Have you ever listened to those people who speak like having faith means that you are rich, never have problems, and things are always great? Yeah…I don’t necessarily agree with all that. There was a pastor I heard once who said that he wasn’t in the rich and healthy club; but he wasn’t in the broke and sick club either. I’m probably lean more to that way of thinking.
Here’s the deal…Faith isn’t something that we use to increase ourself. Faith in it’s simplest terms is belief. It’s a deep seated belief in God.
The problem that I have with much of what I hear is this…Faith isn’t about getting stuff to come to us. Faith is about getting us to go toward God.
Now, I understand the natural repercussions of this. If you sow the right things, you also reap the benefits. It’s scriptural. It works…But all too often I meet people who truly love God…people who truly believe in God…people who truly have faith yet they still face problems, sickness, difficulty, and even financial loss. How do you make sense of the mixed messages that church seems to offer?
If you look at scripture you find that faith definitely has it’s benefits. God is a giving, merciful, and loving God…but faith is less about getting things and more about us getting to God.
Strong faith requires strong obedience. Faith gets tested. When it does we have to be willing to jump off the cliff without any worry or fear of consequences. Faith isn’t blind. Faith is doing hard things with eyes full open. Faith is being obedient to God and to scripture even when the situation seems to dictate otherwise.
More than likely, you’ve known a strong believer who truly believed God for healing but didn’t receive it. You’ve probably seen people struggle financially while being faithful to God. Maybe you’ve even experienced a time when for all of your obedience, things didn’t seem to work out. What do you do in those situations?
Trust God even when it doesn’t make sense.
Faith that produces results in the long run is a faith that chooses to trust God even when it doesn’t seem right to. When you have all the answers you don’t need all the faith. When you have all the resources you don’t need all the provision. When you have no struggle you really don’t need much strength.
More often than not in my experience…I’ve needed God to provide, strengthen, encourage, help along, and provide answers. I had to take steps of obedience to God…But God came through with power when I did.
Faith has two sides. At any moment you may find yourself on one or the other.
32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.
33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.
36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons.
37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.
38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
Here’s what to do:
1.) Be obedient.
2.) Take the step that God tells you to take.
3.) Trust God even when it doesn’t make sense.
Faith is much more than mere words…it’s action, obedience, trust.