Slow Growth In Faith

Slow Growth In Faith

Sister Miki Terayama - 17 April 2022

Weekend Devotion: Slow Growth In Faith

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Hello brothers and sisters. A blessed Easter Sunday to all. As we remember the sacrifice and glorious rise of our Saviour who redeemed us from our sins, let us also take some time to look at the pace of our faith living. We can know by mind of the meaning of Holy Week, but to really assimilate that truth and joy into our walks of lives can be a little trickier. Much so, because we are living on a treadmill and productivity is something everyone looks out for. At work, in school, even at home, with house chores, nurturing kids. So naturally, we cannot appreciate or see the goodness in what is slow. And to be very honest, at most times, we would value the efficiency and progress of what we can produce, or whether it can reap some immediate outcomes. This may also affect our church living and our personal spiritual growth. There was a point in my faith journey where I can see spiritual growth in people around me, serving, shepherding well to brethren. But when I look at myself, I feel like I am just lagging behind in trust, in love and being used as a vessel. Maybe for you, it could be a different kind of scenario, but when we look at the slow growth in our faith, it can cause us to inadequate and helpless. But in fact, slow growth in faith is not something new. However, it can still be a hard phase to persevere through because to sow the seeds, to water it and wait the sprouts to appear can be a long process. But the Lord wants to remind us today, that growing in a slow pace has its goodness. What could it be?

 

Growth is given by God.

In one of my favourite verses, Paul says to the church leaders in   Now why did Paul make this statement? Because the church leaders were looking to the goodness of men, and in this case, Paul and Apollos. But Paul clearly reminds us that growth in our spirit, our thoughts and feelings, comes only from God. Not by self efforts or looking up to others or their methods. When we know this and take heart to root ourselves in reading, meditating upon and applying God’s truth into our lives, our faith will slowly but surely grow closer in step with God. The plans we have, how we make choices, our direction of things and habits will gradually change and align more and more as one that is God-driven. We must remember, God is the ultimate Provider of all things

Now actually, many times, we may not realise but spiritual growth is actually taking place in the midst. But it might not be an immediate outcome that we intended. It is usually at the end that we look back and realise, “Hey, I have grown in perseverance. This person has matured” and such. Just like what Jesus said in the parable of    So you see, we may be scattering seeds now, learning the Word, praying for someone, ministering to a brother or sister, sharing gospel. Sometimes, at the moment, we may notice little to no progress and we feel defeated or disappointed. But it reminds us here that God is causing it to grow, even while we cannot notice. But after a while “night and day”, we will witness what God has done.


The Goodness Of Slow Growth In Faith

Of course, as we talk about God giving us growth, we might be at a state where we are stranded in not knowing or not seeing why things are going so slow. So how can we see the goodness of slow growth in faith? The goodness is that it allows us to be rooted and stable as we develop the habit of surrendering to God and being sanctified by Him through this process. How?

Firstly, our slow growth pushes us to wrestle in our spirit, so that we will rely more on Christ and grow in His likeness. God uses different ways to teach us areas we have yet to submit and need to rel   y on Him and His every Word for. This brings us out of the cycle of relying on feelings or solutions of the world.

Next, it deepens our relationship with God. As we continue through our slow growth in faith while wrestle in our spirit and being filled by His truth, our hearts will develop deeper and more intricate feelings for God. And this bond will integrate into our thought system, how we feel about things and the motives in all we do. Even though it might be a slow and long process, but it brings about a more stable spiritual growth, not a rushed but shallow one. 

The Lesson of Patience

But of course, we might still dread the idea of this slowness. So it is important to know the lesson God wants to bring out to us. God may bring us through seasons of what is slow, but the focus is not the speed but the lesson of patience. We can see that God can work in very fast ways as well, turning people to God, evangelising all over different places. So God is not a God that advocates for being slow, but of being patient. Many times, when we want to have a quick spiritual growth is because there are areas we want to rush into, we want to see fruits bearing faster or an impulse on something. But God tells us to take pace ourselves down. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God cares about your heart of repentance, more than your performance. He prefers you to be slow but patient to examine your own hearts and seek Him. So how do we have patience through this?
1. Firstly, always take time to test and approve God’s will. As said in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Because God says in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Often times, our ways and viewpoint can be very subjective, self-driven or incomplete. So we have to test and affirm what we are concerned or impatient about, according to God’s truths.

2. Next, as Psalm 37:3 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” As the Lord is our Shepherd, let us dwell in His pastures and take in His word that reminds us of His faithfulness. The Word of God is power in itself and those who remain in thoughts of it are truly blessed. Psalm 1:2-3 says, “Blessed is the One whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.  

Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us not be disheartened should our spiritual growth and progress be slow. The Lord tells us, instead, to be matured and stable in in our walk with Christ. Therefore, let us dwell more on growing in perseverance and patience. It may seem like things are slow, but with the Lord, it is different. 2 Peter 3:8 says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” At the end, God will ultimately fulfil His plans swiftly through our life. May we continue to look to Him, anticipate His works in us and for the day we shall meet Him face to face. God bless

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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