I truly believe it is important for us to have faith because without faith it is impossible to please God. Therefore every believer should make the walk of faith a lifestyle.
Let us go through the scriptures and understand Faith.
Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
You don’t have to worry about people who do not care much about the walk of faith and you don’t have to be concerned about what they call you. Even if they call you faith fanatics or extremists, you can still be determined to walk by faith!
Faith is an Action
So if God is not pleased with us walking without faith, then I believe we’ve got to do it His way and start living by faith. A criteria to our faith walk is for us to understand that love is a “Way of life, or a lifestyle but faith is an action. In other words, it’s by faith that you advance forward. It puts you in a position of forgetting those things that are behind, thereby moving and advancing you forward in the things of God.
Another vital key to the faith walk is love.
Certainly it is impossible for you to walk in hatred, jealousy or bitterness and try using your faith. Walk in love; make that your lifestyle but at the same time understand that faith is the action part of your life.
When you don’t operate by faith, you’ll eventually find yourself operating in unbelief, or you will be operating in the reverse, which is fear. God wants you to walk by faith, take steps by faith and prepare your mind to enjoy this walk of faith.
Let’s understand the word FAITH.
It means to entirely trust God or take Him at His Word. Faith does not have any proof or evidence in the outward realm but is an assurance within you that at the end of the journey, you wil always come out a winner in life. Whatever God has said in His Word should be settled in your heart; that’s the ultimate of faith.
1 John 5:4 tells us “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith”.
It is our faith that enables us to overcome the world. When we look at the world around us which seems to be so great, overpopulated and looks so demonic and horrifying, it would seem like everything is closing up. Christians have the tendency to imagine like the people in the world, whereas the Bible clearly tells us that we who are born of God have overcome the world. It could be sickness, disease, poverty, fear, demons, or anything else. It’s by faith that you overcome all these things.
You will overcome everything that seems to be gloomy around you by faith!
1 John 4:4 says that you have overcome all of them – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
This verse very clearly states that right now you can enjoy everything God has provided for your life! Believe that you have overcome the world!
Have the assurance that Christ has made it all available for you! Understand that a walk of faith with God means you don’t have to wait for any evidence or proof; you simply hear the voice of the Spirit and walk in obedience.
Character of God
Faith has to do with the character of the person you trust in.
1 Corinthians 2:5 says “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Notice, this verse says your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men. Men are fleshly; they may fail or give you promises and not keep up to it. If you start trusting man, eventually you will find yourself in a mess. Instead, our faith and trust should be in the power of God.
Well if my faith is in the power of God, I ought to understand what this power is. I just can’t depend on some power that moves because everything around seems to need power; even the vehicle that I drive needs power. Sometimes, outwardly you may see things that look powerful and may even try to convince you that they are more powerful; but God’s Word tells us to take our eyes off from the wisdom of men and to focus on the power of God. This ought to be a revelation and an eye opener for us to say “My trust is in the power of God.”
In other words, if you have placed your trust in the wisdom of men you will fail miserably.
As mentioned before, faith has to do with the Character of the person in whom you trust and to trust God, you got to understand the Character of God because the Word very clearly states that you ought to have faith in the Power of God. I believe we would never be weak in faith if we understand who God is or in other words know His Character. No one will hesitate to trust a person whose character is admirable.
This brings us to the first requirement – build up yourself in the Character of the one whom you believe. Well who is He?
God is Good!
He is God and He is Good! In studying the Character of God the first thing we see is that God is good. A rich young ruler came running to Jesus and said “Good Master.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “There is only one that is good and He is God. If you recognize that He is God, if you recognize Him as the One and only sent by God, then obey what I tell you."
Mathew 19:17: “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Jesus said there is none good - only One is and that is God. If you recognize Jesus as the Good Master, then you will believe and do what He says and obey the commandments so that you can enter into life. But this young ruler did not want to believe Jesus. He simply used flattery on Jesus by saying “Good Master.”
However he did not know; neither was he very sure whether Jesus was the Son of God, or whether he was the One whom he should obey and follow and therefore he went away sad.
He lost out on the goodness of God.
God is Good! Inspite of your tragedies, inspite of what has happened to you, understand that God is Good and He never changes! If you decide to walk the walk of faith, you have to trust the one whom you are following and if you don’t know too much about Him, you will get stuck in different areas of your life.
Psalm 145:9 says, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
This verse tells us that God is good to all! You may say “The Lord is good to all, but not to me.” By saying this, you don’t know Him and if you don’t know Him, you can’t put your trust in Him. “Lord you are good to all except me Lord!” That is not found in scripture. The verse continues, “His mercies are over all His works.” The preceding verse says “God is gracious and full of compassion.” Thank God He’s a good God and He is good to all. He doesn’t have any favourites. Even considering the whole world, He doesn’t have any favourites.
John 3:16 tells us …….. He loved the drug addict, He loved the murderer, He loved the prostitute, He loved the demon possessed, He loved the gangsters, he loved the greedy ones, He loved the covetous ones and He loved the adulterers.
You may say, “I never was one of them Lord! I am a better person than all those you mentioned.”
Remember, God is good to all.
For example let’s look at Jonah – He really thought he was a righteous man. God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach the gospel, tell the people about the good news and that judgment would come upon them but if they repent, God was going to turn it around. But do you know what Jonah did? He reasoned out with God and said “God I know you're so good, You will change your heart and not bring judgment upon them, so I’ve decided to go to Tarshish.”
Do you know there are some of us who don’t want to go and talk to the adulterers and fornicators and those ones who are in really bad shape? You think God should be mad with them.
You don’t want to have anything to do with them. You don’t want to preach the gospel to them because God will have mercy and forgive them. But God is good to all and we see when Jonah repented and went back and taught the good news to those people in Nineveh, God turned His heart and did not bring judgment on the city of Nineveh.
Then Jonah said “Lord I knew this is exactly what you were going to do that’s why I did not want to come here. Lord I did not want to come here because I knew you would do good to these people who are wicked” (Jonah 4:1-2). The Lord, through the illustration of a little plant, (Jonah 4:6-11) showed Jonah how He protects him (Jonah) personally and loves him as much as He loves the people of Nineveh and desired good for them, not destruction.
God is Good to the Sinner and the Saint
God is good to all and if the world turns around and says “God doesn’t love us” that is wrong. God’s forgiveness is available and He is good to all even to those in the world. Now God has made us witnesses and He wants us to move out and be witnesses.
2 Corinthians 5:19 says - “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.… We have been commissioned to go and tell the world that God is not holding their sins, God has no record of their sins and God has seen Jesus Christ as one person taking the sins of all generations that are to be born into this world.
Jesus has already paid the price in full for the whole world. The world simply has to accept the gospel and say “I believe in Jesus Christ; I believe that God was in Jesus Christ.” They simply have to know that God is good to all, to the sinner as well as to the saint. The only difference between them is the saint can enjoy the promises of God; but the ones who are not saved (sinners) are never going to enjoy all the promises of God until they receive the most important promise and that is ‘Salvation’ or receiving Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
You may say “But Brother, I went to a crusade and saw some sinners healed.” Well that’s the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says the gifts worketh according as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:11 - “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” God is good to all! I’ve got to make up my mind that God is good. Inspite of all that that has happened to me, God is still good and there is an abundance of goodness in God.
Faith in God’s Goodness
In Exodus 33:19 “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” There is an abundance of goodness in God!
Nehemiah 9:25 “And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.”
Great is His goodness and He is great in doing good to man.
Acts 10:38 … “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Jesus went about doing good – not bad but good. He went around doing good and healing all that were oppressed – not of God but of the devil. God is good to all. Remember one thing, base your faith in the Character of God and you will see that ‘He is always good.’
God our Healer
Well you might say He is good, but I wonder if He would heal me, I wonder if He would prosper me, I wonder if He would do this and that for me.
One of the Names of God is Jehovah Rapha – the Lord our Healer; that’s the Character of God. Jesus said “I have come here to manifest the Names of God.” Over and over again Jesus proved that He was Jehovah Rapha – the One who heals. People were able to build their trust in God as their healer by believing that God was in Jesus Christ, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).
Somebody might say “I believe in the Name of Jesus” but they may know nothing about the Character of Jesus. They use that Name for casting out demons or just call themselves Christians and use the Name of Jesus as a fancy word. How much do you believe? What do you know about the Character of Jesus? How much of God do you have in yourself? What do you know about God? What has He been to you and what is He able to do for you and what about His life in and through your life?
In Mark 3:4 it says - “And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.”
Jesus Himself, or the Character of God presented here and the good that Jesus shows here is “healing a man.” That’s the healing part of God in this man.
Jesus addressing the religious leaders said unto them….Is it good to save or to kill? Is it good to do something good or something evil? People held their peace because they were double minded. They saw the mighty miracle here, but their mind was so caught up with religion, by thoughts that men had put in them and their faith was always in trusting man. Due to this reason they couldn’t even say “Praise God! We believe! Yea! That’s true, God always does good.” They held their peace because they knew that their religious leaders were going to get at them if they ever said that "God did the right thing, God does healing, God does good or saves people."
Evidently there are some who see the goodness of God, but they hold their peace. Why? Because they don’t have the faith and trust in the One who is able to do it ‘Once Again’ even in another person’s life. They always think “this must be a fluke; I don’t think it works all the time”. They don’t know that God is always good and good to all.
Mark 7:27 says “But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” God talks about healing and tells us that this is children’s bread. If it is children’s bread, then I believe that healing belongs to you because God is good. Build yourself up in this Character of God understanding that He is always good and He never changes.
I boldly proclaim “Yes Lord! You’ve always been good to me and I believe that You are good to me all the time.” God is good. Just build that into yourself. God is good and He’s good to all. “Well if He’s good to all, then He’s good to me! Surely He’s good to me!”
In this study of Faith we are looking at the Characteristics of God; His goodness, His healing etc. It is impossible for us to trust somebody when we don’t know whether He would work things out for us.
Romans 8:28 … “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
People have messed up this scripture – it simply says, “when you walk in the spirit, all things work together for good to them that love God.” Not all the bad, but all the good – all things work together for good to them that love God. So how do we respond to this scripture? We need to base our trust in the Word and Character of God.
Abraham was not weak in faith as we see in Romans 4:19 - “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:”
That’s because he knew the Character of God and his trust was based on the unseen reality that he saw in the spirit and was convinced that God would do what He had promised.
Hebrew 11:17-18 goes on to say - “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
Now Abraham had to stay in faith until he saw the promise become a reality. It took many years for him to see the manifestation of the Word of God in his life.
After he received the promise and when the manifestation had taken place to the fullest we see what takes place in the next few verses.
Verse 17 says - “the Lord said, offer up your only son.” Now he had built himself up to an extent to understand that “God will accomplish what He has promised.” His mind was set.
His response was “O.K! Now God says to give it all, whatever He has given me. He must be referring to this promised child that I’ve got.” God says “Give it up.” Abraham says “Yes! I believe God is able to raise this child up.”
Verse 19 says - “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
God of all Power and Comfort
Evidently, He is God who is Good and also powerful and what He said He will do. Now I have observed a type of believing that prevails especially in the Christian circle that speaks like this, “O.K! He is powerful and whatever He can He is able to do, and whatever happens to me happens according to His will.” But that’s not the faith of God. Jesus said the faith of God is that you are able to move mountains.
Mark 11:22 - “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”
If you have the faith of God, you are able to speak even to this mountain not just stand before the mountain and say, “Maybe God created this mountain for me so that I would not pass this way so I’ll take the opposite direction. That’s not faith, that’s simply surrendering yourself to the circumstances that the enemy has placed right before you. That’s exactly where many Christians stay right under and say, “we live under the circumstances.” Well we don’t live according to our circumstances, we live by faith!”
There is no scripture where God says when somebody asks you how you are doing; just say you are considering the circumstances. Or, “I don’t know what is going to happen to me; I’m really confused.” That’s not faith at all, that’s pure unbelief and that’s staying or standing in the wisdom of men.
The wisdom of men will always speak the negatives; it will always analyse in the outside realm and never see the unseen realm which has already been provided for you. On the contrary, if you have built yourself in understanding the Character of God you would never ever say that “God has created this mountain for me” or “God made this happen to me; He has a special plan for me to go through this tragedy so that I could learn a bitter lesson and come out victoriously – a faith man.”
God does not teach us any lessons through tragedies; He only brings us out so that we would never get into those things again. If I were to stand here and tell of all the tragedies and all the miseries that I've had, nothing is going to happen in this place. “Oh,” you may say, “You’re a hypocrite; you have to share all your experiences.” I don’t think my experiences are going to help anybody; unless my experience is based on what the Word says and how much I have obeyed the Word and caused an experience to come into my life.
If I were to say, “O My God, I went through this tragedy and maybe some of you must go through these things to learn the lesson I learnt.” No way! I wouldn’t want anyone to go through those bitter experiences! On the other hand, the Bible tells us how we could respond after having gone through a certain experience in life.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says - “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Number One, we need to understand that this was the suffering of Christ not any kind of a sickness, not any kind of any area where you are poverty stricken for Christ’s sake. “The sufferings of Christ” that is referred to here is, when you share Christ with others you may be degraded, insulted, made a spectacle before people, have all kinds of words hurled against you and all kinds of insults for the Word’s sake. You simply can say, “Bless that man; I believe God will pull me out.”
It also could be an area where somebody through ignorance is going through a tragedy in life. There could be some trouble that has come into your life because of the lack of knowledge. There may be some area where you have not rightly understood and got into some mess as a result. God says He is still the God of comfort. You can come out of it and be a source of blessing to comfort others the same way God has comforted you.
Do it joyfully and pull people out of the mess they are in. Cause that consolation to abound above that tribulation. The comfort of the Holy Spirit is far greater than the suffering or any kind of trouble you are going through.
Therefore, through this study of faith we are learning about trusting in the power of God. God is not the author of confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
He is not the One who is causing confusion to come into your mind. If there is confusion in your mind or some kind of an area in your life where you are unable to get over the problem you are going through and you are double-minded and confused about what’s happening in your life, understand that God is not the one who is causing the confusion.
God is not the author of confusion. If God told us to use faith, surely He wants us to change situations and the atmosphere around us. That’s the purpose of faith - to start changing things in your life.
Faith never works where there is jealousy, anger, hatred, bitterness and confusion. Faith always works and brings people out of bondages, pulls them out of the fire and brings deliverance. It heals bodies and causes people to be financially prosperous.
Somebody may say “I don’t believe that.” Well it’s only for the ones who are going to believe.
If I have a bad picture of God, I’m not going to believe in Him; or on the contrary for the sake of Him being powerful I’ll just surrender. I’ll say, “Lord whatsoever will be, let it be Lord; You give me and You take it away and whatsoever You want You can do in my life, I’m afraid of this power so I’ll just surrender.”
Why don’t we come out of this ignorance once and for all and get our understanding straightened so that we get a revelation of the Character of God?
We can build up this Faith Life by confession and by renewing our mind. Until we understand His character, we would always be double-minded and keep saying, “Lord I believed for this but look what has happened.” That itself is a death filled confession. That’s not faith and the Bible says, “Let not that person think that he will receive anything from God.” (refer James 1:7)
It's time we learn to build ourselves in the Character of God and understand that He is good.
A Covenant with God
The second requirement you need to understand is that you have a Covenant with God. Now as a sinner you come, understanding Him as God who is all Powerful and all Sovereign and He is Almighty God. But once you enter into this Covenant that Jesus made between God and man, you become a son and He becomes your Father. He accepts you as a son and you accept Him as your Father.
Through the blood relationship that you have with Jesus Christ, the only mediator who was able to bring peace between God and mankind, no longer is this Almighty God just a God to you but He is your Loving Father. This Covenant was not made in the Old Testament but was prophesied throughout the Old Testament concerning the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and foretold about the Everlasting Father who is going to be our Father for ever.
Isaiah 9:6 says “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”…
I understand Him as my God who is good and secondly I understand that a Covenant has been made with me. There’s a Father-Son relationship that has taken place through receiving Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
The world is not privileged to call God “Father” but they have an opportunity. Every one of them can confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and renounce their form of beliefs and start believing in the Saviour Jesus Christ so that they can be sons and daughters of God.
You no longer need to say “God, I’m afraid of you, Almighty Father, I wonder if there’s going to be fire proceeding out from Your throne.” No! You don’t have to fear!
He has made a Covenant with you!
In Isaiah 9:6 one of the names is Everlasting Father. When we come into relationship through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we come to the place of understanding God Almighty is our Everlasting Father. Forever and forever and forever and forever He is my Father!
When you stand before people (before Almighty God and before the demons) and someone asks you, “What’s your background?” You can always say “Heavenly Father; He is my God and my Saviour.”
“What generation do you come from? I wonder if there is a generational curse that’s in your life.” Well, You can say “God is my Heavenly Father, He’s my Everlasting Father and there is no generational curse in my Heavenly Father.” “I’m not His grandchild; I’m His child and I’m directly in connection with Him.”
You don’t have to care or worry about what people think; you simply have to say, “I’m in relationship with my Father and He is my Everlasting Father. I’m no longer a slave or a sinner. Jesus is the Son of God and I believe He rose again on the third day and now He’s my Father.”
John 20:17 … “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God!” The Covenant that Jesus made with us is, “Your Father and My Father are One.” When He entered into the throne and when He ascended on high, we can look to God and say, “Thank you Father for saving me.”
What is the name of your Father? – The Lord Jesus Christ.
He died for you and rose again and now He lives forever. He loves you to the extent that He made you His child!