For me, faith has nothing to do with following rules, religious traditions and duties, but with a relationship with God. I am not dealing with a god who is far away in heaven or whom I visit once a week in church. I have met him as a living God who lives in my heart and is with me in every situation, every day. A God who loves me unconditionally, who healed me and freed me from all feelings of guilt. It is my source of strength with which I can recharge my batteries, the living water that quenches my thirst and deepest longing, the bread that nourishes me. Every relationship needs care and nourishment to survive. So also the relationship with God. Every day I want to make a new decision to live in this relationship and to grow in it. The more I grow in my relationship with him, the better I get to know myself, because he is my creator. The deeper I immerse myself in his love and allow myself to be fulfilled by it, the more I grow in my relationships with my fellow human beings and can meet them with this love. I would like to share some points with you that help me cultivate and strengthen my faith.
Quiet time with God:
I take a certain amount of time a day when I can read and pray the Bible undisturbed. God speaks to me through his word and fills my thoughts with love and truth.
“For just as the rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return there, but rather moisten the earth and make it fertile and let it grow, that it sows seeds and eats bread, so the word that comes from my mouth should also be: It will not return to me empty, it will do what I want and it will succeed wherever I send it. Because you should move out in joy and be led in peace. “Isaiah 55:10
I speak to God every day. I praise, praise and thank him for everything he does for me. I can entrust everything to him: my wishes, my joy and also my worries and fears. I pray in my own words that I have on my mind. I don’t need a special language. If I don’t have the words, I pray for example the Psalms or the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that the Lord has taught us.
And that is the trust we have in God: when we ask for something according to his will, he hears us. Philippians 4: 6-7
Praise is a great way for me to come into the presence of God. Praise is more than just music. Praise is communication with God. I praise God for what He is and what He has done for us humans. So I can take my eyes off my everyday worries and look at the glory and greatness of God.
My lips and my soul, which you have redeemed, should be happy and sing praise to you. Psalm 63, 4-5
go to church
The church community is important to me to receive teaching, but mostly because of community and sharing faith with my brothers and sisters. The house groups, the Christian events and the women’s weekends are always very encouraging.
“Because where two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them.” Matt. 18:20
To be thankful in every situation, to see the good even in difficult situations, helps me to keep the peace. There is always something I can be thankful for, even if everything does not go as I wish. What helps me is a prayer diary in which I write answers to prayers and experiences with God. I have had a large glass in the kitchen for two years now, whenever I experience moments that I am grateful for, I write them on a small piece of paper and put it in the glass. At the end of the year I can read how much beautiful I have experienced. I still remember many things that I would otherwise forget.
“Praise the LORD my soul, and what is in me, his holy name! Praise the LORD my soul and do not forget what he has done you good. “Psalm 103, 1-2
If I can help someone with the time I invest, it makes me happier. If I can get involved in the community, for example in the children’s services, I benefit myself and learn something new.
Giving is happier than taking. “(Acts 20:35)
What I still like to do is go for a walk with God. I enjoy the wonderful creation, come to rest and just talk to God.
What helps you to nurture your faith? I would appreciate comments with your experiences!