Romans 15:1 “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
Everyone has a different level of faith in the body of Christ but it is often misunderstood how we become more faithful, or that is, have more faith. Our faith increases as we trust in His grace more (Luke 17:7-10). We, like the disciples who asked Jesus to increase their faith, often want more faith so that we can have more of God’s power and not experience problems like worry, doubt, and depression. It is for selfish reasons. The irony is that greater faith comes after the endurance and experience of the hardships while leaning into and loving Jesus and people–not the avoidance of all difficulties. The key to a greater faith is that:
- Our faith is forged as we experience and embrace God’s grace during our trials:
James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
2. Hear and act (James 1:22) on the knowledge of His Word:
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Our faith is tested often, probably more often than we even know. Every time we interact with a person who is a challenge, our faith is tested. The lesson for today’s passage in Romans 15 is that we are to bear with those whose faith has not been sanctified to the degree that perhaps ours has. If you find yourself today as one who has more knowledge of Christ, one who has endured more hardship with the help of God’s grace than another–then you MUST bear with the immaturity of the one who has not not. We do not posses great faith in order to crush and discourage those who are weaker. It is the responsibility of the strong to build up, train up, and otherwise admonish the ones who have a less ripened faith. As Romans 15 continues, the reason for this longsuffering is revealed–it is because Jesus did this for us (Romans 15:3).