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Finishing the Year with Deeper Faith

Jennifer Waddle

iBelieve Contributor
Published Dec 14, 2023
Finishing the Year with Deeper Faith

Anticipating means to look forward to, and with God, there is always something to look forward to. In our praying, asking, and seeking, we receive. And in our trusting, relying, and surrendering, we have peace.

It was Elisabeth Elliot who once said, “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” 

You might remember that Elisabeth’s faith had been severely tested in the jungles of Ecuador as her husband, along with four other men, were killed by members of the Auca/Waodani tribe - the very people they were trying to help.

Even so, Elisabeth was able to write, “The deepest things that I have learned in my own life have come from the deepest suffering. And out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things I know about God.”

Instead of allowing tragedy to define her life, Elisabeth allowed it to deepen her faith. And it’s from her courageous example that we can finish the year stronger than ever. No matter what this year has been like for you, be encouraged by these faith-deepening reminders today:

Don’t Despise the Day of Small Things

Recently, in my daily Bible reading, I came across Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) which says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” In context, the Lord’s temple was being rebuilt after seventy years of captivity, but His people were greatly discouraged by the slow progress.

The Lord promised Zechariah that the temple would indeed be finished and encouraged His people not to despise the small beginnings. What a beautiful reminder for us not to grow weary in the waiting, impatient in the delays, or hopeless in our faith.

Even the slowest growing things eventually reach their full potential. Massive structures are built one brick at a time. Large outreaches are accomplished one person at a time. And every believer’s faith is deepened one drop of Living Water at a time.

The Lord rejoices in your small mustard seed of faith, and it is He who waters it. Receive every droplet of grace and truth He offers and watch the roots of your faith deepen as they blossom into the mighty tree for which your faith was created.

Heavenly Father, please help me not to be impatient when it comes to my faith. I long to grow deeper with You, but I will wait for Your provision and strength. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.

Here’s an encouraging post titled A Prayer for Waiting on God's Timing.

Look How Far You’ve Come

It’s a blessing to look back on wonderful memories, isn’t it? I believe God created our brains to store important information and hold onto things that bring us joy. With this in mind, it’s also healthy to look at the past to see how far we’ve come. 

When you first believed in Jesus as Savior, your faith leaped into existence and has been growing ever since. Even during seasons where things felt stagnant, the Lord continued to work in your heart and life. 

When you feel discouraged, stop, and reflect on how far you’ve come. Remember the early days of your relationship with the Lord when you were still learning and didn’t understand the things that you know today.

Proverbs 2:6 says, “The Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” If your faith feels weak, ask the Lord for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Believe that He will provide what is needed to go deeper with Him.

Consider keeping a journal of the things God has revealed to you over the years. Continue to write down what He speaks into your life today. When you truly stop to see how far you’ve come and even write some of the most important milestones down, you’ll have a brighter perspective of the deeper faith yet to come. 

Holy God, thank You for giving me wisdom when needed. I can see how You have grown my faith over the years and will continue to do so. Thank You for precious memories I can recall in the days ahead. I look forward to what You will continue to do in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Here’s a helpful post titled How to Prepare for Your Future.

Anticipate Growth and Cultivate It

At the time of this writing, there are still a few months before I’ll see the first signs of spring. Especially where I live, close to the Rocky Mountains, the barrenness of winter sticks around a lot longer than in other parts of the country. It isn’t uncommon for me to send my daughter pictures of the foot of snow on our deck, only to receive a return photo of her enjoying sunshine and lemonade in the warmth of the South.

The thing to remember is that growth happens, no matter how slow. One person’s faith might be deepened at a rapid pace, while others will grow in small increments. But when we anticipate deeper faith by actually cultivating it, that’s when we start to see the first signs of growth.

Anticipating means to look forward to, and with God, there is always something to look forward to. In our praying, asking, and seeking, we receive. And in our trusting, relying, and surrendering, we have peace.

Anticipate the deepening of your faith today; for it is right around the corner. Read passages such as Psalm 138:6-8, which says, “Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”

It’s the Word of Truth that empowers us to live boldly, fearlessly, and faithfully. And God will vindicate us with His righteous right hand. Deeper faith is a gift we can eagerly anticipate and cultivate in the days ahead.

Lord, please help me remain steadfast in holy anticipation of what You will do in my life. Help me cultivate what is already planted - for Your glory and the good of others. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

Check out this post titled 10 Simple Things to Start Today for Growing a Stronger Faith.

Abide in the Nearness of God

Did you know that your emotions sometimes betray you? On any given day, you can convince yourself that you aren’t good enough or faithful enough for God’s nearness. However, we know that the nearness of God comes from HIS faithfulness, not our ability to be “good” enough. 

In Psalm 73, a Psalm of Asaph, we read about his slippery slope of faith and his difficulty understanding the ways of the wicked. But then he writes, “Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Asaph’s words encourage us to turn our eyes from what is lacking to the One who provides everything. Truly, God is with you, guiding you, counseling you, and deepening your faith as you abide in Him. 

No matter how your emotions try to persuade you otherwise, know that God is near to those who call on His name. Sit in His presence and receive what He has for you. Let your prayer be that of Asaph who said, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Gracious God, even when You feel far away, I know You are near. Because of Your great love for me, You are my constant strength in a world of weakness. Please deepen my faith at this year’s end and continue to deepen it in the years to come. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

More resources for your faith journey:

A Prayer to Feel God's Nearness

How We Draw Near to God and Experience His Promise

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/bernardbodo

Jennifer WaddleJennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayerand is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesnt Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.