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.
Dr. Charles Stanley describes faith as, “believing that God is who He says he is, and that He will fulfill all of His promises.”
As we study the Word of God, we see many examples of individuals who had to put their faith in action and how their faithfulness enabled them to reap God’s blessings.
• Jacob’s son, Joseph, was betrayed by his brothers, sold into Egyptian bondage, lied on by Potiphar’s wife, and thrown into prison. Even in the midst of all of this, Joseph maintained his integrity, and never lost faith in the dream God had given him. Because of his faithfulness, God took Joseph from the pit to the palace.
• Rahab the harlot chose to place her faith in God and hide the Hebrew spies, and God allowed she and her family to be spared during the invasion of Jericho.
• Rather than return to the familiar cultures of her homeland, Ruth chose to remain with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and embrace a belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a result of her leap of faith, God blessed her with a new husband, in Boaz, and she became a part of the earthly lineage of Jesus Christ.
• Job lost his family and all of his worldly possessions, however he remained faithful to God, and in return God blessed him with twice as much as he previously had.
• When his enemies conspired against him, Daniel had the faith to endure the lion’s den. Not only did God shut the mouths of the beasts and spare Daniel’s life, but Daniels’s enemies ended up suffering the fate they’d originally intended for Daniel.
• The woman, with the issue of blood, had suffered her infirmity for 12 years. No doctor could cure her, so when she heard that Jesus was in town, by faith she pressed her way through the crowd to touch the helm of his robe. Because of her faith, Jesus healed her.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. What He did for the heroes of the Bible, He will do
the same for us.
As we journey through life there are a few things that can hinder our faith:
• Human Reason – believing that something is impossible, because of our physical and/or intellectual limitations
• Living by Sight – trusting in what we see, and not what God’s says
• Yielding to our Emotions – our emotions are ever changing, which can get us into a world of trouble.
• Negative Advice – trusting in the ungodly advice of others
• Feelings of Guilt – Feeling undeserving of God’s blessings, because of our past sins.
• Neglecting to Study the Bible – We starve our spirit, when we become slack in feeding on the Word of God.
God uses our struggles to develop our faith by teaching us to: listen to Him, obey Him, depend on Him, wait on Him, and to admit our past failures and grow from them.
My grandmother was a mighty woman of faith. Whenever any of our family members & friends faced obstacles in our marriages, with our health, at school, or in the work place, she would always refer us to the scripture below.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
In this passage, Jesus is telling us that we will encounter obstacles, however there is no obstacle too big for God to handle. The key to overcoming these challenges is to ensure that our life lines up with the Word of God, and that we are willing to move when God says “Move”, and wait when God says, “Wait.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that when God says, “No”, we should have the faith to wait, knowing that he’s going to say, “Yes” to something better for us down the road.
The value of our faith is not in the material things we possess, but instead it is in whom we place our faith in…And that needs to be Jesus Christ.