There are times when it is difficult to have faith in God. When life gets difficult, it’s tempting to give in to the shouts of the world and doubt that God is good. You may even begin to believe that you have lost your faith.
My sweet friend, I understand how you feel and so I want to encourage you by sharing these Scriptures that remind us why we have faith in God.
What Does it Mean to Have Faith in God?
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As Christians, we are encouraged to have faith in God, but what exactly does that mean? How are we to increase our faith in Him? To have faith in God means to believe in Him. It means we understand His character and know He will not hurt us–anything He allows to happen will be done for our benefit.
Let’s go back to the original language for a minute. The word translated as faith in the New Testament is the Greek word pistis (pronounced pe-stes). When the Bible uses pistis in relation to God, it is speaking about the conviction that God exists, that He is the creator and ruler of all things. It includes an element that God is the provider and bestower of eternal life through His Son Jesus, the Christ.
Wow! Isn’t that awesome? When we profess to have faith in God, it goes beyond a simple belief. We are calling upon who He is and aligning ourselves with Him.
Bible verses that encourage us to have faith in God
The Bible has a lot to say about having faith in God. Here are just a few of the verses that remind us why believing in God is important. From these verses, we learn that our faith gives us the ability to have our desires granted.
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24 ESV).
Our faith gives us confidence. Through it, we have the boldness to approach the throne of God. Our faith gives us an opportunity to accomplish and experience impossible things.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us (1 John 5:14 ESV).
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 ESV).
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23 ESV).
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35 ESV).
Why is it Important to Have Faith in God?
As a Christian, maybe you’ve wondered why faith is such a big deal. I mean, we talk about our faith, try to figure out how to get more, worry about losing our faith and so many other issues. So, why is having faith in God so important? I think the best way to answer that question is to see what the Bible says about faith.
Faith pleases God. Not only does He want us to believe that He exists, He wants us to know He will reward those who remain faithful to Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6 ESV).
Faith has the power to move the hand of God. Let me be clear, we can’t manipulate God or make Him do anything He doesn’t want to do. But faith gives God the power to move in our lives. We saw this happen several times during Jesus’ ministry–in response to a person’s faith, they were healed or granted a request they had asked for.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:22 ESV ).
And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way (Mark 10:52 ESV).
Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly (Matthew 15:28 ESV).
I’d encourage you to read some of these stories in Jesus’ ministry as you seek to increase your faith in God. God doesn’t expect us to have perfect faith, but He does expect us to exercise the measure of faith we’ve been given (Romans 12:3).
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV).
Faith saves us. We are unable to save ourselves. It was the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalves that saved us. The beautiful thing is that even though the penalty for sin is death, we don’t have to pay the price with our lives. Jesus paid that price for us and all we have to do is believe (John 8:24).
Faith produces steadfastness and gives us the endurance to make it through the Christian life. Walking with God has never been easy and Jesus made sure to tell His followers that they were in for a life of trials and persecution (John 15:18-20). If you’re going through a trial right now, that’s the last thing you want to hear. You may even wonder what’s the point of your suffering.
My friend, do not lose your faith. The trials you endure in this life are to purify you. When you have gone through great struggles and still hold on to your faith, your Father in heaven will reward you.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9 NKJV).
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1:3 ESV).
As I read Texas Holiday Hideout, I was reminded that sometimes our faith will waver. We will doubt that God is working on our behalf but we should not lose hope.
My Review of Texas Holiday Hideout
Texas Holiday Hideout picks up the story of the Avery family. Miles is a US marshall who is tasked with protecting single mother Melissa and her son Dylan for the holidays. With no backup from his team, he decides to take her home with him.
Melissa and Dylan are welcomed in the family but Melissa can’t help feeling sad because she knows her time with the family is limited and she’s falling for all of them, especially Miles.
Miles is in the unenviable position of falling for his witness. When things start to spiral out of control, his feelings sometimes make it difficult for him to be objective.
Know God–I liked that both Miles and Melissa professed a relationship with God, though Miles admitted that he didn’t go to church as much as he would like. There were times in Texas Holiday Hideout where the characters questioned God’s presence but when it matters most, they realized that He was always with them.
Know yourself–as a child who grew up in witness protection, Melissa certainly wondered about her identity because it felt as if everything about her life was a lie. I felt this aspect could have been explored a bit more with the reminder that we find our identities in Christ.
Run your race–Miles had spent his entire career keeping secrets. While his family and other people in his life would have wanted to know more about what he did, he had to make the decision he felt best for not only his career but also for his family. Then he had to stick to it though it was sometimes difficult.
The Characters in Texas Holiday Hideout
It was a pleasure to be back with the Avery family as they really seem to love each other and they have a commitment to each other and to upholding the law.
Miles seemed very passionate about his job even as he struggled with being less than transparent with his family. I liked the way he looked out for Melissa and was willing to stand in as a father-figure for Dylan. I would have liked a bit more interaction between him and the child but given how fast-paced the story was I can understand that he wasn’t able to take much of his attention off protecting Melissa.
Melissa was a strong female lead. She went through a lot of things in a very short time but she didn’t get bitter or try to blame anyone for her problems. Like anyone in such a situation, she struggled with her faith as it seemed as if God had abandoned her.
The Themes in Texas Holiday Hideout
This book explored the damage that comes from keeping secrets while also playing the angle that sometimes secrets are for the other person’s protection. The relationship between Miles and Melissa suffered a bit from the secrets both characters kept from each other. But eventually, they had to decide what was more important: the person they loved or the secret they kept.
Texas Holiday Hideout also explored the fact that God is always with us even when He feels absent. Melissa got to a point when she realized there was nothing she could do to save herself because her situation was dire. The only person she could count on to rescue her was God.
Texas Holiday Hideout is the second book in the Cowboy Lawmen series but can be read as a standalone.
I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publishers through Celebrate Lit; a positive review was not required. Get your copy of Texas Holiday Hideout.
About Texas Holiday Hideout (Cowboy Lawmen Book 2)
When her identity’s exposed, hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.
Book: Texas Holiday Hideout
Series: Cowboy Lawmen
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Print Length: 172 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
About Virginia Vaughan
Award-winning author Virginia Vaughan was born and raised in Mississippi and has never strayed far from those borders. Blessed to come from a large, Southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table.
She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. Connect with Virginia at virginiavaughanonline.com.
Award-winning author Virginia Vaughan lives by the motto ‘It’s not hoarding if its books’. Always the kid with her nose stuck in a book, becoming a multi-published author hasn’t stopped Virginia from continuing to grow her own collection of favorite reads.
Her family has refused to help her move anymore because of the sheer number of boxes of books, but she’s no quitter. She’ll keep buying books and, the next time she moves, hire a moving van. If you love stories where romance intersects danger and faith, subscribe to Virginia’s email list at http://eepurl.com/dtFeVP and be the first to know when a new story arrives.
More from Virginia
What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?
This is the premise for my October book, Texas Holiday Hideout, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target.
US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
So, in celebration of Texas Holiday Hideout releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.
- The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
- You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
- No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
- People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
- Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
- If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
- Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
- Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
- Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
- WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.
Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for Texas Holiday Hideout. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in Texas Holiday Standoff in March of 2021.
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