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
There’s an attitude spreading across the globe today that wants us to put our differences aside and live as one big multi-cultural family under God. It says that regardless of what we call Him, we are all God’s children. Well, God does love everyone, but we are not all His children. Continue reading
Too often, the true gospel of Jesus is hidden behind the deception of false doctrines and idealistic theologies that are leading people by the millions along the broad path to destruction. God has called us to preach the gospel Continue reading
Many people express their compassions and concerns by worrying about people or situations. They insist that their worrying is a positive attribute to caring and concern. However, as Christians we know that worrying is a reaction of doubt and can only bring defeat. There is a biblical difference between worry and concern.
Webster’s Dictionary defines worry as:
“To think about problems or fears; to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen. To make (someone) anxious or upset: to cause (someone) to worry.”
And it defines doubt as:
“To be uncertain about (something); to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in (someone or something); to fear; to distrust; an uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making; a deliberate suspension of judgment; to doubt.”
“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.’”
Jesus made it clear that doubt is the opposite of “faith”. And He talks about worrying in Matthew 6:25-34:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
When we worry about someone or something we focus on the situation from our own perspective and within our own abilities to help, and we ache inside because we know that we can’t do a thing to change it. We become afraid and this is because we have taken our eyes of off Jesus who has told us in 1 Peter 5:7 to “cast all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.” When our eyes and thoughts are still on the situation, we hold onto the burden and Jesus cannot do a thing to help until we let go.
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is telling us to tell HIM about the things that burden us and that worry us, and to rest in Him because HE will take care of them. And how do we do that?
We take our heartfelt concern and we give it to Jesus in prayer. We need to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY and tell the Lord about the things that trouble us and then LET HIM deal with them.
James 5:16 says, “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.”
He won’t always do it the way we want Him to and that’s because Jesus sees the big picture and we are only focused on the issue at hand. We need to have the faith and confidence in Jesus as our Lord that He’ll hear our prayers, answer them AND do it HIS way, and then we need to let Him do what He has to do. We need to STOP worrying and agonizing over them because they are no longer OUR burdens; we gave them to Jesus who can and who WILL fix the problems. And all we have to do is believe it.
We’re told in James 2:20 that “faith without works is dead.” We might say that we have faith, but until we truly give Him the burden and then step away from it, we really don’t trust Him. But if when we pray we can give Him the burden and then just leave it with Him, we are acting on our faith. And what does James 2:26 say about that?
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
And there is a way that we can know that we really did give the situation to Jesus and are not just saying that we did. When we can praise the Lord from our heart and thank Him for healing the situation, we’ll feel the release of the anxiety that had previously burdened us. When we are free of that burden, we are filled with His praise just like David said in Psalm 106:12, “Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.”
Can we still be concerned? Yes, of course we can be. But we’ve given it to someone who can do something about the problem, so we no longer have to “worry”. And when the negative thoughts and doubts come – and they will – we have to remember that they aren’t from Jesus, and since we only want to focus on Jesus, we should ignore them and stay focused on the healing power of God.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” … 2 Corinthians 10:5
When we study the Bible and learn all about Jesus, our faith in Him grows and we become more dependent on Him for every aspect of our lives because we know that on our own we can’t defeat the devil, but with God nothing is impossible. If you want to learn more on how to develop your faith and become a strong and faithful Christian, I’d like to encourage you to get a copy of my book, “Let Faith Arise!” You can get a soft cover copy at Amazon.com or a free e-book copy here. It will bless you and teach you what faith is, how to build your faith and how to use it to the glory of God.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” … Hebrews 11:6
Have you ever wondered just how it is that Christians got saved in the first place? What turned them away from a worldly lifestyle that seemed to offer everything and drew them to the foot of cross? How did that atheist ever find God in a world of denial? It happened because it’s not their doing; it’s a miraculous call for salvation that begins with a gift of faith.
The very first step toward anyone getting saved is hearing the message of Jesus and how He died for our sins. He has instructed us in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is our commission, our ministry as Christians. We don’t want to keep the goodness of God to ourselves – and we can’t because the love of God within us compels us to share it. The more we know Jesus, the more we want to share His love with others, and so we live our lives as testimonies of His love and we joyfully tell others about Him.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that salvation is a three-step process: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” In other words, one person preaches and plants the seed or the interest about Jesus in someone, another person comes along and elaborates on that message so the interest is sparked to the point of submission, and then God gives the increase. What is the increase?
The increase is the gift of faith that is needed to actually believe in God, in the cross and the gospel of Jesus. It’s one thing to hear it and be interested, but it’s another thing to actually want it. When the message makes sense and the heart wants to try it, God gives that person a gift of faith. And this is called grace.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” … Ephesians 2:8
We cannot come to the cross on our own even if it sounds like a great idea. We cannot become a Christian on our own enthusiasm or good intentions. It is a gift that God gives to each and every person who hears the true gospel of Jesus and who decides in their own heart that they want it instead of the world. At that point, God gives them the gift of faith that allows them to accept the truth so they can repent and invite Jesus into their heart.
It’s an overwhelming feeling to know that Jesus died for all of us while we were still sinners and didn’t even care about Him. When He was nailed to the cross, He took upon himself every sin that we have ever committed or will commit. Regardless of what it was; whether we stole something, cursed someone, mocked God, killed an unborn baby or abused someone, He took it all for each and every one us and He paid the price of death for it all.
Some people would easily give their lives to protect the ones they love, but no one would give up their own life so that the evil people of the world could become good, or so that a brutal murderer could have a second chance. No one has that much love in them to want anything good for them. Yet, Jesus did that for us.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus is the Son of God; the lamb that God sent from Heaven to save all of us and He did it because He loves us. God knows that no person can come to Him without faith, and so to all those who hear the Word and want to change and become saved, God gives this special gift of faith.
Does this mean that once we accept salvation we’re always saved? No, and this is a lie that many people believe. It means that when we heard the truth and wanted it, God gave us a gift of faith to accept it. But not everyone will keep the gift and use it wisely. In Matthew 25:15-30, Jesus refers to the gift of faith as talents:
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
What He’s saying in a nutshell is this: when we are given the gift of faith to believe, we can lose the salvation opportunity that was initially given to us through this gift if we don’t act on it.
Some people, like the servant with ten talents, will spend his or her life living a Godly lifestyle and preaching and teaching others – and a good example is Billy Graham. He is committed to God and so God gave him a very large responsibility to preach to millions, and Mr. Graham accepted the responsibility and spent his life serving the Lord.
The second servant was given five talents and he could be compared to a husband and father who loves the Lord, but who has to work and provide and care for his family so he can’t be as committed as the first servant. Yet, he loves God with all his heart and lives a Godly lifestyle, so he preaches and shows God’s love to everyone around him and gives what he can to help others.
The third servant was given two talents, but sadly had the attitude of, “once saved, always saved”, and he didn’t care to live for God or to tell others about Him. This selfish person thought that the gift of faith to believe was sufficient to get him into Heaven, and he didn’t care about sharing it with anyone else. He continued to live his own life and felt that as long as he was saved that was all that mattered. This same lie and deception of false preaching affects many people who think they’re saved, but are not. And this is why God says, “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Yes, you CAN lose the initial gift of grace if you don’t truly appreciate that it cost Jesus His life to give it to you. It’s a priceless gift that comes around to every person at least once in a lifetime; some people are given it several times and it’s usually because someone else is diligently praying for their salvation.
As we share the gospel of Jesus with others, we need to pray that their hearts be opened to accept this precious gift of faith, and that they’ll treasure it. The message goes out to so many, yet only a few will hear it, accept it and thank God for it.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” … Matthew 22:14
Let’s keep the message going out and pray for a harvest.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised;19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” … Luke 4:18,19
**An encouraging book of faith is one that I wrote under God’s anointing last year when I cried out to Him to make my faith strong during a nasty battle with cancer. It’s a daily devotional that’s loaded with scripture and it brought me through a very dark place in my life and into victory – and I want to share it with you to help you get the victory over situations in your own life.
You can visit my website for more details.
We all know that the first step to becoming a Christian is to ask God for forgiveness; to accept Jesus as our Lord and to repent of our old lifestyle as we seek after His. And we know that the next step is to forgive other people and to be free of the anger, hostility and resentment that we’ve carried toward them. Yet, there is another part to this healing that many of us overlook and this is that the petition for forgiveness begins at home.
Many of us don’t realize that we have to forgive ourselves for things that we’ve done or not done and that have become tormenting burdens we carry in the back of our heart; things that we can’t change and that we truly regret; things that we think about often with pain and remorse; things that keep us captive in the shadows of the enemy and that prevent us from receiving the fullness of God.
Some of us aren’t even aware of these burdens until someone points them out to us. Then once we realize that we have not forgiven ourselves for something that’s affecting our life, our eyes are opened and our heart cries out to God. We are able to come to Him in prayer and “cast all of our burdens” onto Him and truly get the release from this weight that we’ve been carrying.
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7
Some of us are aware of the burden, but we struggle with it because every day we see the results of what we did or didn’t do to someone and we can’t forgive ourselves for causing this injustice to them. We can’t be free when we know that they suffer because of what we did even though whatever it was may have been years ago and long before we knew Jesus. Or even though it may be something that we didn’t even know we did at the time and the weight of the guilt weighs heavy.
The Apostle Paul knows what it is to have done terrible things because he had many innocent Christians killed in his mislead quest to serve God. He thought he was doing what God wanted him to do, but when he was saved and repented, he was sickened by what he had done. He pled for God’s forgiveness and so the Lord forgave him and filled Paul with His Spirit, and Paul was able to forgive himself because he knew that if he had been serving Christ at that time that he would never have hurt anyone. And we have to think the same way.
Each one of us will stand before God to account for the things that we have done while we were here on earth. The good things that we have done to His glory will be noted, but the bad things that we have done – and that are all under the blood – will not be recognized because they are forgiven. The thing we did that we harbour the guilt for has been forgiven by God, too. We are the only one who won’t let it go.
This guilt – or unforgiveness – will keep our heart polluted with a burden that will continue to give the devil glory for something that he got us to do. God forgave us for it, but we won’t forgive ourselves so the effects of this sin will stay with us and will rule over us – and keep us from God. The devil smirks on because he still has a piece of us.
We need to give this burden to God. It may take many times of coming to Him and pouring it all out because the wounds are deep within us, but if we diligently cry out to Jesus and ask for His help, He will help us. When King David struggled with guilt, he cried out to God until he got this release.
“Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” … Psalm 51:14
Faith is our lifeline to God, so if we have faith to accept Jesus as our Saviour, faith to believe that we are forgiven, and faith to know that God has a purpose for us, then we have to act on that faith. If we believe that Christ has forgiven us then we (being filled with His Spirit) must forgive ourselves and get rid of the guilt that Satan has put on us. We need to put our faith to work and break all ties with the devil.
“…..faith without works is dead”. … James 2:20
Some may argue, “It’s not that easy. I’ve physically hurt a person who can never be healed and I feel sick about it”, or “I was a bad parent and now my child is messed up and doesn’t know God”, or “My parent died angry at me for things I’d done”.
We can’t turn back time. We can’t change what we’ve done, but God forgave us for all of our sins when we came to the cross and repented. Now we need to come to God and ask Him to help us get past them so we can forgive ourselves. We need to pray and believe that He will help us.
Each person is responsible for their own salvation, and that includes the person we’ve hurt. They must come to God and seek forgiveness, as well, and ask for His direction and blessing on their lives. We cannot carry this burden for them. This is something they have to do on their own, and if they choose to not forgive us for what we’ve done to them, then that is their choice.
“….choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….”… Joshuah 24:15
God does not leave anyone out in the cold. That’s why we’re here, filled with His Spirit and working on His behalf to reach out and show God’s love to people who have suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and every other way. Even the people who were hurt by something we did will have opportunities to come to God and seek forgiveness and healing for their own lives.
This doesn’t mean that we become non-caring or complacent toward someone we’ve hurt in the past; it doesn’t mean that we brush it off as “oh well, they’ll get over it”. It means that we no longer carry the guilt for our actions because we know that Jesus has forgiven us.
In some cases this person or their family might be hateful toward us, but instead of holding onto the guilt emotion, we can lift them up in prayer every day and pray for their salvation, and ask that the Lord bless their lives and fill them with His Spirit. We can turn our guilty feelings into a positive action and give God the glory for our healing – and for their healing.
We cannot change what we did in the past, but we can live a Godly life today and be a positive influence for what happens in the future. We might never be able to tell this person that we’re sorry, or maybe we’ve apologized a hundred times, but they won’t accept it. This then becomes an issue between them and God because WE have done all that we can do.
When we forgive ourselves then we can more easily feel the love of Jesus and we can know that our body is the temple of His Spirit. We’ll know we have the victory when we can turn the guilt that we’ve carried into a mission of faith to lift this person up to Heaven and win their soul for Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” … John 14:27
Michael English sings a beautiful song called Please Forgive Me. It will bring you to the foot of the cross when you close your eyes and put yourself into the words of this song. God is faithful and He’ll heal you and restore you and bless you.
Michael English sings from his heart, Please Forgive Me.
“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” … Psalm 106:1
Most Christians know the scripture at Hebrews 11:1 that says “faith is the substance of things hoped for”. We know it’s the energy or the confidence to believe God for something… but what is faith really?
Jesus talks a lot about faith and He tells us what we can accomplish with it and the fact that faith is what Christianity is all about. We realize that we need to get the scriptures down into our heart to be able to believe them, and so we study them to learn about faith. We write them out and quote them over and over so that they come to our thoughts constantly and we feel great because we have learned this. And this is good because we’re told to “study” the Word.
But how do we know when it’s time to step out and use our faith? How do we know if we really believe what we’ve learned or if we just have a really good memory? When does this study of faith actually become real to us so we can act on it?
When we board an elevator, most of us just wait for it to reach our designated floor. We look around and notice that the guy beside us has no idea how to match his tie with his shirt, and the woman ahead of her missed combing the back of her hair. We watch people get on and off without any hesitation, get a heart flutter when Mr. Handsome boards, and then eventually we get off. We had no worries or issues with the elevator. We didn’t fret that it might crash down or that we might get stuck in it with a bunch of people who all look somewhat suspicious.
We had complete confidence and faith in the performance of the elevator. We didn’t have to quote positive sayings or pray out loud or have a panic attack while hoping that we got to our floor in one piece. We had “faith” in the elevator and in its performance without any doubts at all. We didn’t hesitate to use its service or question its abilities. Why? Because we had faith in the elevator.
When we went out for supper at our favorite restaurant, we sat down and ordered our meal and never worried that the food might contain some kind of contaminant, or that there might be bugs in the kitchen or that the chefs who prepared it were sick and had sneezed all over the food. We went there because we had complete confidence in its ability to prepare the meal that we expected, and we ate the food and enjoyed it without worry. We never questioned the quality or the performance of the food because we had complete confidence that what we were eating was good. Why? Because we had faith in the restaurant.
When we were paying for our groceries, after the shock of it costing more than we’d expected, we opened our wallet and handed the cashier the money without even thinking that our bills might be counterfeit, or that they were worthless. She told us how much we owed and we gave her the money with complete confidence and knew that the groceries were ours. Why? Because we had faith in the money.
When we get sick, we visit our medical doctor and trust that he knows what he’s talking about and we accept the prescription he gives us and we take the medication obediently. We don’t question what’s in the stuff we’re taking or that we might have a reaction to it. We just take it and wait for it to do its thing, and as we begin to feel better we give God thanks for our health. Why? Because we have faith in our doctor.
But what if we didn’t go to the doctor and instead decided to stand on the scripture in Isaiah 53:5, “By His stripes I am healed”, and then ate only healthy, detoxifying foods to clean our body and rid it of the germs? Could we do that? Do we have faith? Could we believe that God DID heal us and that by flushing out the germs our body would line up to the healing? If we hesitate or if we do it and worry the whole time that it’s not working – then this is NOT faith because we don’t believe it or trust it.
If we had faith – even as much as a tiny grain of mustard seed – we could envision the scripture and see Christ on the cross, and we would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we really do believe it – that we really do have the faith to receive the healing.
If we attempt to be healed through quoting scriptures while we continue to suffer and yet quietly wonder about it or question it – or doubt it – then we have to realize that we do NOT have enough faith at this point. If we’re nervous at all about it then we do NOT have the faith. We may have the understanding that faith works and that faith IS the answer, but we have not yet got to that point. So what do we do?
We study, pray, worship and thank God for His Son and for giving us His Word so that we can know Him. As our knowledge and our understanding of Jesus grows, so does our relationship with Him – and so does our love for Him AND SO DOES OUR FAITH IN HIM. Our eyes will be opened and our hearts will be renewed and the faith that we strive for will grow until we CAN stand on the scriptures and trust God totally to do the things He has promised us.
***I wrote a book called, Let Faith Arise! and it’s a devotional book filled with messages on faith that were inspired by God. I wrote these during my battle with cancer last year, and through prayer and praise and with a hunger for the faith to believe God for my healing, my faith grew and I was healed. I wrote this book to help others understand what faith is, how to get it and how to apply it to their lives. Please check out my website to see how you can get a copy of Let Faith Arise!
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.”
… Matthew 21:21
This is faith……really.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we enter God’s world, and the hopes and dreams that it holds are endless. They bring joy and happiness to our soul. Salvation is the beginning of a new life, but it’s not a matter of once saved, always saved. It’s the beginning, and like anything else in life, the “beginning” is the start and it has a following.
God gave us that first seed of faith to get saved – not a lot, just enough to believe and accept His Son, Jesus, as our Saviour. At this point we realize that God is not just a figment of someone’s imagination, but that He IS real, that He IS the creator of the universe and the God OF that universe. We realize that we are now part of this big, new world and it feels great. We belong to God, and Jesus has become our friend.
But now we need to know more about God so that we can have a relationship with Him. So much of the Old Testament seems to set Him out as being a cold, harsh ruler with no heart for the people, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. John 3:16 says that God loves us so much that He sent His OWN Son to take on OUR sins and then as a punishment, He died on the cross for us and took our sins to hell.
There is so much about God that we don’t know, so it becomes very difficult for us to be able to love someone who we don’t know and who we don’t even know anything about. But that seed of faith that He gave us to get saved can grow into a wealth of knowledge about Him, and to the point where we truly love Him with all our heart.
How do we grow that seed of faith?
The Bible says in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The Bible and all its scriptures were written by men BUT under the anointing and inspiration of God. So every word in this Bible has been given by God to us as our book of instruction – our manual for living. There is no other way to learn about God.
Our testimonies of God’s intervention in our lives are a witness that proves the Word of God. They aren’t new and they aren’t unique to only us. They are testimonies and these testimonies support what God has told us in the Bible, and they inspire those around us and encourage them to get into the Bible and study it so they too, can know God.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” … 2 Timothy 2:15.
Many Christians have written books on faith, and some of these books have been a real blessing, but they do NOT replace the Bible. They should ALL refer back to the Bible, edify the Bible, give glory to God and represent Jesus. They should inspire us and encourage us to get into the Bible and study it ourselves.
When I was battling cancer in 2011 I thought I had the faith to fight it on my own, but when the doctor spoke those terrifying words of death to me, I knew that I needed to dig deep and meditate on His Word and not stop until it became a reality to me.
I did two things: I went to some of my friends who I knew were prayer warriors and I asked them to pray for me, that my faith would be made strong. And then I studied the Bible and prayed and studied and praised the Lord with my whole heart until I began to see the hope and reality of the cross.
And as that reality began to set in, so did the fear from the battle, and so I wrote down the messages that I got from the scriptures I read, and then I read them over and over until they became real and my faith began to grow. I reached the point where I truly trusted God with my life and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was healed. And that’s when God led me to my healing.
Faith doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t come because we quote scriptures. It doesn’t happen because someone has prayed over us and says it will happen. It’s not magic. There is no angel dust.
Faith is believing with all our heart and not allowing doubt to set in. It’s an “either/or” situation; either you believe or you don’t; either you accept God’s Word or you don’t; either you receive the blessings or you don’t.
God’s Word is for everyone, but if we don’t believe it then we miss out. Someone can tell us that they have a million dollars in the bank for us and all we have to do is go and get it, but if we don’t believe it’s true, then we won’t act on it and we will miss out on the million dollars. And it’s the same concept for the Bible.
When we study the Bible, we will learn about God, about Jesus, about His Spirit, and about who we are in Christ. And as we study and pray and praise the Lord, our faith grows and grows. We are able to stand on His Word and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it IS true and we will be able to live the life of victory that He has given us.
Does this mean that life will always be a bed roses after that? No, not at all. We live in this world and we will experience all the elements and things that comes with it, BUT we will know God and He will show us how to overcome them all.
When I was healed from the cancer, I took all those messages and formatted them into a devotional book called, Let Faith Arise!. I wanted to share with others how to get faith, how to develop faith and how to act in faith. This book is NOT about me; it’s about learning how to get faith so that YOU can know God and live the life that He’s given you.
Let Faith Arise! is MY testimony that proves that God’s Word is true. He loves us so much, and He hurts when we hurt and He laughs when we laugh. He is our Father, and when we know Him, we are able to truly say “Praise the Lord” and mean it, and we will see that Jesus is not only our Lord, but He is our friend, as well.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” … Hebrews 11:1.
Many of us are standing in faith and believing God for healing, financial release or for some other need in our lives. We have given the situation to the Lord and we truly believe that He has heard us and answered us, and so we live each day in a state of waiting to see the blessing. But we have to be careful to not lose our focus and begin to walk by sight.
When we walk by sight we can do ourselves a lot of harm because it destroys our ability to believe and accept the things we’re hoping for.
Faith is the substance – the energy or the spiritual power – that’s inside us and that gives us the ability to hope and believe. We can’t see faith because it’s an intangible substance that’s in our heart and in our mind. It’s a trusting and accepting attitude that has nothing to do with what we see in the physical world.
Sight, on the other hand, presents a tangible substance and when we focus on what we see, our natural senses take over and we accept what is in our sight as being what we’re going to get. Once we allow ourselves to walk by sight, we tend to lose the hope we had of getting something beyond what we see.
We live in a natural body that exists in a natural world and that is governed by natural elements. When we step out into the spiritual world it takes a strong spirit within us to stay focused and to not look into the natural world that’s all around us.
The two worlds are very different and since the natural world is the only tangible one, it’s very easy for us to look with our natural eyes for the things we’re believing for in the spirit. But we can’t walk by our natural sight when we’re looking for things through faith.
We were healed on the cross and when we believe that, God begins to change our body so that it can receive the healing, but sometimes there’s a lot to do and since our body is a natural being, it takes time for the healing to manifest. This isn’t to say that God can’t or won’t give us instant healing because He still does that, but in most cases the Lord works within the system that He created.
Sometimes it can take weeks or months for the body to properly repair itself and become whole again. If we focus too much on what we see now, we may become discouraged and begin to doubt the fullness of the healing that will come later.
Our physical eyes can become our enemies when we’re standing in faith, so we need to close them and look with our spiritual eyes that see us healthy and healed.
We can’t be in a hurry to receive the manifestation of the healing when we’re trusting God for it because He knows the fullness of our problems and He’s fixing all of them. He created us and He designed our body to repair itself and be healthy, so in His infinite wisdom He works within the natural elements of our body and repairs it, one cell at a time.
We have to trust Him and we can’t allow ourselves to focus on the body because then we begin to doubt Him. He’s working through us the whole time and we can’t rush Him and we can’t put a timeframe on Him. We have to believe that He knows best; that He knows the whole situation and that He loves us and is healing us, in spite of what we think we see – or don’t see.
Walking by sight will not only bring doubt into the healing that God is doing in us but it will destroy our faith in Him as our God. We have to walk by faith and believe that He is the “God who heals us” and that “by His stripes we are healed”.
Whether it takes a day or a month or a year to see the fullness of the healing, we need to realize that God knows more than we do and we have to give Him the reverence and the respect to do what He has said He will do in us and that He will do it in His timing.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” … Malachi 4:2
Her name is Fawn and she and her husband love the Lord but the enemy has attacked her with this aggressive disease and they both need us to stand in faith with them. We can stand together, put our faith to work and lift Fawn up to the Lord and believe that He will touch her body and heal her. Fawn was already healed at the cross but her circumstances are hindering her from receiving that healing.
I would like us all to take a stand in faith and declare her healing before the heavens and ask the Lord to strengthen her own faith so that she can believe and accept her healing. She’s weak and needs our support. The enemy is moving fast but the Bible says in Isaiah 59:19 that “when the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.”
Nothing is impossible to God and all things are possible to those who believe. I believe that Jesus healed her on the cross and I know that if we stand together and believe with her and for her that Fawn will receive her healing.
When I fought my battle against cancer all of last year I put my faith in God, had prayer warriors pray for me and never took my eyes off of the cross. The scripture at Matthew 8:11 was on my lips constantly. It wasn’t easy and it was a harsh time for me, but I’m healed – against all the odds I beat the disease that the doctors said would take my life before Christmas. God healed me, and I know that with all of us standing in faith for Fawn, she will arise from this bed of affliction and receive her healing, too.
So, please join me in a stand of faith so God’s daughter can be free, and then listen closely because you’ll hear all of Heaven rejoice!
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” … Matthew 8:11
As we continue to struggle in this world and build our faith, we realize that we are able to believe God for bigger and greater things. When we started out we used our faith sparingly, then more often for daily situations, and then for things that were crucial circumstances in our life.
We get to the point where we are so committed to the Lord that our every thought becomes a step in faith. We begin to communicate with the Lord all the time, thanking Him and praising Him for all the things in our life, like the birds that welcome the morning with a friendly song, our home, our family and our job. We realize that everything we have is a direct blessing from God, and we learn to trust Him for every minute of our lives.
Some of us face life and death situations where we literally put our lives in God’s hands and trust Him completely for healing that the world says won’t happen. But we know our Father, we know His Word and we know that Jesus already healed us on the cross. So, we praise Him and thank Him for that healing and we stand with other prayer warriors and then we receive the manifestation of that healing. Our faith grows even more because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is greater than any problem this world can throw at us.
But where do we go from here? Have we made it to the top? After all, we stood on faith and survived a situation that otherwise would have killed us. Surely, there can’t be anything greater that would need faith than that?
True, we stood on our faith and trusted God with our lives and it may have been a hard battle that we won because of our faith, but it doesn’t end here. Why? Because faith is not a goal while we’re on earth; faith is a lifestyle. As long as we live here we need faith to be our substance for the things we hope for from God. Without faith we will live in doubt, and with doubt we will live in defeat and fear, and we’ll become servants of the devil.
We need faith so we can maintain a good relationship with the Lord, so we can know His will for us and so we can live victoriously. Our faith never ends. The Bible says that His mercies are new every morning, but at the same time, there are tribulations waiting to attack us. Our faith in God will allow us to trust Him to get us through each day with victory, with grace and with love.
There is only one goal for faith, and that is for us to get to Heaven and be with the Lord. Once we are there, we no longer require faith to know the truth because we will become one with Him and the truth will be in us – and there won’t be any conflict to challenge it. Our goal and final destination for our faith is to be with Jesus. This is when we reach our goal with faith.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” … John 14:2
If one person could have the faith to move mountains like Jesus says in Matthew 17:20, then think what two or ten or a hundred people standing together in faith could do! It’s true – faith grows in numbers.
Sometimes things will come against us and we are able to give the situation to God and truly trust Him for the answer. But then other times the situation is so great, so intense, so life-threatening that we don’t feel that same confidence when we’re praying, and so we need to get other Christian believers to intervene for us.
It’s not that we are failing the Lord or don’t trust Him, but that the world has surrounded us so badly that we can’t see beyond our circumstances. When the doctor says that we are ill and have only a short time to live, the trauma of that report can be overwhelming and can prevent us from praying with the faith that we thought we had. And we may have a lot of faith but not enough to combat this battle.
When we are alone in our prayers in a crushing situation, we can often miss some of the elements that are involved and we pray only for what we feel is the answer, and we pray with more fear than confidence – and that’s because we’re right in the middle of it. We see only the immediate need and can’t emotionally see beyond that.
But when other Christians join us in our stand of faith, they are able to seek God’s intervention for us and for the situation and for everything that is affected by the situation. They are able to remove themselves from the circumstances and pray without bias and without judgment. Their faith is strong and direct because they are not burdened down with the emotions or sufferings that we may be enduring.
Their prayers for us will strengthen our faith so that we can see beyond our circumstances and look to God for the healing. And if they are praying for someone who cannot pray for themselves, they will continue to stand in the gap and their combined prayers and stand in faith will be a powerful plea before the Lord.
God sees their faith, their determination and their praise for Him, and He is able to move in their presence and answer their prayers. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20 that when His children gather together and worship Him, His presence is with them. The perfect time to give our problems to the Lord is when we are in His presence. So, when He is with us and we can feel His presence, we can receive what He’s giving us because He’s right there with us, and in Proverbs 15:29 it says that He hears and answers our prayers.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” … Matthew 18:20
We don’t open the floor to make our need a chat session to discussed or compared or to be subjected to ridicule. This is a battle and we have declared war on the devil so that we can take back what the Lord has given us, and so we need to seek out prayer warriors who will stand with us in this battle.
Perhaps they will be members of our church, our community, a Christian television or radio program, an online prayer group or friends and family members. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes we need to go beyond those who know and love us and call upon those prayer warriors who will stand and remain standing because they aren’t part of it.
Faith in God is our most powerful means to receive the blessings of God!
Two or more Christians standing together and bonding their faith for a specific purpose is the best thing we can do when the situation affects us to the point that we can be distracted or discouraged. It’s the best strategy to keep doubt and fear out.
There is a very big difference between standing in faith and standing in foolishness. Yet, they can appear so similar that the latter can deceive many Christians and trick them into doing things that could jeopardize their lives. So, how can we know if our stand is of faith or foolishness?
Faith is a conviction of the heart.
It’s that gut feeling that rises up inside of us and gives us confidence to know that what we’re doing is right. It feels good. It feels proper and we aren’t tempted to change our attitude.
It doesn’t matter what people tell us or what’s in a medical report or what the statistics declare for us. We know that we know that what we are doing is right. And how do we know that?
Our commitment is a result of our relationship with Lord and it’s based on what we know and what we believe. We know what God has to say about the issue we’re standing in faith on, we know the scriptures and we know who we are in Christ and what He has done for us. It’s deep inside our heart and has become part of who we are. We have become simple before Him and don’t question Him but rather we trust His Word.
This isn’t a ploy to get something we want, and it isn’t a chance that we are taking, hoping that it works. This is a trust in God, a belief that He can and will do what He’s promised He’ll do.
Foolishness is of the mind and is ruled by knowledge.
It takes the scriptures and concludes that this is a great idea, that since the Bible was written for Christians then this has to work. It’s all based on Biblical logic and assumption in what the mind has learned about God and about the redemption given by Christ. But it lacks the intimacy of knowing the Lord and trusting Him. It’s based on the mind accepting that it should happen, and it lacks heartfelt commitment and conviction. It’s easily discouraged and changed because there is no foundation to it.
It’s also an attitude of tempting God, asking Him for things to better our own person rather than commiting ourselves to His will.
Many Christians fall into this and are turned away from God because they didn’t get what they declared or what they stood in “faith” for, and so their lives never saw the goodness of God in the land of the living. They stood on what they knew, on what they were told that God would do – a stand of foolishness, instead of standing on what they believed – a stand of faith.
The Lord DOES do everything that He says He will do. He is not a respecter of persons – in other words, He doesn’t like some of His children better than others and then bless them more. His Word is very simple – trust in Him with all your heart. Presumption and foolishness is not how Christians become victorious but rather, it’s how many lose their walk with God. This is foolishness and the Lord does not like foolishness. Trusting and believing God, accepting His Word into our heart and acting on it is standing in faith. And faith pleases God.
We need to examine our hearts so we can know whether we are standing in faith or foolishness.
“The simple believe every Word, but the prudent consider well his steps.”
Worshiping the Lord in song and being totally surrendered to Him relieves us from all our anxieties and allows us to come into His Holy presence. It bonds us together with God and it gives us the confidence that He is real and that He loves us.
There are many Christian musicians who have created awesome worship music for us to listen to at home, and often it’s at home that we can relax and truly get involved with worship. Music has the ability to draw us away from our daily life and bring us into the mighty presence of God.
But worshiping and praising God is not limited to music alone.
As we grow in the Lord we give Him control over our life, and our focus and our motives for doing things become based around God’s will for our life. The Bible says that in everything we do we should give thanks and praise to God.
So, as we live each day, our hearts should be open to an endless conversation with God, thanking Him for this, praising Him for that and asking His intervention for others that we see throughout the day. When we talk to God all day long He becomes our reason for living and our faith and our trust in Him grows.
When doubt creeps in to discourage our faith, this is the time that we should play our favorite worship music. It will drive out the doubt and refill us with faith and trust in God. And if we’re at work and we can’t listen to music it should be the first thing we do when we get home.
Doubt is like a seed planted and if it’s left to grow, it will. And like a strong weed, it will slowly begin to choke out our faith. Worshipping God with music can literally destroy this bad seed – but others will come in its place and so we continue our fight of faith, but we will we always win because nothing bad can live in the presence of God!
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.” ……Psalm 48:1
For many of us, it’s easy to hope and wish for something to happen, and we get this feeling inside that it will happen – this is the faith working in us. But faith has an enemy so great and so loud that it often defeats faith and we don’t get the thing we hoped for.
Doubt is the one enemy that will destroy faith and it’s fuelled by the physical evidence around us. What we see may be very different and even opposite to what we’re believing for. This physical evidence tells our senses that our faith isn’t working, that it’s not for us and that it’s not going to happen. So we give up and surrender to the circumstance. Doubt wins and faith is defeated.
So how do we prevent doubt from setting in? By following three steps to building faith.
The first one is believing that the Bible is true, and that what God says is true. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) We must read the Bible so that we can learn who God is and what His will is for us. We must study the Bible so that we don’t take portions of scripture out of context but rather, receive it as God intended. And we must get it deep into our hearts so that we accept it as God’s spoken Word for us and so that we have no doubt about His intentions.
The second step is that we must know that what we want is what God wants for us, and then we have the right to believe that we should have it. God says that He wants us to be in good health and that by His stripes we ARE healed, so we have the right to take God at his Word and believe Him for healing – in spite of what the evidence before us says, and in spite of what the medical report says.
The third one is living in accordance with God’s Word. We may be saved but if we do things or live in a way that God tells us not to such as living a riotous life, indulging in excessive drinking or eating foods that are unhealthy – things that God warns us against – then we must stop and get back into God’s will for our lives. And then we will have regained the right to claim the promises of God and our faith will grow and we’ll see victory in our lives.
Faith in God’s Word is the key to a victorious life!
“And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48