The grace of God takes you from where you are, to where God wants you to be.
But it involves the right kind of effort on your part, for progress does not happen accidentally or automatically. Knowing the truth is what brings about the change. It is a logical, step by step progression of knowing and applying it in your life.
The law of Faith:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [2 Timothy 4:7]
For every effort there is a reward. And here the apostle Paul is able to confidently declare that there is a crown of righteousness waiting for him, because he has kept the faith.
Why is keeping the faith so important to receive the crown of righteousness?
It is because, however good you may be, you are not good enough in God’s economy of things. But you become righteous when you receive what Christ has done on the Cross, where He became sin so that you can become the righteousness of God in Him. And every problem that you face in life—be it physical, financial or emotional—is targeted at your faith.
In the life of Paul we see that on one occasion he was beaten, dragged out of the city, and left as dead. But even as the disciples stood around him praying, he miraculously recovered, stood up and went back into the city! It is the good fight of faith, where in the end we win!
In your life, if you have fallen down today, know that Christ at the Father’s right hand, and the Holy Spirit in you, are interceding on your behalf. There are people praying for you. You will surely arise and go forth.
The importance of FAITH:
1. To please God –
And without faith it is impossible to please Him. [Hebrews 11:5] You cannot buy, correct or bypass God as Simon the sorcerer tried to do and came under severe condemnation.But with faith it is possible for you to please God.
2. To overcome the world –
The problems that you face in the world need you to be armed with the shield of faith. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. [1 John 5:4]
3. To avoid sin –
For whatever that does not proceed from faith is sin. [Romans 14:23] Sin is missing the mark, falling short of the glory of God. Thus without faith you can miss the godly target, the best that He has ordained for you.
4. To live –
The righteous live by faith. [Romans 1:17] What does it mean to live by faith? The Lord Jesus overcame the tempter by declaring, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ [Luke 4:4]
Therefore, to live by faith is to live by God’s word. Faith comes by hearing the word, and so keeping the word that God has spoken over you in His word by confessing it, is keeping the faith.
The logical connection:
Living by faith = Living by the word of God
Keeping the word = Keeping the faith
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [Hebrews 11:1]
The word brings in you the assurance and conviction, for when the Almighty God gives you a word regarding your situation it is settled forever. God’s word can never change. So it is only your circumstance that has to change, to come in alignment with the word.
If your problem is too complex, and you are unable to figure a way through it, look beyond the problem through God’s word. Look beyond the Cross at the empty grave, at Christ who is seated on the throne. For your eye has not seen, your ear has not heard nor has your mind imagined what He has prepared for you.
You may be saying right now that when you see, you will believe. But God says to you, when you believe, it is then you will see. If you are really struggling, on the verge of giving up on your future and your life, your Heavenly Father who loves you, will stoop to lift you up, and meet you at your point of need.
How faith works in your life:
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [Romans 1:17] Faith arises in you as you hear and discern the particular word of God that is relevant to your situation. And when you read the word, be aware that God is speaking to you through it. Listen to His voice, wait on Him to know what to do, and overcome your challenge.
Fear also comes –
Faith comes, and fear also can come by hearing. It happened to Jairus, who wanted the Lord to heal his daughter. Jesus overhearing what the people were saying to Jairus, said unto him, “Do not be afraid, only believe”. [Mark 5:36] He knows it all. Faith comes by hearing Jesus, the Living Word, and not people.
Faith that comes by hearing, must then lead you to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth.Believing in your heart is when the prophet Jeremiah’s experience becomes yours –“When your words came I ate them. They are my joy and delight.” [Jeremiah 15:16]
Confession is confirming with your mouth, that what you believe in your heart is going to happen. Then you will not be disappointed. [Romans 10:11] It is when the word from God becomes a part of your very being, that out of the fullness of your heart, your mouth will confess.
Faith without works is dead. [James 2:17] Whatever you confess in faith ought to be followed up with the corresponding action, as a confirmation of what you believe in your heart.
Touching His hem:
A small act, but a courageous confirmation of faith. [Mark 5:26-29]
She heard – The woman with the bleeding ailment had heard of Jesus from someone. You too can be used by God to speak the good news of the gospel to bring faith in a person’s heart and bringing them into God’s kingdom.
She believed – She then believed that He could heal her.
She confessed – She confessed her belief, saying to herself, “If I only touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.”
She acted – As a confirmation of her faith, she reached Jesus through the crowd, to touch the hem of His garment and experienced an instantaneous and miraculous healing in her body.
Practice your Faith:
You too can press through and overcome your challenge as you hear, believe, confess and act on the word that He gives you. A double minded person cannot receive from God. If your mind is wandering, just cry out to the Lord, who will be the author and perfecter of your faith.
Faith demands that God be your one and only source, and your action be what He speaks to you through His word.
If the answer is delayed – The Lord is not unjust. He will not forget your work, your labour of love. [Hebrews 6:10-12]
God has not forgotten you, your effort, your prayer and your tears. He wants to fill you with eternal encouragement. Be diligent and wait with patience, not giving up on His promise to you. Keep confirming and re-confirming His word by confession, till you see its fulfillment.
For – Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” [Proverbs 23:18]