him the opportunity to honor His word, then our faith will never grow. So if He tells us the best life possible is forgiving those who sin against us, then if we really believe this, we will forgive. If He says the best life means living to be a blessing more than living to be blessed, if we have faith, we will live to be a blessing and not care much whether we are blessed or not.
It is our self-discipline forcing us to behave as if God will do what He says, even when what he asks us to do seems to be too hard or nonsensical, that produces greater faith.
5 Ways To Increase Your Faith
- Become a student of what God says – How can we choose to have faith in what God says if we don’t even know what He says. Don’t just read the Bible. Study it. Meditate on it. Learn it.
- Pray – Prayer requires focusing our mind and spirit upon the Lord. This moves us into His presence and He fills us more and more with His presence and character. We are transformed through spending time in prayer.
- Get into a Bible-teaching church – We are spurred on to do the work of God, obey God, even when we don’t want to or see the logic in it, by our brothers and sisters in the church. Find a good church and don’t miss a service. You will help others grow and they will help you. God intends for the body to grow in faith together.
- Learn to recognize emotions prompting you to not trust what God says – Self-awareness of the emotions that hijack our faith is key. Once you learn to recognize them, you can choose to not allow them to move you in the wrong direction.
- Give yourself grace – Self-condemnation because you lacked faith will sabotage future faith increases. Don’t remind yourself of your mistakes and sin. Remind yourself of the potential you have in Christ.
Bible Verses to Help Grow in Your Faith
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Luke 17:6 (NIV)
that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Romans 1:12 (NIV)
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:14-17 (NIV)
To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (NIV)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4 (NIV)