Faith and Wholeness

Faith and Wholeness

Notice that faith and wholeness are connected!  Even in the natural realm, if a person doesn’t have faith in their medical team or the medical facility’s reputation, their healing will be impaired or slowed.  If a person doesn’t believe that they WILL get better and if that person doesn’t talk about getting better, then their body will begin to obey their thoughts and their words.

Notice what the Bible teaches us repeatedly about the power of faith.

And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.  (Mk 10:52 ESV)

But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.  (Mt 9:22 NKJV)

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”  (Mk 5:34)

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.  (Mt 5:28)

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.  (Lk 1:45, emphasis added)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Eph 2:8)  Each believer has been given the gift of faith.  Let us use this precious gift.

We must place our faith in Jesus Christ!  We must exercise our faith in the power of the Word of God!  We must trust in the powerful, unrelenting, unconditional love of God for us.  He is our Healer; He has compassion [mercy] upon each one of us at all times.  God cannot lie (Tit 1:2), so receive the promises of the Bible as guaranteed! 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy . . .  (Ps 103:2-4) 

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  (Isa 54:15 NASB, emphasis added)

The Lord is declaring Himself as our protector and defender in this verse!  What a promise—what a breathtaking gift!  He says this many times in various ways in the Bible.

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.  (Isa 41:11 NASB)

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.  (Isa 49:25b NKJV)

Contend means to resist, oppose, or challenge.  The Lord says that when someone opposes or challenges one of His children, HE will be the One to deal with them.  Not only will He save us, but He’ll save our children. 

These are wonderful, powerful and precious promises to rely upon.  Don’t think that they’re only in the Bible to encourage us and to reassure us.  They are provided to us as weapons of our spiritual warfare!  (2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:17 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that the Word of God is living and powerful—active.  It goes on to say that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to perceive (detect) the thoughts and purposes of a person’s heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 NKJV)

Use the Word of God as the weapon that it truly is.  Meditate upon it; speak with the Lord about it; and let Him know that you not only believe it but you depend up it to come to pass in your life.  Believe the Word and stand upon it by faith.

Your faith and trust in Him and in His Word will please the Lord as well as improve your life immeasurably.

How Can God Help Our Unbelief?

How Can God Help Our Unbelief?

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  (Mk 9:23-24)

This father, who needed a miracle for his child, told Jesus that he believed but asked that the Lord help his unbelief.  What a contradictory statement, right?

The man had heard that Jesus was traveling around and healing people.  So, faith in what he had heard about Jesus motivated the father to find Jesus and to ask Him to pray for his son, who needed deliverance. 

However, the man realized that he needed Jesus’ help to believe that the will of God could actually be accomplished in his and his son’s lives.  Suddenly, his heart and mind were full of questions:  “Will this really happen for us?  Will God give us a miracle?  Maybe we’re not worthy?”

The reality of being human is acknowledging that doubts and fears attack us at the most inopportune times.  But we don’t have to listen to them! 

Here are some ideas for living as the overcomers that Christ intends us to be.  If you follow these suggestions, you will allow God to help you to defeat fear and unbelief.

  • Knowing the Will of God Will Squash UnbeliefSo then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) As we read the Bible, our faith grows and increases.  Since this is the truth, read the Word of God daily.  Hang on to the promises of God by faith every single day.  Don’t give up and don’t get weary in reading the Word and in filling yourself with the power that resides within the Word of the Living God.
  • Reject Fear and Put Unbelief on the RunBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God . . . (Phil 4:6) The Bible says that fear has torment and that perfect love drives out fear. (1 Joh 4:18)  The Word of God clearly says to RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.  (Jas 4:7)  Don’t be fearful or anxious; don’t open the door of your mind to the enemy of your soul.  He has no power over you because you belong to Jesus Christ. 
  • Overcome Unbelief by Believing in God’s LoveAnd we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 Joh 4:16) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 Joh 4:8)  Our God IS love—He says so in His Word!  Jesus loves each one of us perfectly and unconditionally.  His love for each of us should drive out every fear.  Don’t entertain fearful thoughts.  Fill your heart and mind with the Word of God as well as the assurance of God’s love for you, and then your faith will thrive.

These are some of the things that allow God to help you to defeat fear and unbelief.

God Comforts the Disheartened

God Comforts the Disheartened

Our God cares deeply about each and every one of His children.  He cares about every facet of our health, and He ministers His love to us.  But how can we grab hold of His love?  How can we receive His help?

One way is to meditate upon His wonderful promises to us, so that we may come to know Him fully.  Here are a number of Bible passages that speak about how God demonstrates His love to us, especially when we’re downhearted or depressed. 

We need to use our faith in order to rest upon these promises.  Ask God to help you and to infuse you with fresh faith for the battle.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.  (Deut 31:8 NLT)  The Lord never leaves us—nor will He fail us.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.  (Ps 34:17 NKJV)  We need to KNOW that God not only hears our prayers, but responds to them.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God;
many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
  (Ps 40:1-3 NKJV)  We do need, sometimes, to wait for the Lord’s solutions to materialize in the natural realm.  But this verse assures us that our deliverance shall come, and that it will motivate us to sing a new song!  And our deliverance shall be so mighty that everyone will notice it, and rejoice with us in the Lord!  Some people will even be fearful of the Lord, when they see what He has done.

Why are you in despair, O my soul?  Why have you become restless and disquieted within me?  Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.  (Ps 42:11 AMP)  This passage reminds us that we need patience, and that as we wait for God’s solution, we should praise the Him.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.  (1 Pet 5:6-7 RSV)  Throw all of your worries down at the feet of Jesus, and acknowledge that He loves you and is working on your behalf.  As we respectfully wait for God to lift us out of trouble (which is called humility), He loves the fact that we put our trust in Him at all times—despite what things may look like in the natural realm. 

 It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him.  (Heb 11:6 CEB)

Our faith tells God that we believe in Him, in His existence, in His promises, and His reliability.  Our faith pleases God, and He deeply rewards ALL those who find Him in the midst of life’s difficulties!

Have Confidence in the Lord

It is vital for us to have confidence in the Lord.  I’m talking about having the kind of confidence in the Lord that Paul had when he wrote this verse:

But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.  (Rom 15:29)

Paul could make this bold statement because he knew who he was in Christ.  He had confidence in the Word of God, and he had confidence in his relationship with Jesus, our Savior.  This is the same confidence that each and every one of us may have.  All we need to do is to nurture our confidence!

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.  (Ac 28:30-31)

For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.  (Pro 3:26)

But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  (2 Cor 10:17)  Another word for “glories” is boasts.  So this verse reminds us to boast in the Lord.  Paul knew how to do that.

We know that when signs, wonders, and miracles take place in our ministry, it is the Lord who performs those wonders!  We know that He alone is the Healer and Deliverer.  Paul knew that it was natural and normal to expect good things from the God who is good all the time.  This is the kind of confidence that we want to nurture in our hearts.

We nurture our confidence in the Lord by reading and meditating upon the Scriptures.  We do it with praise and worship of our God on a regular and ongoing basis.  As our relationship with the Lord stands the test of time, we mature and grow in our faith as well as in our confidence.

Trust the Lord and His Word.  Rely upon His Word and believe it when it says of itself:

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (Josh 21:45)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Mat 24:35)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

Feed your confidence! 

Accepted In the Beloved

Accepted In the Beloved

. . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  (Eph 1:6, emphasis added)

And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.  (Lev 22:21, emphasis added)

Accepted means:  received; recognized; admitted; acknowledged; welcomed; understood; or allowed. 

In Christ, we are accepted by Almighty God as perfected.  How wonderful and awesome a gift we have been given!

As the verse from Leviticus above demonstrates, an offering (in the OT) had to be perfect in order to be acceptable to the Lord.   Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, slain in our place for our sins and iniquities.

Now, we are accepted into the household of faith, the kingdom of God, and the family of God!  No matter what our past may look like, what our personality is, or what our appearance is—we are welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus!  Hallelujah!

Jesus invites us to come to Him in every circumstance of life and in the face of every challenge, need, or failing.  He is the very embodiment of perfect, unconditional, and unfailing LOVE.  There is mercy (forgiveness, kindness, humanity, generosity) in Christ’s embrace. 

Know, trust, and believe that you’re accepted in Jesus and rejoice!

 

Who Will Turn It Back?

Who Will Turn It Back?

Are you feeling powerless, hopeless, and helpless?  If so, this should cheer you up and encourage you powerfully!

For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?  His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?  (Isa 14:27 NKJV, emphasis added)

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.  (Josh 21:45 NKJV)

Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.  (Isa 46:11 NKJV)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Mat 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33 NKJV)

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  (2 Cor 1:20 NKJV)

Who is strong and mighty enough to stop the Lord’s plans?  Who can prevent Him from fulfilling His own Word?  NO ONE!

Believe God’s Word today, and continue to trust in the promises that He has made to you in His Word.  He’s not a man that He should lie!  (1 Sam. 15:29; Num 23:19) 

God’s Word stands FOREVER!  (Isa 40:8)  It’s a sure foundation.

The way for you to win and to be victorious is to focus upon God and upon His Word.  Believe God’s Word and trust Him.  Persevere in faith and don’t give up!  The fulfillment of God’s Word in your life is inevitable as long as you persist in faith.  The Lord will NEVER give up on you!