Friday, December 2, 2011

Perfect Your Faith

Today I read 1 Thessalonians 3 where Paul is asking the Saints in Thessalonia to perfect their faith and recounting more of their decisions and the thoughts behind them. I sometimes wonder if the Saints put as much stock in the Apostles and their words back then as we do now? Well, as much stock as we should put in our Apostles words, we don't follow our Prophet or the Apostles counsel nearly as well as we should.

As I have been pondering on the words of Paul today after reading this chapter, it got me thinking, how does one perfect their faith? If faith like a testimony and it grows through usage? And I think it does actually. I think that in order for our faith to increase, we have to exercise it. Think about it. Faith is often characterized as walking along a path that is only lit at your feet a few feet in front of you and then you come to a spot that is no longer lit until you take that first step into the unknown, only to find that your path is lit for a few more steps. How many times in the past have you had to go out on a limb and trust God only to find that He is there beside you all the while and there was never really any danger of you falling?

Faith if grown by having it be rewarded. We humans are fallible and prone to turn back if we are not shown results. Heavenly Father knows this and so while He tests our faith in Him, He also rewards that faith. He sends us the Holy Ghost to confirm what we read in the scriptures and when we hear truth. He answers our prayers to Him. He gives us companions to help us through this life and gives us a prophet so that we are never left wondering what God would have us do.

So the answer is yes, faith is like a testimony. It grows through usage. Much like a muscle, if we go too long without using either a testimony or our faith, they grow frail and prone to failure and might collapse on us when we need them most. Love is the same way. It is impossible to fall out of love as some characterize it. Rather you don't continue feeding that fire that caused you to love that person in the first place and eventually you will stop loving them. So it is with faith. If we stop doing those things that increase it, it will decrease. There is no standing still. There is no status quo. There is increase and there is decrease. We are on that escalator moving the wrong way, we've got to keep pressing forward or we will lose ground. And despite what so many like to believe, if they do lose ground, it is no one's fault but their own. We choose to be offended. We choose to let someone else's actions get in the way of our perfection and salvation. We choose to stop going to church. We choose to lose our faith and turn away from God.

Choose happiness and faith instead. Don't let someone else dictate your eternal salvation. Take control of your own salvation and choose to remain strong no matter what. Your salvation is between you and the Lord and your eternal companion. No one else. Work with those two beings who are most important in your life and perfect your faith so that you never fall away. Until tomorrow.

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