Today’s passage is quite a timely passage for me. I really needed to read this today. People have prophesied over me and called me a ‘man of faith’. Although this is interesting, and gives me focus, it is not always particularly evident in my life. Having faith is not easy, we see that in Abraham’s life. He was told that he would have children, yet he still grew impatient and slept with his servant, so did he really have faith? The main way to grow your faith, is to have faith and see what you are believing for. Yet the longer you wait, the more your faith is tested, and then strengthened. What about all of the time that you are waiting to see your prayers answered? Do you feel like a ‘man of faith’ then? This is the time when you ‘earn your stripes’, but this is also the time when the devil throws everything at you. Anyone can believe when everything is going as planned, but if you want to be a ‘man of faith’, you need to believe when everything appears to be going wrong. You need to believe that you can walk on the water when the waves are crashing around you. “Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief.”
There are a few things in my life that I am believing for. Promises from God that I have not seen come to fruition… yet. I don’t feel like a ‘man of faith’, as I have not seen my prayers answered. I have not given up believing though, so maybe I am, but the unbelief lurks. This is the time when the devil tries to stop you. This time, the ‘attack’ was ‘friendly fire’. I have been told twice in the last week that having faith has no effect on what God does in our lives. I was told this by two Christians. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are doing the work of the devil or anything, I am merely saying that their theological stance is different to mine. The problem is that the devil (or his little helpers) will use this to try and get into my head. I’m not having it.
Romans 4:20-25. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Without going into heavy theology here, this passage implies that having faith brings glory to God. It says that when we fully believe that God is able to do what He has promised, it is not just for our benefit, but to reassure others that God will do the same for them. Whether you believe in Calvinism, Armenianism or anything inbetween, without believing that Jesus died for our sins, we wouldn’t accept Him as Lord. Even our salvation comes down to faith. Faith + Action = Result. Do your actions show what you believe, or do they counteract your faith? For example, saying that you believe that God will supply your needs, and then not tithing because you ‘won’t have enough money if you give’. It is not only down to money though. I am working to get my actions in line with my faith, and my faith is based on what God says in His Word. The passage shown above is a huge encouragement for me, especially after being told that my faith doesn’t matter.
What do you believe? What promises are you believing and waiting for? Do your actions support what you say that you believe? Be encouraged. Abraham was chosen because of his faith, but he still had to wait to see his prayers answered. He still struggled with unbelief. Jesus told us to tell the mountain to move, and then believe and not doubt, then the mountain will move (Mark 11:23). He doesn’t say how long you have to believe for.
Be encouraged. Believe in the promises of God. That brings glory to God! Remember, you are not a person of faith because you see what you are believing for, you are a person of faith because you keep believing for that which you have not yet seen.