Liz Sagaser
June 08, 2017

How my new dog is challenging me to grow my faith in God

Kerusso blogger Liz Sagaser's new puppy Cosmo. Cosmo's "dogged faith" and unconditional love for Liz and her family have been reminding Liz of the faith she desires to have daily in her walk with God, she writes.We have a new puppy at our house. A curly cocker spaniel boy named Cosmic Cosmo (Judy Jetson’s rock star boyfriend circa 1990; you can hear his outer galactic music video at right).

Our cats are now pondering life on the run, but the rest of us are head-over-heels for Cosmo, and he clearly feels the same way about us.

I work from home, so my little fur-buddy and I spend a lot of time together. If I work at the table, he sits on my feet. If he needs to go outside, he patiently waits for me to escort him to the bottom of the deck stairs before he’ll proceed with doing his business. If I head down the hall for a visit to the “throne room,” he must follow me.

He likes to nap somewhere in the vicinity of my head; he loves playing fetch, neighborhood walks, and car trips; and he trusts me. Implicitly. He knows I’ll feed him three times a day (plus treats). He knows if I leave, I’ll come back soon. He knows I’ll wake up early in the morning to let him outside, and that I’ll join him at the bottom of the deck stairs no matter how tired I am or whether there was an unexpected spring snowstorm the night before.

There is no room for doubt in his little doggy heart that I am here for him. Knowing someone has that kind of faith in me warms my heart, even if the someone in question stands on four legs and chews on stolen snippets of toilet paper when he can get away with it.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

  • — Hebrews 11:1

Cosmo’s belief in me is endearing. Inspiring, even. And his devotion has me thinking about the strength and endurance of my own faith in God. Faith is like a muscle – if it isn’t used, it will atrophy. We don’t manufacture faith; it is a gift from our Heavenly Father. For my part, I want to embrace this gift, use it, rely on it, share it, turn to it, enjoy it, obey it, chase it, and abide with it.

How our faith in God should look (sorta like a dog's!)

I want to have the kind of faith that:

  • • Causes me to follow God everywhere – no questions asked.
  • • Reassures me that my needs will be taken care of. All of them.
  • • Inspires me to reach out for God first – and always.
  • • Makes me long to hear and obey my Master’s voice.
  • • Fills me with joy at the very prospect of following Jesus.
  • • Encourages me to share my journey in Jesus with others.
  • • Gives me a hope and a future.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

  • — Isaiah 40:31

Steps to grow your faith and make your faithful journey the 'prize'

For me, as a believer, faith is not the means to winning the race; faith is the prize.

If you find yourself struggling to see God’s fingerprints in your life, or – like me – you see someone else's faith (or a dog's) and it makes you realize your own faith could stand some attention, it may be time to invest in growing your faith. For some, this spiritual gift comes naturally; for others, the seeds of faith require tending for them grow and flourish. Here are a few ways to enrich your faith and build the bond of trust God longs to have with you:

  1. • Pray for faith. Ask God specifically to bless you with the gift of faith, and ask loved ones to pray for this, too.
  2. • Read for faith. Tap into Bible verses designed to inspire your faith. For guidance, ask your pastor or a spiritual mentor for suggested reading.
  3. • Seek faith in community. Whether you connect with God at church, a Bible study or prayer group, or out in nature, reach out to fellow believers and seekers looking to grow in faith. God designed us to be in community, and as believers, we can sharpen and boost each other’s faith when we gather together.
  4. • Find a faith model. Is there a Jesus-follower in the Bible whose story inspires you? Do you have a friend or family member whose faith is steadfast, no matter what happens in life? Is there a past or present author or speaker whose message speaks to your heart? Get to know this person’s story to learn how the choices they’ve made are inspired and influenced by faith.
  5. • Move a mountain. Jesus says in Matthew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Focus on a specific need in your life, and ask for God’s blessing. He may not show up the way you expect or prefer, but when you ask God to move on your behalf and you make room in your heart for Him, He will move! Whatever your mountain is, give it to God and focus your faith on His mighty hand at work in this area.

God bless you as you grow in faith and stretch toward the Son.

Lord, thank you for the gift of faith. I pray you grow in me a no-questions-asked kind of faith that relies on You in all things ­– with no fear of the future, only hope in You.


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Kerusso’s blog team has gone to the dogs! (Well, our love goes to them, anyway!) We’re big fans of man’s best friend, and we’d love to see a picture of your furry housemate(s). Comment below and click the “post to Facebook” option; or share a pic of your pup on your Facebook page or ours, and use hashtag #kerussoblog.

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