Scriptures tell us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Since this is true, it is important to understand faith and how it works.
According to scriptures (Hebrews 11:1), FAITH (trust in God, truth, reliance, belief) is the substance or confident assurance of things HOPED FOR or expected, the EVIDENCE or proof of things (material objects, business, things that work, matter) not (none, nothing, without, never) seen. (behold, sight, take hold, look, perceive)
In other words, Faith believes God’s truth or his word and trusts in it with confident assurance without any material evidence or proof of things visibly seen or perceived with the mind.
To please God, you must have faith in his word and what it says above anything you see, hear, or feel in the material world, expecting what he says in his word to occur or be materialized.
Now that we know what faith is, we need to understand how faith works. According to the scriptures, Faith without works is dead, being alone. In other words, if I say I have faith but do not act or work on what I believe, my faith will be inoperative.
James gives us a classic example. He says what profit or gain do I get if my actions are contrary to my faith. Notice that James tells us that if I SAY or speak that I have faith in God but do not act on my faith, my faith is dead or void.
James is talking about salvation or our Christian witness in this context, but if you read the gospels or Paul’s account in the book of Hebrews about faith, you can see faith in action within a broader sense. Faith in God can be used for salvation and other means, such as provision, healing, and deliverance.
James gives the example of applying work to feeding and clothing the poor to demonstrate our faith in action. This same principle is to be applied in all aspects of faith. Let’s take a nonmaterial example.
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. He said, Lord, “my servant lies at home paralyzed. He is suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:5-8
Jesus was pleased with this answer because it demonstrated his faith in God’s word without needing evidence or material representation.
Another example is the woman in a crowd following Jesus, who had suffered for many years with constant bleeding. She had gone to many doctors over the years, spending everything she had to pay them, but she got no better. She heard about Jesus healing the sick, so the woman came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. She told herself that if she could touch the robe of Jesus, she would be healed.
Notice that this woman had faith or trust in the Lord’s healing power and was willing to push through the crowd to touch his robe. In other words, this woman was putting action to her faith.
Immediately the woman’s bleeding stopped, and she was healed. When Jesus realized that healing power had gone out from him, he turned around and asked who had touched him.
When the woman told Jesus it was her, he said. “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
This woman was healed because she trusted the Lord’s healing ability. She did not even need his attention or any demonstration from him. She simply believed.
I had a similar experience that I will share with you. When I was pregnant with my 4th child, I began to bleed. I thought I might lose my baby. I went up for prayer at a church meeting, and when the speaker laid hands on me, I felt the healing anointing go into my body. But as I walked away, I began to bleed profusely. I cried to the Lord, What happened? I felt your healing power but now this. The Lord taught me a valuable lesson. His Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “What will you believe? What I just did in manifesting my healing power or this situation?”
I replied, “I’m going to believe you, Lord.”
As soon as I said that, my bleeding stopped, and I went on to deliver my son.
This example taught me that if I had come in agreement with the material world and the evidence of the material world instead of God’s word, my child would not have been born. Our prayers will get aborted if we don’t trust the Lord but look to the material world instead.
There are some things doctors cannot do. The woman with an issue of blood went to all the doctors. They couldn’t help her. But Jesus could.
Now that you know what faith is and how it works, I will show you what faith isn’t.
Faith is not presumption. Faith is not getting your way and your will. Faith is not to be used for greed, selfishness, or pride. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people, used by the devil, have infiltrated the church and tried to discredit faith in God. Many people have been hurt by this infiltration.
A spiritual principle in this life is that when God sows his seed, Satan sows his. If you remember this, you won’t get upset when the devil tries to come into the church to discredit God’s work. Instead, you will pray and take authority over him, so he gets the boot out!
Jesus said, if you ask anything in my name, I will do it, but he mentioned in another scripture that it must be according to God’s will. Is it God’s will to heal everybody? Yes, because sickness is demonic. It is not from God. However, we don’t know all the circumstances concerning an individual and their personal walk with God. Many things will hinder healing, such as unbelief, unforgiveness, generational sins, etc.
Since we don’t know all the circumstances, and we are not the healer, we pray and leave the results to God. For personal healing, we can seek God and examine our hearts, repenting of anything he shows us that may hinder us from receiving. Jesus did not go around healing everybody, if you notice in the scriptures. He healed only those with faith in his healing ability. They came to him for healing or he went to a specific person.
It is the same with anything else we need, like salvation, provision, deliverance, or a miracle.
Faith must be in God’s word and line up with all the context of God’s word. Many have used the faith message to get rich. Do you know that Satan can make you rich? He will answer your prayers if it’s your obsession! That way he will take you to hell for idolatry!
God answers our prayers if they align with his word and will for us. God does make some people rich because they have a ministry of giving into the kingdom of God. Jesus does not make people rich to show off and live like movie stars!
God wants us to have faith in his word, to do his work in the kingdom of God, and bring him glory! We must have pure motives.
There are many work principles in scripture for our needs. If you need provision, give to a need. Giving is the spiritual principle for receiving.
When I was a young mom, we were living in the ’80s in Canada. In America, they were doing well but in my country, jobs were scarce. My husband had a hard time finding work. One time we got really low on food. I prayed then I gave my last 2 dollars in the offering plate on Sunday.
After service, a widow lady gave me an envelope. She told me that the Lord told her to give it to me. It was 100 dollars! I could tell you many such stories about God providing for us!
Sometimes you cannot do much but just pray and trust the Lord, but at other times you can do something!
I will give you one last example. When I was pregnant with my first child, my neighbor friend, a Christian, had been trying to have a baby for many years, but she had not gotten pregnant. The Lord gave me a word for her. “Fix that baby room, paint, buy everything you need, and trust God!” I told her.
She did just that and very shortly got pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful little girl!
It is important to get God’s mind in a situation. Then when we have his word, we stand on it, pray it forth and wait for him to bring it to pass in his way and in his time!
Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Psalm 37:3