The Snowball Effect of Faith

Although it’s been an unusually warm winter this year here on the West Coast in North America, we did have one big storm and I couldn’t keep my kids from running outside to play in the fluffy white stuff. A snowy morning means the hats, gloves, coats pants and boots are going to be pulled from the recesses of the closet and put on with haste. They are out before breakfast, so I get a little bit of time to enjoy the quiet with a cup of coffee. There is almost nothing better on a winter morning when the world is blanketed in white, the snow dampens all the noise of the city – not to mention that most people just stay home when it snows here. It’s not long before the kids are throwing snowballs and building a snowman: starting with a little ball of snow and rolling it over and over around the yard as it builds into the big mound that will make the base. Then the process starts all over again to build up the snowman.  

Did you know there is a similar ‘snowball effect’ with faith? A snowball effect by definition is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself gaining momentum and impacting everything around it. One step of faith in your life can build to greater and greater steps of faith. One person in our community who chooses to step out and do what God has called them to inspires us all to go and do likewise.  

Building faith in your own life

When it comes to steps of faith and calling in our lives, it’s easy to overlook the power of momentum to bring about God’s purposes. We may sense God is leading us to a big goal or step of faith but get frustrated with the process of getting there. It’s hard, if not impossible to go from zero to hero when it comes to faith. The heroes of the Bible had received big callings, but then the time to gain momentum to get there took years sometimes. Think of the journey of Moses and the Israelites: from crossing the Red Sea to entering the Promised Land was a LONG journey. God was building momentum in them through that time – he had to make them into a nation of slaves to a nation that could take the land. There were a lot of big and small steps that had to happen during that journey so He could move through their faith in Him to receive the promise.  

I have seen in my life that as I step out with one small thing, or build one small habit in faith, it is easier to take a bigger step the next time. Tithing and giving has been like this for me, when I started out it seemed like giving a tenth of my paycheck every time was a lot. I didn’t make very much money and I had expenses, but as time passed and I faithfully tithed I could see how God provided for me. I remember once I was in church with all the cash from a recent paycheck in my wallet. I could easily give my tithe, but there was a special offering being taken at church that day that was separate from regular giving. I looked in my wallet and all I had left were large bills, much more than I would have usually given to something like that. I felt God whisper in my heart “you can trust Me,” so I gave $100. The next week I opened my wallet in church to tithe and there were 5 one-hundred-dollar bills in my wallet! I have no explanation for this except to say that God put it there. To this day if I have the confidence that God will provide and bless me if I obey His guidance by faith in this area. It’s become an awesome adventure, and it’s exciting to give more and more without worrying about my own needs because I trust He will take care of me. 

Faith is contagious

They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47 

As we have been inspired to GO this year in our sermons on the book of Acts I have noticed a reoccurring theme: ‘the Lord added to their fellowship’ through everything that was happening. Especially it seemed after acts of faith – be that a miraculous healing, the people gathering, the generosity and service they displayed. All these acts were like magnets, drawing more people to the community. When something supernatural is happening among people it is attractive.  

This becomes so practical, especially in a mission context. That’s why it’s so powerful to send teams to do mission or serving work, because when one member of the team is filled with faith the others are inspired and the results God can create are exponential. I remember serving on a team with a girl who was deeply passionate about sharing her faith with everyone she met. She is bold in it, and that boldness became a hallmark of the team and through that lots of people received Jesus during that trip. Another time I was traveling with a man whose heartbeat was for intercession, every place we went he would show us how to walk around the space inside and out to pray for God to work. Our whole team started to use that kind of faith through intercession, and we could see how God would move through the time of ministry in that place. God wants to use the gifts He has given you to inspire others to grow!  

Let’s take a quiet moment here and there to look for the snowball effect of faith to take place in our personal lives and church as we GO in 2024!