5 Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith

Building Trust (or Faith) is an Action…


Written by Fiona Monaghan When one has been seeking God’s will and direction in their life and over time He has shown Himself to be lovingly gentle and compassionate, then one finds that all plans and decisions involve Him on the basic levels. We are in His will and we can trust that if an adjustment to a plan needs to be made, He will show us how and where.

Trust It is the same as in our human relationships, when communication and trust are built up over time. We know without checking with a close friend or spouse, what their thoughts on a particular subject would be, because we are thinking like them more and more and we “know where they are coming from”.

God reveals Himself in much the same way when we seek Him daily - by spending time in quietness or following a devotional that challenges one to ‘get real’ and think deeper. It is amazing to find that the God of the Universe meets with us to teach, guide and encourage. It is His desire!

When our core desire is to get to know God better, He reveals Himself to us by providing what we desire, and in that we get to know Him better.

He then provides what we desire again, and we get to know Him even better, and on it goes… It is a beautiful and fruitful cycle.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desire of your heart

Somewhere in my growing up I had retained the image of God as one who would take something from me if I wanted it badly. Over time I’ve re-evaluated this and learned that through difficulty, true trust allows me to see God as one who might benevolently withhold or take something out of my life for my own good. I see how many detours might have been avoided if I had made that realization. Today, I know beyond shadow of doubt that He cares about every detail of my life, my plans, my health and especially my family. He can be trusted with it all. He loves them more than I, and will move heaven and earth to provide them the opportunity to learn to trust Him too.

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How to be ready for anything


Written by Chelsea Zappone When Pastor Tim first asked me to write the blog post this week, I was a little thrown off. I am not a writer, I often struggle over finding my words, and more often than not I have at least one pesky typo hiding in my final drafts. But under that hesitance I found that I was also excited. I have really been enjoying the “5 things…” sermon series. I have been challenged and forced to reevaluate my spiritual health.


It is so easy to fall into bad habits and keep putting off addressing saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow. Surely I’ll have more time then.” However, I find myself never finding that time unless I purposefully set it aside.

That is why I am so thankful that God doesn’t wait for us to get our act straight. He works through the circumstances in our lives. The surprising opportunities, the scary uncertainties, the tough times, even the mundane routines. He is not limited by us.

The times I have found myself most open to God’s guidance is when I am in the valleys, when there is crisis, when I am no longer in control. I turn to him because I know he loves unconditionally, his is omnipresent and omnipotent. No one and nothing can make your problems seem smaller than God can.

Crisis can be like a fire in our life, it can burn away the impurities that have slowly snuck into our daily routines. Pastor Tim has often quoted, “there are no atheist in the foxhole.” A foxholes can take the form of hospital rooms, depths of depression, isolation and loneliness, desperate hopelessness. We all have a time when there is nothing else we can do but turn to God.

God doesn’t bring us suffering but he is right beside us when we are going through it. I love the advice James, Jesus’ brother, gives us in James 1:2-4: “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance's fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

6595c77e9b282c9430436832259b83baTroubles seem to be a constant presence in our lives either they’re our own, a friend’s, or a stranger’s across the world. God knows our suffering; it is part of living in a broken world. But he gives us a unique opportunity to not give up or even to just endure through it, but to find joy! To grow! To become ready for ANYTHING! That to me is amazing!

When we suffer, we can strengthen our relationship with God, we can encourage others in building community, we can be God’s light in the world. Like I said before, no one and nothing can make your problems smaller than God can. So instead of stressing and worrying, because we know neither of those will do any good (Matthew 6:28-34), turn to God. Find joy. Find the opportunity to grow.

The best is yet to be if God has his way!

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College Spring Break


Written by Pastor Rey Diaz About fifteen years ago, I was challenged to do something I had never done before. I was about to embark on my first college spring break, so it wasn’t the best time to begin this practice. Actually, maybe it was the best time to begin this practice. Either way, someone challenged me to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and spend time with God. As a freshman in college, that meant waking up at noon instead of 12:30 for my first class at 1pm. Basically it wasn’t a huge sacrifice. So I did it.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if God even wanted to talk with me. I didn’t know what to read in the bible.

The first day I didn’t want to look at my watch. But after what I felt at least 30 minutes had gone by, I checked and I still had 25 minutes to go. This wasn’t working.

I was given a bible reading plan, some verses to memorize, and journal to write down my prayers.

That was the beginning for me. Something changed. It didn’t happen over that spring break or even the first month. But something started that first week. It wet my appetite. It made me hungry for more. I started wanting more and more of God. I had to use an alarm to stop it.

Fifteen years later it’s part of who I am. My identity was established, secured in that devotional time. My fears and worries are addressed during that time. My character and integrity have been shaped in those mornings. Most importantly, my faith and confidence in God began to grow.

Today, I can’t imagine not connecting with God on a daily basis. Like the songs says, “This is the air I breath…this is my daily bread… I’m lost without you.”

Will you join us these next 30 days? Maybe you’ve never tried it. Maybe you used to do it but for some reason or another you quit. Either way, let’s give God the first few minutes of our days and watch what happens.


Serendipity or God Occurrences


Written by Fiona Monaghan One of my favorite movies is “Serendipity” starring John Cuzak and Kate Beckinsale.

0e0dca3df9c3ed75470c89c61fbc3f34“Jonathan Trager and Sara Thomas met while shopping for gloves in New York. Though buying for their respective lovers, the magic was right and a night of Christmas shopping turned into romance. Jon wanted to explore things further but Sara wasn't sure their love was meant to be. They decided to test fate by splitting up and seeing if destiny brought them back together... Many years later, having lost each other that night, both are engaged to be married. Still, neither can shake the need to give fate one last chance to reunite them. Jon enlists the help of his best man to track down the girl he can't forget starting at the store where they met... Near-misses and classic Shakespearean confusion bring the two close to meeting a number of times but fate will have the final word on whether it was meant to be.” (From imdb)

We love stories where “against all odds” love wins out, right? What if we have the greatest Script Writer in the universe working in our lives to bring about those changes and life altering meetings?

Providential Relationships have a way of entering our lives and making way for some change in one way or another. People and circumstances being God-led, happen, seemingly random and sometimes not, but a change is set in motion that will change the course of a life.

We see it all the time in the stories of the Bible where people have a life changing encounter. Some are love stories and others are the means to put someone on a completely different life path: Ruth and Boaz, David and Bathsheba, Saul and Stephen just to name a few.

For believers we have the idea that when we allow God to direct our circumstances there is no such thing as coincidence. Oswald Chambers wrote:

“The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.”

Psalms 40:5 says: Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

So, isn’t it awesome to know that God, your own personal author, takes great care in how your life story will turn out? Give it a try. Turn it over to Him to write your story from this point on, allowing for those providential relationships that can change your life direction.

He has guaranteed that we will be in for a thrill and no matter the hair- raising encounters and jaw-dropping occurrences, we will arrive at the end of our lives with such a story to tell.

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God's M.O.


Written by Pastor Rey At the beginning of any book you read. During the acceptance speech of any award you hear it. Throughout the stories of the Old and New Testament you will see it. You will always find people thanking people. We are all aware that without the help, support, and influence of others, we probably couldn’t accomplish what we have done or become what we are today.

We don’t necessarily call them providential relationships, but that is what they are. I’m pretty confident that if we sat down over lunch, you could look back at the course of your life and identify some individuals who, in retrospect, you believe God put in your life. It wasn’t an accidental meeting it was scheduled. It wasn’t a coincidence you moved next door. It wasn’t a happenstance you sat next to each other. Something else was at work. And if you are a follower of Jesus, you know it was God’s hand.


God is very much interested in growing our faith. He uses all sorts of different ways to do just that, but for some reason God especially enjoys using people. It’s God modus operandii, his method of operation. God loves to use flawed, broken, and imperfect people. Check out the list in Hebrew 11 many call the “Hall of Faith”. It includes a murderer, adulterer, prostitute, liar, and a really bad dad. But these people have been used, in a very real way, to grow our faith and countless others.

I promise you that at this very moment, your heavenly Father is sending people into your life in an attempt to grow your faith. How open are you to God’s plan?

I also know that God has sent some of you to help grow the faith of others. How open are you to investing in these relationships?

One way of another God uses relationships to impact and grow our faith. I believe we can take advantage of this principle to work with God. By allowing God to use people in our lives, we can grow our faith. Bigger faith leads to more confidence in God. Bigger faith leads you to a place where you can’t trust God no matter what is happening around you. Bigger faith leads to deep intimacy with your Heavenly Father.

So how will you leverage this principle to grow your faith?

God uses relationships to grow our faith in him


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Living Word


Written by Fiona Monaghan Ever find yourself looking at your horoscope? Or taking an internet quiz claiming it can tell what job would be perfect for you or what your name really means for your life? It is fun and sometimes a bit silly but it speaks to our desire to find direct and personal guidance in our lives.

Iteenager-reading-Biblen this series “Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith” we’ve been looking at the ways God uses to grow our faith. The first way is the teaching we receive from God’s Word for our personal lives. The Bible is called the “Living Word” because, if you put it to the test, it will have relevance for your day to day lives, just as if it was written personally for you.

It is full of promises, direction, and encouragement. For example, the Book of Psalms, written thousands of years ago, is full of the entire spectrum of emotion. Written mainly by King David it has something for every mood we experience ranging from desperation (Psalm 25) to anger (Psalm 4) to joy (Psalm 95). Proverbs has words of encouragement like:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. Proverbs 29:11

Ecclesiastes has the time honored verse about “a time for every season…” How to raise children, how to treat people, how to get along in business, how to handle our finances and our emotions…it all can be found in the Bible!

Isn’t that cool? There are so many verses that speak to your heart and mind. They give comfort, advice, and guidance. Truly a Living Word and much better than a horoscope or a buzzfeed quiz.

Give it a try! Start reading with an open heart. Take a moment to really pay attention to the practical teaching God provides us in His word. I think you will be surprised at how relevant it can be for your life today.


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