For many Christians believing (faith) is sometimes still a very difficult matter. It is mostly difficult because some important truths taught in the Word of God regarding believing are either not known, are not being adhered to in a sufficient manner or are perhaps even being neglected completely.Even believers who have been Christians and have believed on Christ for many years, who are born of God and who belong to the church of God, the church of the body of Christ, still experience at times situations in their lives where they find that believing and trusting God is not an easy matter for them. I would like to bring to remembrance some basic truths from the Bible which should help us to believe God in a more effective way and to a greater degree than before and then to receive His promises in our lives.
Faith (believing) – [pistis] in the Greek – for one is an inner attitude of heart of trust, conviction, a "holding to be true" of a certain reality; in various situations then it is shown forth and manifested by acting upon such inner conviction and trust.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we do not act with conviction and trust, and we even may then try by various means to carry out our actions with more conviction. But, we do not get much further that way because the problem of our lack of conviction is not in our action and how we carry it out, but rather at a different place.
One can only be of a firm conviction and unwavering faith when one has put off any indifference and unsurety regarding the will of God in a matter. We can only have faith and trust to the degree that we know the revealed will of God. In order to know God's will we need to know what the Scriptures teach regarding a certain matter, we must know what the Scriptures declare about it. When we know for sure that God has promised what we need then we can approach the matter with firm conviction and act in faith and all doubts and unsurety will be removed. Only when we know God's will do we have that on which to base our believing, our trust, our faith. Believing becomes possible by the Word of God – believing to receive what God has promised in terms of blessing is the result of our knowing God's Word and then acting accordingly.
Romans 10:17:Here the context is speaking of having faith with a view toward salvation; however, the principle – that faith rests on that which God's Word promises and which we can hear because of the preaching of that Word of God – is the same also when it comes to receiving other blessings from God. A renewed mind is the key to a walk in God's power; an attitude of heart which absolutely says, "Yes!" to that which God has revealed in His Word.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Jesus Christ called the Word of God "the seed" in one of the parables he spoke. It is the seed to life from God, to eternal life; it is also the seed to any other blessing of God in our lives. The Word of God declares to us the will of God. If someone is not sure from God's Word that the desired blessing is the will of God for him, he will sort of try to bring in a harvest where nothing has been sown. A farmer can have no conviction and faith in reference to a harvest if he is not sure that the seed has been sown into the ground.
God's working is according to the same principle, because He can't grant a harvest where no seed has been sown before – where His Word has not been recognized and where His Word is not known and acted upon. God works via His Word, and that is true in every regard. Heaven and earth were made by the Word of God. God's Word must therefore first be sown into our hearts, then it must be faithfully watered and cultivated. The seed must remain in the ground, or harvest can not come of it.
If we want to receive the promised blessings of God, we must first determine from God's Word that it is God's will that we should have these blessings. If we have recognized this and if we receive this into our hearts as truth and keep it there, then we have sown or planted the seed. Then we can turn to God in our prayers with a trusting heart, because we are sure what God's will is for us. When we pray for something and then we add perhaps an "IF it be thy will", we actually are ripping the seed out of the ground and we really are putting an immediate stop to receiving what we are praying for.
When we know the Word of God and when we are familiar with it, we can believe God regarding His promises with absolute confidence. Then we can see each time how the God given promise will be fulfilled in our lives as we believe that our prayer has been heard and are sure that God has done so even before we actually experience in our life the answer to our prayer.
Mark 11:24:Furthermore, it is necessary that we do not give up in the process, but that with patience we endure and wait for the fulfillment of God's promise.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Hebrews 10:35 and 36:God's promise, His Word, works the miracle as we look on the eternal realities (His promise, His faithfulness, etc.) and as we act in accordance with those, and as we do not allow ourselves to be influenced to the contrary by temporal things. God Himself has absolutely no problems to do what He has promised, as long as we do not step in His way but rather work together with Him.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Proverbs 4:20–22:God's Words are life unto those that "find" them! We must take the time and put forth the effort it takes "to find" the words of God. Only then can His words be life for us and be health to all our flesh.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
In this section of the Scriptures we are told how we are to pay attention and to adhere to God's Word. If we want to receive God's blessings, we cannot be looking to many different things at the same time. We must keep our eyes focused on one thing only – on the promise of the Word of God. Instead of looking at the symptoms of a sickness we must come to the point that we do not let the words of God, the promise of God, depart from our eyes.
The power to bring about the fruit is in the seed itself, not in the farmer who sowed the seed. The power for bringing about the result of the promise of God is in the Word of God, not in us, who are only planting the Word of God. The seed can only unfold its power when it remains in the ground. The Word of God can only unfold its power when we keep it in our hearts, when we leave it in our hearts. When we do not let God's Word depart from our eyes and when we keep it in the midst of our hearts, then we are "good ground" of which Jesus said that it would bear fruit. As a farmer has absolute confidence and absolute trust that the seed which he sowed in the spring time is already working in the ground and will bring forth fruit, so we can actually have even more trust and an even more firm believing that God's Word is already at work in our life and that it will bring forth the promised fruit.
The farmer doesn't run out to his field every morning to dig in the ground and see if the seed has already done something – no, he just knows it, and he is convinced of it! He doesn't doubt the whole time and is not asking himself fearfully if perhaps the seed will maybe bear some fruit. He knows the way in which the seed works, he knows the power resident in the seed, and he knows that he is only sowing and perhaps doing a bit of watering when the seed of itself grows into a plant and then bears fruit. He does not see the fruit at the time when he sows, but he has the full conviction that the seed will bring forth the fruit. This is how it must be with us when we sow God's Word into our hearts – even though we do not immediately and right away see the fruit, we still have all the reason in the world to be absolutely convinced that the Word of God will bear its fruit in our lives.
Hebrews 11:1:As long as we keep our eyes firmly fixed on God's Word, as long as our ears are attentively turned to God's Word, as long as we keep God's Word in our heart, we have the right seed in the ground. If other things are distracting our eyes, our ears and our heart, we have the wrong seed. Our harvest will be different from what we really expected. It would be as if we wanted to harvest wheat when and where we sowed tares – that is not possible!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the firm confidence for that which God's Word promises! It's "the substance of things hoped for", and what the Word of God promises is what we are then hoping for and which we as of yet do not see. The promise in God's Word is the firm basis on which our faith, our believing, can rest and must rest. When we look on what God says then our believing will increase and our trust in our heavenly Father will become stronger. When we practice this in our lives it will be easier for us to believe than to doubt because the foundation on which our faith rests is much more firm and reliable than the one on which the doubts are built.
We should not doubt our faith (believing) but rather doubt our doubts for they are not reliable!Our God is absolutely reliable – the more we know Him the more we will take Him at His Word with absolute trust and unwavering faith, and we will receive His blessings in our lives in an abundant way.
God is a faithful God who keeps His Word. Even the unfaithfulness of man cannot have any ill effect on God's faithfulness to His Word. God's Word works effectually in those who believe. All of God's promises are "Yeah" and "Amen"!
Our greatest challenge really is to become familiar with God in a more detailed and better manner, to know Him and to know what He can and is willing to do! His ability and His willingness to bless those who fear or reverence Him is communicated to us on almost every page of the Bible in very clear terms. God works via His Word in our lives. We must get to know Him, we must know what and how God works.
We must become absolutely sure of God's Word, His revelation to man. Then we will not have too many difficulties to trust Him and to believe Him. Then it takes confidence and courage to hold fast to what we know! The more sure we are of a matter, the more firm we hold on to it.
Our God is able! Our God is willing! Our God is faithful! Let us receive His Word into our hearts with joyfulness, let us help and support each other in this quest by edifying one another with His Word and by reminding ourselves and each other of the promises God has made. That way we indeed can expect miracles every day!