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GREAT FAITH ELEMENTS ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN WHAT FAITH IS NOT
As we look to Jesus and what He did for all mankind on the cross, He is our example of faith. His shed blood on the cross has given us a lifetime of possibility to do all things in Him. Yet many Christians live a life with great limitations that keep them bound and in harms way.
- Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We can do all things in Christ as Philippians 4:13 says, but we're limited to live that verse if we have little faith and it never grows. The only way to break that limitation is to grow our faith so that we can receive God's blessings, overcome what comes against us and become empowerded to serve God.
But we also need to know where to begin and grow our faith so that we can become strong faith warriors sooner than later. Christians are waiting for some time in the future to accomplish God's Word. I used to do that until I learned that I don't have to wait to begin this powerful journey with God.
I learned from one study I had taken that I could begin with God where my faith was at that moment and continue to grow from that point. And you know what I found out? I grew faster from that one realization that in the previous 15 years waiting to feel good about myself. God showed me how to feel good about myself right now where I was at that moment! That was a great uplifting moment for me that has caused great growth ever since.
I hope that this lesson will give you the same epiphany that I had experienced years ago so that you can implement the great faith elements Jesus has shared with us in the Bible.
Great Faith Element No. 1: Know That God Cares For You
Jesus tells us what faith is not. Look at Mark 4:37-40,
- And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"
Christians need to believe immediately upon salvation that God cares for them. It just makes sense! How can you be saved by a God who sacrificed His only begotten Son for you and then believe or think that He doesn't care about you? This is a huge contradiction that needs to be cleared up if you have it!
If you can't believe it, then what was your motivation for salvation? If you're saved, you had to believe that God loved you and cared for you. Then you have to continue holding tight to this great faith element or it will continually erode what faith you do have until you have "no faith."
So for this lesson, let's begin with "no faith" and work up from there. No faith believes God doesn't care. It's typified by the disciples who woke Jesus in the midst of the storm and said, "Lord, don't You care that we're perishing?"
Perhaps you're in a storm today; and, to you, it looks as if God is asleep and that He doesn't care about you. You may feel that He is aloof, disinterested, and disconnected from you even though you're going through a horrible time.
This is the time you should look to Jesus, not the lie that God doesn't care. Should you buy into it, you'll be robbed of faith, and you can't get any lower than that when it comes to getting in touch with God.
We can only communicate with God by faith. Why? Throughout the Bible we're told that we need to have faith to move the hand of God. If we don't have faith that God exists and His Word is true, then we can't receive from Him. We can't communicate with someone or something that we don't believe exists. It's that simple!
Never believe that God is detached and unconcerned about you. Don't think, "If God cares about me, why would this have happened? Why am I going through this storm? Why is this happening in my life? God doesn't care about me. He doesn't even know my name."
God does care about you and as you look to Jesus and make Him the center of your life, you'll draw nearer to God in faith and begin to feel His love and compassion for you. God is not going to let you down ever because He is interested in even the smallest details of your life. But you've got to believe this is true by faith!
If you say you can't, then you need to grow faith so that you can. You've got to work with God His way, not the way you're used to working to get what you want in the world. God is spirit not intellect or emotion.
- 1 Peter 5:7 says, He cares for you!
Great Faith Element No. 2: Know What Scriptural Faith Is
Understand "FAITH" from a Biblical context. Faith can be many things to different people, but Christians need to understand the action of Biblical faith for reaching out to God to communicate with Him and to receive something. We need the kind of faith described in Hebrews 11:1.
Before continuing to the next step, I want to give you a Biblical understanding of what faith is. You've learned what faith isn't, but now you need to learn how you can develop faith in order to look to Jesus and know that God loves you and desires to bless you.
Hebrews 11:1 says that...
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
The New International Version says,
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1 is very clear. But it becomes even more clear when you connect it with 1 Timothy 6:12,
Fight the good fight of (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen). Fight the good fight of (being sure of what you hope for and being convinced of what you do not see.)
When the answer to your prayers is not yet seen, be encouraged because God answers you when you pray. You need to look to Jesus and fight the good fight of faith to bring the blessings you've prayed for to you in the physcal realm or to be manifested within you if you're believing for inner growth or a character change. You won't get answered prayer by losing faith. No! You need this great element of faith or truth (Hebrews 11:1) which is to believe without having physical evidence.
And please don't get this mixed up with the worldly "secret movement" or similar ideas for personal growth that uses this truth as a philosphy to tap into the universe. God made the universe. The universe isn't going to give you anything! The shed blood of Jesus Christ is why you can believe that you have received answered prayer from God before you can see it, not because of someone's philosophy they stole from scripture to get rich!
Great Faith Element No. 3: Stand Firm In Your Faith
Believing God's Word is all the evidence you need that your prayers will be answered. God's Word is the evidence of things not seen, so you need to stand on that truth. It doesn't matter what those around you say or what the world is saying, you must remain firm in faith to rise above your circumstances.
You must say to yourself, "I don't care what the circumstances say, I am going to look to Jesus and fight the good fight of faith until I have physical evidence. And even then, I'm going to use my faith to keep it! By faith I believe that God will turn my difficulties into positive situations that will bless me and others."
You must stay firm with that attitude until your "faith turns to sight."
What are you struggling with today? What challenge is testing your faith? Stand firm on the truth of God's Word. Trust Him, no matter what others may say.
Real faith is standing firm in the midst of the storm. So stand firm!
Great Faith Elements Copyright (c) Margaret Lukasik. All rights reserved.