Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder our lives as seek to understand how our faith expands.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Expansion of Faith
"But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that
he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek." Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 6.
Brothers and sisters, faith expands in response to the need for it. It has been truly said that necessity
is the mother of invention. And this necessity for more faith is the source of expanding faith. We
know that spiritual values are concealed within space and revealed in time. But what is the
mechanism by which this happens? What happens in our lives that propels our faith unto supreme
As we review our lives, we can see that they are composed of a series of experiences. These
experiences (though often times overlapping) clearly stand out, allowing us to look at each of them
separately. They are unique and always alter our course of living in some way. It may be the loss of
a parent or other loved one. It may be the beginning of adulthood, where for the first time the
individual has moved out on his own and is now self supporting. It may be the decision to marry. It
may be the birth of a child. It maybe a change of jobs. It may be a geographic relocation.
What is unique about these experiences is that they require something more than the gradual
adjustments that usually attend daily living. They require a greater change in our attitudes. These
unique experiences signal that greater and more difficult decisions have to be made. We are
confronted with the challenge of acquiring more knowledge to acceptably meet the challenges. We
seek to understand the laws governing these particular experiences. And as we struggle to master
these experiences intellectually and emotionally, we also seek to master the experience morally and
spiritually; that is, we seek to identify and master the divine values associated with them. And as we
seek to live them, we acquire an expansion of our faith to provide the foundation for the ever
increasing revelation of divine values and meanings. As James, the Lord's brother, said: "My
brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptation; knowing that the trying of your faith
worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting
The expansion of faith requires balance in order to be effective in the material world, which we must
perforce live out our spirituality. Without knowledge of the material factors of our experiences, we
become ineffective. Here is an example of an extreme case of someone who ignored the material
with exclusive focus on the spiritual as a way through life. This quote is taken from James' "Variety
of Religious Experience" and I quote in part: "Her absorption in Christ's love grew upon her daily,
rendering her more and more incapable of attending to external duties. They tried her at the
infirmary, but without much success, although her kindness, zeal, and devotion were without bounds,
and her charity rose to acts of such a heroism that our reader would not bear the recital of them. They
tried her in the kitchen, but were forced to give up as hopeless-everything dropped out her hands.
The admirable humility with which she made amends for her clumsiness could not prevent this from
being prejudicial to the order and regularity which must always reign in a community. They put her
in the school, where the little girls cherished her, and cut pieces out of her clothes (for relics) as if
she were already a saint, but here she was too absorbed inwardly to pay the necessary attention. Poor
dear sister, even less after her visions than before them, was a denizen of earth, and they had to leave
her in her heaven."
As we negotiate our way through the material experiences wherein are concealed precious, divine
values and meanings, we seek to acquire the faith to find them. And as we rise to the intellectual
challenge of the experience, then does our faith rise to the spiritual challenge, providing us with
greater God consciousness. Each new, difficult, and progressive experience requires a greater faith
consciousness of the heavenly Father in order to function therein with tranquility of spirit. And as
we continue to choose the Father's will in these experiences, that is, acting on the highest level of
understanding and wisdom that we comprehend, our faith rises to supreme heights.
This concludes today's message on understanding how our faith expands. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.