The Powerful Influence of Faith
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
It’s clear from our focus text that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had made a favorable impression on the Apostle Paul. They were women of faith. Their living faith had influenced Paul’s young friend.
Strong, living, active, and unwavering faith is contagious. It inspires others and gives hope.
I love a candlelight worship service. It begins with one flame from which all the other candles are lit. It’s a reminder of the light of Christ in our world. Heart to heart, faith to faith, bringing light into a dark world.
I’ve spoken many times of my grandmother’s faith. As a teen growing up in her home, I sometimes saw her faith as silly and misaligned. She trusted God for everything, big and small. In her advanced years, she was particularly vocal with her faith. If she lost something, she would tell me she had asked God to show her where it was. Sure enough, a few minutes later she would find what she had been missing. Back then, I dismissed her claims of divine intervention. “You would have found it anyway,” I would say.
She never forced faith on me. Mable Polk just lived it. I am persuaded that her example was the catalyst for faith in my life. How I wish she was still around so I could tell her that what she taught me about faith was without error. More important to her would be the knowledge that her living faith now lives in me. If you would like to read more about her remarkable faith, I’ve written a novel called, In the Valley of Hope: Faith Conquers Fear. You can get it in eBook/Kindle and print versions.
Faith turns skeptics into believers. Lately, I’ve noticed that my youngest son no longer groans and rolls his eyes when I tell him I’m praying for him. He even acknowledges that it’s a good thing.
What about you? Was there someone in your past whose living faith influenced you? I suppose our greatest hope is that the faith that is now in us will serve to inspire our children, grandchildren, friends, and family.
Your stories of how God has blessed your faith can mean so much to people in crisis situations. Always be willing to share what God has done and don’t be surprised when you find yourself face to face with someone who’s going through a trial like yours. I believe God sends us to those who desperately need encouraging words of hope.
It always helps when we hear from those who have walked in our shoes. That’s the living faith Paul talks about. It produces results, sees prayers answered, and then ignites hope in others.
Nothing is impossible for our God. He healed my wife and me of cancer. Even when we lost nearly everything via unemployment, He gave us more than we had before. He heals, restores, saves, rescues, provides, protects, revives, supplies, and performs miracles against all odds.
Early in our marriage, when we were out of money and had no food, God sent a neighbor who had some leftover barbecue, enough food to get us through to payday. When our oldest son needed a fresh start in a Christian School, even though we didn’t have the money for registration, God miraculously provided.
Now, I am not a believer in name-it-and-claim-it faith. If that were real then we could shut down our hospitals and quit our jobs. Blessings would just fall out of the sky.
But I do believe in where-the-rubber-meets-the-road faith. The kind of faith that trusts God no matter what; good times and bad, victory and loss, success and failure. Living faith endures as the waters continue to rise. It’s faith that refuses to quit and always clings to hope. And not because of faith itself, but because of the God in whom we place our trust. His faithfulness keeps faith alive.
May your faith be like that of Eunice and Lois, a living faith that inspires others to live for the Lord.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Become a People Builder and Change Your World
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.