The parable of the farmer scattering seed found in Matthew 13 teaches Christians the importance of growing deep so we can stay rooted in our faith when the storms of life come. If you’ve ever faced tough times in your faith life then you understand the importance of having a close, personal relationship with Christ.
Here are six ways to stay rooted and grow in your faith.
By spending time praying, you learn to recognize God’s voice. He wants to listen as well as speak to you.
One way of practicing prayer is by following A.C.T.S.—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. This is an easy way to get started when you aren’t sure what to pray for. When praying, praise God, admit your sins, thank Him, and to ask Him to meet your needs.
2. Write down what God is showing you
It’s exciting when God is making a difference in your life. Everything changes and you feel like you’ll never forget the lessons you’re learning. But as time passes...you do forget. Keeping a journal or writing a blog is an excellent way to look back and remember. It’s also a reminder of how far you’ve come and an encouragement for those days when you feel frustrated or stalled.
3. Speak with others about your journey
Sharing your testimony, what the Lord is doing in your life, will inspire and encourage people. The support and prayer you will find from other believers will only help you in times of discontent and encourage you in times of plenty.
4. Join a Bible study
Many churches offer Bible studies or small groups and often divide them into different categories for people who are in similar life stages. This is a safe place to talk about your faith and hear how others are dealing with life. It also helps create a support network—people in place to praise with you when things are good, pray for you when life is difficult, and teach you how to honour God with your life.
5. Listen to sermons at church or on podcasts
Listening to Bible-based sermons is an opportunity to glean new teaching or information from someone who has spent years studying the Bible.
If possible, find a church to attend, one you enjoy so you’re more likely to get involved and make friends. If it’s not possible then still prioritize listening to sermons from trusted pastors.
6. Read the Bible on your own
The Bible is God's Word. It is the main and most straightforward way to communicate with God. By reading the Bible, you will learn more about Him, what He has done for you and His plan for your life. You will also find comfort during difficult times and direction for your problems. To continue growing, it is important to know what God’s truth is.
There are 66 books in the Bible, divided into the Old and New Testaments. The Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, are a good place to start reading if you’re new to the Bible. They are similar—all four books follow Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection. Many of the stories will be familiar but there is always something new to draw out of the Gospels.
If you don’t have a Bible, consider getting one or downloading a Bible app. If you’re looking for a traditional version, try the King James. If you want a more modern translation, consider the New International or New Living Translation. There are also Bible paraphrases, like The Living Bible or The Message, which put the Bible in a more western context.
This list is by no means exhaustive but should present a launching point to grow deeper roots so when trouble comes you can stand firm in your faith.
What ways have you found to help you stay rooted?