So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
I’ve heard it said that the person whose Bible is falling apart–isn’t falling apart. It’s true. When you combine the regular reading of God’s Word with prayer, you naturally strengthen your hope. You probably realize by now that the point of our 30 Days of Hopeful is not just hope—it’s also faith. And faith, as we’ve learned, is the “substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, faith is the foundation for our hope.
So how do we build our faith? Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing the Word of God.” Ponder that for a minute. Faith is a gift, but we nourish it through a prayerful reading of Scripture.
God’s Word reveals His will, which in turn, helps us to pray in alignment with His purposes. Prayer helps us communicate with God. And praying according His Word is a key to answered prayer. Prayer helps us get to get to know God so that we become more familiar with His will. Our technique doesn’t matter as much as the condition of our heart. The point is to weave prayer and Bible reading into our ordinary days… and to pray continually, or abide. This builds hope.
It takes spiritual muscle to stand on God’s Word when we face seemingly impossible situations. His promises help us defeat fear and worry. They strengthen our hope and our faith—but not without a struggle. No wonder it’s called a fight of faith. As my prayer partner is fond of saying: “We glance at the problem, but we gaze on the promise.” Praying in line with God’s Word gives authority to our prayers. And prayer fuels hope.
Another way to strengthen our hope is to keep watch for signs of God’s work all around us–especially in response to our prayers. John Wesley encouraged his early followers to include the “discipline of watching” as part of their daily spiritual walk. Wesley’s advice on reading your Bible? “Be sure to read…with great attention, with proper pauses and intervals so that you may allow for the enlightenings of divine grace.” Click here to read more on Wesley’s Bible reading method.
Watch, pray, and read God’s Word. Simple ways to keep the fires of hope alive.