By Eddie Broussard
Wherever Navigators live and work, we hope to see an increasing number of disciples and laborers growing to maturity and bearing fruit. The New Testament tells us that healthy and fruitful disciples are people of faith.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:8, Paul helps us see that faith is a quality that must be nurtured in a person’s life if he or she is to mature and bear lasting fruit.
"The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere."
This powerful faith is evident among Navigators around the world. In just one example, a family of Navigator disciples in a war-torn part of the Middle East demonstrated faith by trusting God to provide food. With the economy in shambles, and the infrastructure in a collapsed state, the family’s food, water and electricity were scarce. Lacking food or money, the father of the family, a physician, asked God to provide the next meal. Someone needing medical attention soon knocked at the door. The father cared for the patient, but declined payment for his services. The grateful patient insisted on paying him, and it turned out to be exactly enough to buy food for his family that evening.
You can imagine how that answer to prayer inspired his wife and children and others in the community. It sure inspires me!
Paul gives us insight into the nature of faith and its role in the advance of the Gospel when he says, "your faith in God has become known everywhere." Faith, by its nature, expresses itself in actions and attitudes that shape our behavior and form a message from our lives to the world. Faith is visible!
And it was faith—seen in the attitudes, actions, responses and lifestyle of the Thessalonians—that became known all over first century Greece and the surrounding region. The visible faith of the Thessalonians was the leading edge of the Gospel as it spread around Macedonia and Achaia.
We also see the importance of faith in the spiritual growth of believers in 1 Thessalonians 3. In that chapter, Paul writes about faith five times. And he says that he sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to strengthen and encourage their faith (verse 2 and 5).
How do we help people grow in faith? In chapter 2, Paul described his ministry in Thessalonica as one in which he shared not only the Gospel, but also his own soul with them (2:8). He left them an example of holy, righteous and blameless living. In other words, faith is caught more than taught. When others see us living by faith, the Gospel comes to life.
Paul and Timothy also helped believers grow in faith by communicating the Scriptures. The Word of God provides us with a clearer picture of the object of our faith—God himself and the way of His kingdom.
Disciples, at their core, are people whose lives are characterized by a vibrant, visible faith rooted in an inner life of trust and obedience to the Lord and His Word. Faith makes the Gospel contagious!
Eddie Broussard joined the International Executive Team in May 2015. He became Navigator staff in 1980. In 1992, he joined the CoMission movement, working in the post-Soviet countries. From 1998 to 2014, he served on the U.S. National Leadership Team. Eddie and his wife, Barbie, were married in 1996.