Robert Murray McCheyne Quote – 4 Ways Faith is Like a Muscle

“When God gives a promise, He always tries our faith. Just as the roots of trees take firmer hold when they are contending with the wind, so faith takes a firmer hold when it struggles with adverse appearances.”

– Robert Murray McCheyne

Devotional: 4 Ways Faith is Like a Muscle

What McCheyne is saying is that faith is like a muscle. That’s really the summary of what he’s saying because if you pay attention to several qualities of muscle tissue, you’d see that this applies to faith as well. Here are the four ways faith is like a muscle.

It Only Grows with Pain

Faith can only grow when it is profoundly challenged and in many cases this challenge takes the form of pain, loss, and defeat. When you choose to maintain your faith even though it seems everything is lost, you actually grow that faith and it makes eventual victory even all that much sweeter. Faith enables you to survive the next day and the key to this is growing with pain.

To Cultivate It You Have to Challenge It

Faith is not like an heirloom that your parents give to you and you wear like some sort of accessory. It’s not a piece of clothing or a bag. For faith to really have manning in your life, you have to challenge it. You have to entertain your doubts and then cross-reference it with your faith. You have to test your faith because real faith is personal. It’s not something that somebody gives you or something that somebody dictates to you. It’s something that you choose. It only becomes meaningful or powerful when you challenge it.

It Weakens with Lack of Use

Just like a muscle, faith will weaken if you fail to exercise it. If you always take the easy way instead of taking a leap of faith, eventually your lack of use of faith leads to lose it. In the same way, if you fail to exercise for an extended period of time your muscles become softer and softer until you’ve lost the muscle tone you’ve developed during all that time you’ve worked out. You have to use it, you have to exercise it.

It Works Through Opposition

Did you know that your muscles work though opposition? When you’re stretching a muscle, another muscle is contracting. Muscles work in opposing pairs. In the same way faith works though opposition. Faith will only grow when it’s being opposed and so the more other people say to you that you should give up, say to you to do certain things that you know are wrong but you resist that by acting in faith, it strengthens and grows.


To make sense of this world, to achieve victory in this world, you really have to have faith. The good news is that faith is like a muscle. The more pain and challenges you go through, the more you challenge it, and the more opposition you face, the stronger your faith can become. Choose to have stronger faith, choose to have faith today.

Original image source: cc-by-sa Petras Gagilas modifications: overlay texture, added text, cropped image