Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Farming Faith

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.  Romans 5:3-5 (TLB)

Faith is a process. It takes training to stand strong in faith. Being faint of heart doesn’t cut it. Perseverance and patience provides strength to weather the storms of life. And the Lord supplies all we need.

As I walked the road of distress over a child making poor life choices, God sent His people to encourage me. He lifted me up from the miry clay and supported me through the loving arms of friends and family. Even though I ached for a restored relationship with my daughter, He soothed my soul with His solace. His balm gave me confidence to trust Him with our future.

You might be experiencing similar distress over a prodigal child. Or you might be battling the cancers of today, literally or figuratively. God is not surprised by your troubles and He stands ready to raise you up when you call to Him (Jeremiah 33:3). Even if you have doubts, call out His name—Jesus—and believe He will answer you (Mark 9:24). 

Can we really believe in this God of miracles when doubt and despair torment our minds? Yes, we can! We can trust the one true God when we intentionally work at it. We work out our faith, like cultivating crops. Just as we need food for physical nourishment, we need faith for spiritual sustenance. 

Consider how a farmer tills the land in preparation for the growth of crops. Then give thought to the farming of faith for spiritual growth. I hope this analogy gives insight to the process of increasing faith in God.

  1. Cultivate the land, working the dirt to soften and loosen up the soil. Work out faith, breaking up damage caused by scars and pain. Plowing prepares soil for seed and a heart for God. 
  2. Dig deep into the soil, allowing space for strong roots. Investigating the truth of God’s Word contributes to core values. Delving deeply arranges soil for extensive roots and positions a heart for a firm foundation.
  3. Water, sun, fertilizer, and God increases growth of seeds, producing fruit. Daily feeding our faith with the Word of the Lord increases wisdom and trust in God. Everyday sustenance provides physical and spiritual reward. 
  4. Prune back overgrowth and dead-head plants. Get rid of all conflicting thoughts, worry, and fear that crowd out the truth of God’s love for you. Remove hindrances and obstacles which prevent the growth of plants and the increase of faith.
  5. A weak plant needs the support of a stake placed in the ground next to it. Jesus stands beside us to strengthen and lift us up when life is hard. Reinforcement provides a strengthened plant and a comforted heart. 

Growing literal fruit, vegetables, or flowers takes time. Producing spiritual fruit takes time as well. Be intentional about belief in God, cultivate faith through God’s Word, and trust Him to produce fruit in your life and the lives of your loved ones. He will be faithful to you as you work out your faith in Him.

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1 (NIV)

In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
    that I may keep your law.
This has been my practice:
    I obey your precepts.

You are my portion, Lord;
    I have promised to obey your words.
Psalm 119:55-57 (NIV)

This is what the Lord says:

“Restrain your voice from weeping
    and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.
    “They will return from the land of the enemy.
Jeremiah 31:16 (NIV)


  1. I really like this picture that put legs on what faith looks like in action and its benefits. The scripture choices are so powerfully applicable. Great job.

    1. Thanks so much, Johnnie, for your words of encouragement, and thank you, Jesus, for your blessings of friendship and words of truth.