I admire people who have a strong faith but I guess I'm just not one of them. Sometimes God seems very real to me, but other times it's as if He didn't exist. Is there any secret to having a strong faith, or is it just something that some people have and others don't? — W.F.
Have you ever planted a garden, or tried to grow a houseplant of some kind? If so, you know that the plants won't grow unless they have the right soil. But that isn't enough; plants also need water and sunlight, and they have to be fertilized and weeded regularly. If they aren't, they will be stunted and unproductive, and may even die.
And the same is true with our faith. The first requirement is a receptive heart—a soul that wants to welcome Christ into that person's life. Like the good soil in a garden, a receptive heart welcomes the "seed" of God's Word and helps it take root and grow. Jesus said that person is like a farmer whose "seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times" (Mark 4:8). Do you have a receptive heart—one that wants to grow closer to God?
But faith also needs to be nurtured! The seed of faith needs to be "watered" regularly with prayer and the truth of God's Word, the Bible. It also needs the fellowship of other believers, and sin also needs to be "weeded" out of our lives.
Make sure of your commitment to Christ. Then get in a church where Christ is preached and taught, and make prayer and the Bible part of your life every day. Faith must be nurtured—and when it is, it will grow stronger every day.