Guest Writer | Kevin McCall
Dear friends of Jesus,
Hebrews chapter 11 is basically a pep rally for faith. It's a great chapter to contemplate and pray with. Verse 1 defines faith as, "the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see yet." Verse 6 tells us, " So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." In Mark 5:34 Jesus tells the woman with bleeding issues, "Your faith has healed you", and He repeats those words to Bartimaeus in Mark 10:52. In Matthew 15:28, Jesus healed the daughter of a foreign woman who refused to be offended because of her great faith. In Romans 10:17, Paul asserts that, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." What are you listening to, watching, and speaking? Is it in agreement with the WORD of GOD or with the culture? As with all of the articles on inexhaustible topics, I offer just a few thoughts to whet your appetite for further prayer, study, and experience.
Faith is NOT an intellectual acknowledgment or "name it and claim it" positive thinking. In James 2:19 we're told that even the demons believe in (acknowledge) God and they tremble! Some synonyms for faith are trust, confidence, conviction, and reliance. "We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)." Even Thomas, who is labeled a doubter because he wouldn't believe Jesus had been raised from the dead without seeing him, told the other disciples in John 11:16, "Let us also go (to Jerusalem) to die with Him (Jesus)." Perhaps his walk of faith from of old gave him the boldness to wait for a personal manifestation of the resurrected Lord. Faith is not about an immediate circumstance, it's a confident trust that God is in control and will work redemptive purposes on this side of eternity and ultimately on the other side. In Daniel 3:18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego declared that even if God didn't rescue them from the fire, they still would not bow down to idols. Esther boldly proclaimed, "If I perish, I perish. If I die, I die (Esther 4:16)." Faith is one gift of three gifts that will endure (1 Cor 13:13). Disappointment, the unknown, and seemingly bad situations will try to disturb faith, but they can't destroy it! Hallelujah!
Since faith endures, we must also exercise endurance to grow it in our lives. The word for little that Jesus uses in reference to the disciples’ faith in Matthew 17:20 means brief or short lived. Basically, they gave up too soon and that's why they couldn't cast out a particular demon. However, in the same verse we're told by Jesus that enduring faith can move mountains and that nothing will be impossible!
In Numbers chapters 13 through the beginning of 14, we read of 12 men being sent to scout out the promised land. They all saw the same thing, a land flowing with milk and honey, occupied by giants. Ten men bowed in fear to the problem and led the majority to death in the desert, while two men saw the promise, believed God, and took possession of the land, forty years later! Indeed, the natural facts were that the Israelites were out sized and outnumbered. Joshua and Caleb chose to believe the higher truth, that if God said it, we can do it! Faith trusts God with each of His answers: yes, no, and wait, knowing there's more than we can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). Faith is a choice! Even in times that it is given as a supernatural grace, it still must be put into action.
Mark 11:24 records these powerful words of Jesus, " Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." James 1:5-8 admonishes, "But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable and all his ways."
Jesus, we repent for believing the report and lies of the Enemy. We come out of agreement with every word of lack, doubt, and hopelessness. We choose to believe your word, your promises, and your provision. Jesus, we trust you. Root out unbelief and fill us with rock solid faith. Thank you for setting us free! Amen.