“Faith is like muscle which grows stronger and stronger with use, rather than rubber, which weakens when it is stretched. It’s not a great faith we need, but faith in a great God.” ~ author unknown
My faith is being tested like never before and I have to remind myself almost hourly these days that God is not only aware and caring, but that He has a specific and worthy plan unfolding. My mother connected me with a very special leader in her church community, and because Pastor Jack Lenza‘s writings are forging my faith muscles in the manner of a wise blacksmith I wanted to share them here with you.
Thank you, Mom, and to your community of prayer warriors, and for opening this dialogue for me with Pastor Jack, the author of this lesson.
Do you struggle with reason vs. faith as I do?
The art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. ~ C. S. Lewis
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. ~ St. Augustine
Pastor Jack opens his Bible to Hebrews 11 as The Great Hall of Faith Chapter to answer the question Just what is Faith anyway?
Why God responds to Faith
Houston pastor John Bisango describes a time when his daughter was five years old, she came to him and asked for a doll house. John promptly nodded and promised to build her one, then he went back to reading his book. Soon he glanced out the study window and saw her arms filled with dishes, toys, and dolls, making trip after trip until she had a great pile of playthings in the yard. He asked his wife what she was doing.
“Oh, you promised to build her a doll house, and she believes you. She’s just getting ready for it.”
“You would have thought I’d been hit by an atom bomb,” John later said. “I threw aside that book, raced to the lumber yard for supplies, and quickly built that little girl a doll house.
Now why did I respond? Because I wanted to? No. Because she deserved it?
No. Her daddy had given his word, and she believed it and acted upon it. When I saw her faith, nothing could keep me from carrying out my word.”
That’s how it works with our Daddy. He gives us His written word the Bible. When we act in faith like this little girl, we also receive from our Daddy when He sees our faith. What is it you are desiring God to do for you? Are you acting in faith or are you just waiting for God to drop it on you from heaven?
If you say that you have been acting in faith like this little girl, and nothing has happened yet, you must continue to wait on God, believing He is already acting on your request. Ask the Lord to give you the grace, patience, and perseverance to keep on praying and believing until the answer manifests. P. U. S. H. Pray-Until-Something-Happens.
The enemy will attempt to steal your blessing. Stay focused on God and His promises. Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful to His word. Hebrews 10:23
Spend some time camping out in Hebrews 11 and see how these people lived in faith and found the answers they desired. There’s another side of that coin. It reads in verses 36-38: And others experienced the trials of mocking and scourging (amid torture), and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned (to death), they were sawn in two, they were lured with tempting offers (to renounce their faith), they were put the death by the sword; they went about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed cruelty treated (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and living in caves and holes in the ground.
Let’s not lose sight of verses 39-40. And all of these, though they gained (divine) approval through their faith, did not receive (the fulfillment of) what was promised, because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they (these men and women of authentic faith) would not be made perfect (that is, completed in Him) apart from us.
Looking at the other side of that coin: what is faith?
Faith is trusting God when I see no physical evidence that my prayers are being answered. I believe what God says. Romans 8:28
Wait patiently. You’re going through the test of your life and everything around you conspires against the promises. II Timothy 1:12
Hold onto these thoughts, like a candle for each day of your week:
- Faith is caught rather than taught
- Reason is the enemy of faith
- Speak the promises of God out of your mouth
- Confess them until you believe them and believe them until you receive them
- Great faith is willing to wait. It doesn’t give up.
- Great faith doesn’t have to have it right now
- Great faith is willing to wait on God’s time