Do you have faith that gives you rest and a faith that acts?
15th of October
This might seem like a contradiction, but I will write about both sides of the faith. It is quite a long time since I wrote about faith as a theme in itself, but faith is like an ingredient in almost everything I write about. It says in the last verse of Rom.14 that whatever is not from faith, is sin. I believe that many more will understand that they need to confess their lack of faith as sin. Their concept of sin got broadened. Faith is not the same as hope, but the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebr.11:1) When you hope for something, you desire that thing very much, but you are not totally sure that you will get it.
When one has faith, there is no room for any doubt. Many Christians are mixing the word hope and faith and they do not know the real meaning of them. When they say that they hope for something, they might have a strong desire, but it is not faith. Some people say that they have faith and get angry at God when He does not answer them. They do not understand that they had used the word faith for wishful thinking.
Anything you pray for in faith and according to the will of God, you will get. If it doesnft happen, it is not the will of God and you have not practiced your faith. Faith is not built on desires and emotions, neither on wishful thinking. Faith is a gift, built on the Word of God. All believers have gotten a certain amount of this gift and The Word of God says that even if it is as small as a mustard seed, it is big enough to move mountains. (Matt.17:20)
Faith can increase. If you feed yourself with the Word of God and listen to preaching based on Godfs Word, it will increase.(Rom.10:17)
I started by stating a few truths about faith. There are enough misunderstandings among us.
Some people think that they will receive their answers by saying: gI believe I will receive.h Yes, our speech must be in accordance with our faith, but God does not count the numbers of our confession, but He sees our faith in Him and His Word. We cannot believe one thing with our heart then and say another thing with our mouth.
When we have prayed with full conviction of faith, we can enter His rest. Worries and fears are the opposite of faith. We cannot say that we pray in faith when we doubt the answer. I have heard many people who say that they believe, but in the next moment they say:hWhat shall we do if it doesnft happen?h They might not know their God and understand that He always keeps His promises. They have not understood that faith never have a question mark, but always an exclamation mark behind.
Sometimes we have to fight in order to get an answer, but that fight is not against God, but against the devil. We can go to the Book of Daniel. We read about a fight in the spiritual realm, a fight against the prince of the kingdom of Persia. This fight lasted for three weeks. War angels were needed in the battle. If you are waiting for an answer, ask the Holy Spirit if there is a need for a battle.
The rest we get by faith is based on total trust in God and peace and security. You can recognize a person who walks by faith. You can see the inner peace. When I have had total faith, I was full of peace and joy. The attacks of the devil had no effect since I was convinced and he could do nothing to me. My life has unfortunately not always been like that.
We read 364 times in the Bible that we should not fear. God knows us well and He knows that this is a weakness in our human flesh. He says again and again: g Have faith, only believe.h He wants us to have an intimate and close relationship to Him, a relationship full of trust. Christianity is not a religion for me, but a relationship, a relationship to Jesus, The Holy Spirit and to The Father Himself.
In James 2:14-26 we read that a faith without deeds is dead. I can almost hear how some of you protest. You refer to the things that I recently wrote about the rest that faith should give us and you might say: gI have been stressing around and doing things by my own effort for years and I finally thought that I should rest.h If God has told you to take a vacation or get leave of absence, you must do that. He knows that you need to do something for yourself in order to get new strength and energy. Then you should stop saying that you should take a rest. Do it! That is an act of faith. I hear many saying that they should have visited a doctor, but they do not have the time or they are afraid to do so. If you believe that this is necessary, do it. Others have faith for divine healing and they must not look at the symptoms, but the Healer. Faith is at work both for a vacation and for healing.
In the Bible we read about Abraham. He knew that he served a God Who could make the impossible, possible. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son, but God naturally stopped him in setting fire on him.
I know of people who say that they have faith for getting rich, but they do nothing. Faith acts. You should naturally ask God for guidance. If He doesnft say anything, you should wait on Him in total peace and assurance.
The letter of James is a letter with many practical advices. Right before the passage about the dead faith, we read that one cannot hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and be partial. We read about a rich and a poor person who enters the church and how we often treat them with a different attitude. I believe that this is very relevant to-day. We say that we have faith for revival, but how will we treat the unsaved coming in different clothes and with different manners? It says that the law of love is not partial. Love and faith belong to each other. Love is not blind to the needs of people. Love acts and does something about it. Neither one of us can do something about all the needs of the world, but everybody can do something. Ask God what you should do?
In the Bible we can read about the compassionate Samaritan. (Luke 25-37) Both the Levite and the priest passed by a wounded man who had been left half dead on the road. But the Samaritan showed mercy and helped him in every way he could. Both the Levite and the priest might boast about their faith, but how can they boast about a gift or a dead faith?
There are quite a few churches that call themselves gfaith churchesh. One can expect more acts of mercy and more signs and wonders in these churches, but that is not always the fact. Faith is much more than a concept. It is something active, Christianity in practical life. We read about love in the 13th chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians. It ends with these words: gAnd now abide faith, hope love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love helps faith to act and faith helps love to do the things she or he wants.
BECOME PEACEFUL AND KNOW THE GOODNESS OF OUR LORD. BE SURE OF HIS POWER. HE IS ALMIGHTY. DO THE THINGS YOU HAVE FAITH FOR.!!!!!!!!
THE LORD IS WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!