There is belief and there is faith. All human beings can believe but faith is a supernatural ability that can only be given by God. Faith is the cord that runs all the way through a Christian’s life. We were born again through faith in Jesus, we walk and live by faith and we should also die in faith.
So many today wrongly understand faith to be brain power or OUR ability to muster strong belief by focusing and concentrating hard on a particular thing or issue. Faith is none of those but is a seed that is planted in our hearts by God through the hearing of His word. Faith is from God and must be directed towards God i.e. we must have faith in God. The foundation and starting point of faith rests fully in God’s word, we cannot, I repeat, we cannot have faith if God has not spoken. Trying to have faith to fulfil our selfish desires outside of God’s will and word is closer related to witchcraft and mind science. Seeing a car, a house, a husband, a promotion, a business etc. and having faith to acquire them simply because we desire to have them is error. We are trying to use faith as a means of manipulating God. Faith is not a spiritual tool that we use to get what we want. Faith must hear from God, submit to God and trust in God.
The nature of faith
Never, out of love for a dying person visit them in hospital, pray for them then tell them they are healed and should go seek to be discharged if healing was not clearly manifested. The prayer of love does not heal the sick the prayer of faith does (James 5:15). To do that without proof of recovery would be cruel and heretical. According to Hebrews 11:1 faith is substance and evidence, it can be felt and experienced. The kind of faith that work miracles is an assured deposit from God that something has or is going to happen and the person who receives this download cannot help but speak or act after which manifestation will follow either immediately or eventually (usually not very long after). We must understand the difference between praying for something we desire and praying for something God promised. If God gave us the desire or if God promised us something (personally or through His word), pray for it by faith and be assured that you will have what you ask for.
Hebrews 11:30-37 speaks of three different outworking of faith 1. by faith one receives the ability to persevere: to try to do or continue doing something in a determined way, despite having problems 2. by faith miracles are wrought 3. by faith one receives the ability to endure: to suffer something difficult, unpleasant, or painful. So you see, faith is not there to just work miracles for us but to make us into better people who can persevere and endure.
There are 2 things faith MUST do. 1. Faith must speak and/or 2. Faith must act. According to Romans 10:10 if our faith does not generate speech then we did not experience the faith that saves. According to James 2:14 if our faith does not generate action then again, we did not experience the faith that saves. Now, please note that the fact that this process moves northward does not mean it can come back southwards. What do I mean by this? The fact that faith generates speech and action does not mean that speech and action will generate faith. Also note that where there is faith you must have speech and action but not all speech and action is a result of faith. For example, where there is fire you always have heat but where there is heat you do not always have fire as not all heat is as a result of fire. To confirm the fact that faith speaks Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:13 quotes David who said in Psalm 116:10 “I believed and therefore I spoke…”
2 Kings 4:8-36 Story of the child who died (Hebrews 11:35)
Genesis 22:1-5 Abraham offers Isaac (Hebrews 11:17-19)
1 Peter 1:3-9 Faith receives the reality of the unseen, supernatural future before it happens.
Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.2 This is what the ancients were commended for.” (NIV) “
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)
Faith is never without evidence. Hebrews 11:3 continues… “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” This is the fact upon which biblical faith is based.
When God speaks the impossible happens and there is evidence to prove it. Out of nothing comes something.
Faith is not based on what can be seen or be naturally reasoned, nevertheless we have evidence in our souls of something God has given us in the form of an assurance and a certainty, given us by the Holy Spirit. This faith will also, at some point produce evidence as proof that what you received in your spirit was truly from God. The certainty of our faith often first compels us to act.
Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household…”
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Faith is the God given ability to see and know something will come into existence although it does not yet evidently exist or can even be naturally conceived.
Hebrews 11:8 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Hebrews 11:24 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”
Holy men and women of old suffered great inconveniences and discomforts because they knew by faith things that would come to pass in the future and would willingly die based on the certainty of what they knew. What faith sees is more certain than what natural eyes see.
Belief knows God can do it, hope knows God will do it but faith knows God has done it and it’s only a matter of time before what is already done and sealed in heaven will be manifested on earth.
Written by Homer Slack