Lord, I’m concerned about my faith. How can I learn to love you more?

If you are feeling this way, you have already begun the journey towards a deeper faith and abiding love for God. First, you have admitted that you feel a “faith problem” has kept you from the love you desperately desire. And second, you recognize that the remedy is learning how to love God in a deeper, more profound, way. In this spiritual conundrum you may be tempted to feel you are all alone, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most, if not all, Christians feel this way from time to time. So, “buckle up” for a mini-journey into the indescribable quest of knowing and loving God more.

It all begins with delight. The Christian life the New Testament describes simply cannot be lived if our hearts do not love and treasure God.

  • No one sells all they own for a field, unless it holds a much more valuable treasure (Matthew 13:44).
  • No one forsakes sin to trust and obey Jesus, unless his salvation holds out far more pleasure than sin (Luke 19:8–10).
  • No one will — and no one can — draw near to God without believing He richly rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
  • No one counts their own righteousness as loss, unless they believe Jesus’s righteousness is the only thing that grants him the inexpressible joy of knowing the Father (Philippians 3:9–10).
  • No one leaves “houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands” for Jesus’s sake without the incentive of a far greater reward (Matthew 19:29).
  • No one willingly suffers for Jesus’s sake, unless he believes his afflictions aren’t worthy to be compared with the eternal weight of glory awaiting him (2 Corinthians 4:17).

 You might be discouraged at this point, because your capacity to delight in God seems so small. Don’t despair or beat yourself up with condemnation. I feel the same way, and so does every Christian I’ve ever met. We all need and want more love for God.

And here’s the great good news: God wants to enlarge our capacity for joy-filled love for Him. He expresses this clearly through prayers in Scripture. The apostle Paul loves to pray for more, both for himself and for his churches. Here’s how he prayed for the Philippians: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9–11, NIV).

We are not destined to live the rest of our lives with small love and small faith. God wants more for us, and he wants us to ask Him for it with persistence. “But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need. “Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open” (Luke 11:8–9, The Message). So, let’s ask and not lose heart, and He will answer our prayer! (Luke 18:1).

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