The 2nd strongest contributing factor to spiritual luster is becoming faith-driven: the degree to which you believe your life derives meaning from your belief in God. Faith is that irresistible force that draws you out of your ego-self and toward God.
It is only in deep faith that you can find deep meaning in your life and come to a fuller acceptance of the current condition of your soul, and gradually begin to embrace your true-self. I used to say to myself that I would receive all the gifts from God ‘even in the face of pain, suffering and other privations,’ but now I realize that it is because of these ‘hurts’ or ‘displeasures’ that I come to experience these marvelous gifts. Someone (I don’t remember who) put it well: In life, pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional. I would add that both are master teachers, if we appreciate the spiritual luster within us.
Faith is not a feeling, not a thought, not a perception… no, faith requires a decision to believe in a way that let’s go of egotistical power as the center of all personal motivation, and instead gives this motivation over to God. It is this decision to live in faith, rather than depending upon or blaming the conditions of your life, that spells the difference between a life of meaning and a life without it!
How do you feel when you realize that the person in front of you is indeed faith-driven? I feel a sense of connectedness; a compelling mutuality of spirit. Then I think, “We are the same at our core… we are innervated by Christ; our purpose is identical… to expand the universe of God… of Love.” What better thought can there be than this? I feel an intense security along with a sense of awe; I feel close to God, almost as though I can touch God! There is nothing that can compare to this spiritual elevation and expansion of soul, it can be overpowering!
Day after day, both in the temple and at home, the Apostles never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus. Acts 5:42
The Apostles set-out from village to village, spreading the good news everywhere and curing diseases. Luke 9:6
Those who believed shared all things in common; they would sell their property and goods, dividing everything on the basis of each one’s need. Acts 2:44-45
If we have died with Christ, we believe that we are also to live with him. Romans 6:8
It is in the Spirit that we eagerly await the justification we hope for, and faith can yield it. Galatians 4:5
Let me firmly assure you, he who believes has eternal life. John 6:47
We have come to believe; we are convinced that you are God’s holy Son. John 6:58
Therefore I am content with weakness, with mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ; for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:10