The subject of faith is a very controversial one in the religious realm and few truly understand what faith is, why we need it and how our lives are blessed because of it. We all know the scripture at Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” But do we really understand what the reward of faith is? Continue reading
Often when those unexpected trials and challenges come, many Christians will first try to work it out on their own or with the help of the world — and then when all else fails they’ll turn to God. Continue reading
There are times in our lives when things become so busy and so hectic that the days slowly turn into weeks and the weeks become one long, progressive challenge. Seasons come and go and life seems to pass us by. At night, we lay in bed and our mind becomes a rerun of everything we did during the day and the only thing that stops it is when we worry about what we have to face tomorrow.
We know that we need to sleep and we desperately want to relax our mind and fall asleep, but it’s impossible. So, what are our options: a drink to relax us? One drink that inevitably becomes a dependency because we won’t be able to sleep without it? Or perhaps a toxic sleeping pill to put our mind to rest – a pill that becomes an addiction? How do we beat the frustration of life and get our sleep? Is there a sleeping pill for Christians?
Yes, there is a sleeping pill that’s just for Christians and it’s called, “Faith in God”. It’s not taken through the mouth, but rather, through the heart. If you want to activate this pill, you must close your eyes and begin to focus all your thoughts on God alone. It’s not going to be easy and you’re going to have to force yourself to NOT think about your struggles or any of the things that get you down. You’ll need to think only on good things.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” … Philippians 4:8
Then begin to thank God that you’re saved because Jesus suffered and died on the cross for YOU, and then thank Him for all the blessings that come because of the cross and because you belong to God. Thank Him for the good things in your life: for your family no matter how trying they may be at times; for your job even if it’s not perfect, but it’s a means to support the family you love; for your clothes even if they aren’t the most stylish; for your car even if it isn’t a show piece; and for all your possessions no matter how few or worn they may be.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” … 1 Thessalonians 5:18
And thank God for your health regardless of any issues that need healing because Jesus took those issues upon His own body on the cross (Isaiah 53:5) and you just haven’t realized it yet. Thank Him that you still have a body that works because you can offer your body to the Lord to be the temple of His Spirit.
“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” … 1 Corinthians 6:19
As you focus on God and what He has done for you, and on the blessings that He has given you, and for the inheritance that waits for you in Heaven, you begin to see that you are blessed and that God IS very present in your life. Perhaps you’ve pushed Him away as you tried to do everything yourself. Maybe it’s time that you made Him Lord over your life and depended on Him for everything.
Ask for His help and then expect an answer. God is your provider. He WILL give you victory over all your struggles, but you have to ask Him, trust Him and be prepared to make some changes.
If you need God to fill you with His Holy Spirit so you can serve Him with a whole heart, then ask Him for it:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” … Matthew 7:7
If you need wisdom, then ask God for it:
If you need food, clothing, shelter, a car, finances or anything, then ask God for them:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” … Philippians 4:19
If you need a spouse to go through this life with, then ask Him for one because He wants you to be happy:
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” … Proverbs 18:22
Regardless of what problems come against us, if we give them all to God He will carry us through them and He’ll help us to get the victory over them. This is a real, spiritual pill and it works – and all we have to do is ask God to help us as we cast our cares onto Jesus (1 Peter 5:7), and then wait to see what He does.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” … Matthew 11:28-29
We endure many emotional traumas throughout our lives and the ones that hurt the most don’t always come from people of the world. They often come from those we love such as our biological family, our church family and our friends, and these hurts cut to the bone.
When we take a stand to serve Jesus with our whole lives we offend the devil’s plan, which is to keep us apart from God. John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” We need to understand that the devil doesn’t have even one tiny cell of compassion for us and that he’s got absolutely no consideration or good feeling toward us; he has only contempt for us because we love Jesus and he hates Him.
He will do whatever it takes to destroy our relationship with God and so he searches our lives and finds out what is most precious to us – and then he attacks. Because we are people whose lives and motives are often controlled by our emotions, the devil knows that the best way to challenge our faith in God is to do something that affects these emotions. We know that the world comes against us because of Jesus, but when we anger the devil he makes sure that the people we love are offended and repulsed by our lifestyle even more. So, he creates situations where we are forced to make a choice: keep peace and compromise our faith with our family that doesn’t know God, or serve God and separate ourselves from them.
Many of us don’t want to lose the love of someone who we hold dear to our heart such as a child or a parent or a sibling. We’ll do almost anything to keep the peace and to end the conflict in our relationship with them. We learn how to work around the issues so that we can continue to be Christians and so that they can continue to just accept us because we’re different. We think we’ve got it controlled.
However, the devil doesn’t stop there. He is set out to destroy us and the amiable compromise that we settle for to keep peace isn’t good enough for him. He pushes so that he can break us and destroy our relationship with God. He sets circumstances before us so that our emotions are challenged and we are forced choose between God and family.
This is when we need to withdraw from everyone and just dig deep into the Bible to get to know Jesus personally. We need to increase our love FOR Him and build our faith IN Him. We need to realize the unconditional love that HE has for us, and that He really took on OUR sins and allowed Himself to be painfully nailed to the cross for US – for YOU and for ME.
This wasn’t an easy thing to do. Jesus knew the torture and torment He’d endure, yet He didn’t let it get in the way; He pressed forward with the plan to suffer and die for us. His earthly mother was likely drenched in tears when the end came and yet Jesus did not let HIS personal emotions get in the way of doing what He had to do.
Matthew 19:29 says, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to die for us. What a friend we have in Jesus! When we realize what He endured for us, then we will realize the love that He has for us, and when we realize that love, how can we do anything except love Him back and follow Him?
Jesus gave us a commission in Mark 16:15 and told us to, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Why do we do this? Because when we become Christians we are filled with His Spirit, and the same love that He has for us lives IN us, and we have the same passion to save people from the clutches of the devil that He has.
Being a Christian is not about us and what we want; it’s about the love of God and what HE wants. It says in John 3:16 that Jesus died for everyone because He loves everyone. Howbeit, there are far too many people who will not know Him before they leave this earth and sadly they will have to face His judgement. And this could include our loved ones.
When our families and friends are offended because of the gospel, we need to focus on eternity and not on today and on this earth or on our personal emotions.
It’s far better to part fellowship and walk away from the ones we love now and then pray diligently for their salvation from a distance than it is to hold fast to a relationship with them now and lose them to an eternal life of damnation in hell. Love is beautiful when we can share it with people, but it’s more meaningful when we can love them enough to get away from them and not be their stumbling stone. We can pray from a distance for them to be saved and it may take a lifetime, but it would be worth the sacrifice if even on their death-bed they cried out for Jesus and got saved.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” … Matthew 10:22
We may have lived a sad and agonizing life without them on earth, but the joy that will flood our soul when we see them in Heaven will be worth every hurt we ever suffered because of them here.
Eternity is forever and so we can’t let our emotions keep us from this reality or from following and obeying the One person who knows what it means to love. We cannot risk our sole or the lives of our loved ones by letting our personal emotions get in the way of a true and eternal love – not even when the hurts come from our loved ones and they cut to the bone.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
… James 5:16
Many of us Christians will come to the Bible and pick out scriptures that we can use as a means to win the battles in our lives – and this can be a good thing. Many of us will quote the scriptures and declare their power – and yet we are defeated. We have done all we know to do, but God’s promises don’t work.
This is the problem. We do all that WE can do and then we get discouraged. We begin to doubt that there is any power in the Words of the Bible or whether God can or will step in the gap to help us. We begin to think that maybe – if God actually cares about us – He has His favorites and that He actually chooses who He will bless.
When WE are the voice behind the scriptures there IS NO POWER and we WILL be defeated!
When we think that quoting passages of the Bible will turn the words into an aggressive, magical tool to fight the devil with, then we WILL be defeated.
When we decide how we will interpret the Bible and how to use it for our own personal gain, then we WILL be defeated.
When will we get the victory using God’s Word? When we humble ourselves before God and accept the Word as HIS spoken word for us, THEN we will have our victory.
The ONLY way that we can speak to those mountains and see the victories in our lives is to HAVE FAITH and believe that God has spoken these words to us and for us. Then we, too, can speak them and get the victories over the trials in our lives. Why? Because deep in our hearts we believe the truth that’s in them; they are God’s Words and not our words.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” … Matthew 21:21
God gave us the Bible to be our manual of instructions for our lives. The Old Testament is filled with the history of God and mankind, the instructions for our lives and the reports of those who obeyed and what happened to those who disobeyed. And it leads right up to Jesus our King, who would be the sacrificed lamb for our sins so that we could once again be united with our Father. The New Testament is just that – a new testament or promise between God and us, established by Jesus on the cross so that we could live the way He expects us to live; the way He has made possible through His Word.
The mountains in our lives are those trials and tribulations that come against us. The Bible gives us instruction about how to live and how to overcome these trials. There is NO trial that we have to endure that has not been covered by Jesus on the cross. He has given us the ability to overcome them all, and there are scriptures to support them all, even if we don’t think there are.
Jesus brought us back into the presence of God by taking our sins away and making us clean before our Father. But Jesus also gave us the right to claim the promises in the Bible AND He gave us the ability to overcome all disease and sickness. He’s written out all the instructions for a Godly life, for finding a mate, investing money, staying healthy, raising children, dealing with our neighbors, spreading love, joy and happiness, and for our retirement.
If we knew God’s Will for our lives from the second we were born, we would likely not find ourselves in most of the situations that have come against us because we would know how to deal with them from the onset – and how to prevent them. But most of us have found ourselves in the situations before we understood God’s Will for our lives. Yet, we can still be over comers.
Faith gives us the victory. How do we get faith so His promises will come to pass in our lives?
1. We need to know God so we can truly love Him – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” … Mark 12:30
2. We need to study His Word so it becomes the directive for our lives – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. … 2 Timothy 2:15
3. We need to believe God’s Word totally and not second guess His authority or purpose. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” … Proverbs 3:5.
4. We need to love and respect other people with the same love and respect that we have for ourselves and that Jesus has for us. When we pray this way, we won’t be asking for personal riches or fame; we’ll be praying for others with the same love and compassion that Jesus has. “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” … Matthew 19:19.
We need to pray for their needs like we pray for our own. We can’t lift ourselves up above anyone. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” … James 5:16
5. We need to realize that God’s Word is the same for everyone, and as Paul says in Acts 10:34, God is not a respecter of persons. Whoever will accept God’s Word and believe will see it come to pass. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” … John 15:7
Yet, God DOES bless His children just as we bless our children and give them special treats or rewards for their hard work. These blessings are above the basic promises of the Bible because God, in His compassion and love for us, also loves to bless us.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” … Psalm 68:19
God’s promises ARE true and they DO work when we have faith and believe that God gave them to us so that we can have the victory over ALL of our problems in life.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” …….… … John 16:33
All we need to do is have faith and trust God that His Word is true, and then we will see that God’s promises DO work!
“And Jesus said unto them, ‘If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’” … Matthew 17:20
*If you want to learn how to develop your faith and how to apply it to the situations in your life, there is a book that this author wrote last year called, Let Faith Arise!. This is a devotional book comprising many messages on faith that the Lord gave to me during my nasty battle with cancer last year. Through faith in God and in His Word, I beat an aggressive deadly cancer that was about to claim my life. God’s Word IS true. His promises ARE real.
And you CAN have the victory when you have the faith and believe Him.
**Please visit my website and read the free excerpts to this powerful book on faith.
Why Won’t God’s Promises Work for Me?
What is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen……Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the energy it takes to believe in something that you are hoping for. Here are some examples of New Testament people who believed that Jesus could and would do that thing that they needed so badly:
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him (Jesus), and touched the hem of His garment, for she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole’. And the woman was made whole from that hour……Matthew 9: 20-22
While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, ‘My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live’. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, ‘Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth’. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth He went in and took her by the hand, and the maid arose..Matthew 9:18,19,23-25
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him crying and saying, ‘Thou son of David, have mercy on us’. And when He was come into the house the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this?’ They said unto him, ‘Yea, Lord’. Then touched He their eyes saying, ‘According to your faith be it unto you’. And their eyes were opened..Matthew 9: 27-30
Let faith be your guide and your strength for living:
And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you’….Matthew 17:20