This is a devotional study on Faith

Intro to Developing a Strong Faith

When we look at the importance of faith it would have to stand as one of the most significant subjects in the entire Bible.

Luk 18:8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The bible says:

Without faith:

We cannot please God: Heb 11:6

Should we expect anything from God: James 1:6

Jesus could not do many miracles: Mat 13:58

With Faith:

We are saved: Eph 2:10

We are forgiven: Mat 9:2

We are healed: Mat 9:22

We can move mountains: Mark 11:23

Nothing will be impossible: Mat 17:20

We can do greater things: John 14:12

We can overcome the world 1 John 5:4

We live by faith: Rom 1:17

We are made righteous: Rom 9:20

We are blessed: Gal 3:9

We fight the good fight:  1 Tim 6:12

Without faith, the Bible becomes irrelevant and of no effect.  It is a waste of time to even study the Bible without being willing to apply faith to it.  Faith is what is going to cause us to act upon the Word, rely upon the Word, appropriate the Word and to put it into practice in our lives.

Eph 4:17-18  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
TLB Rom 1:17 This Good News tells us that God makes us ready for heaven makes us right in God’s sight when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scripture says it, “The man who finds life will find it through trusting God.”

Faith is defined as a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Or a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. The opposite of faith is mistrust or to doubt a person’s character and integrity.

I want to begin by laying a foundation to give you a clear and precise understanding of how biblical faith operates, what it is, where it comes from, how it works and how we can put it to work.

  • Faith is a supernatural power that is God-given, God-driven and God-empowered.
  • It is not a product of the mind nor a perception of the heart
  • Faith is cultivated by our spirit.
  • At best, all our mind can create is positive thinking
  • At best your heart can hope
  • Faith is a supernatural trust in the character and integrity of God. Rom 12:3
  • God gives us a measure of faith but it is up to us to increase and develop our faith
  • Faith is a bit like a muscle that needs to be exercised
  • It needs to be developed and utilised 1 Tim 1:18-19

Observation:

  • The enemy’s greatest attacks on a person’s life will often be against the word or prophecies God has spoken over you:
  • A prophecy is simply the desired or planned future God has for a person
  • God will make known his plans and purpose to us.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Pro 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Pro 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

  • If you can discover God’s plans for your life, I believe you will also discover the enemies plans to frustrate and destroy them.
  • God has a plan for you
  • The enemy has a plan for you
  • His plan is to simply stop you from fulfilling God’s plans

Paul said to young Timothy the way we fight the fight of faith is by following what God has said for us

  • For you and me to stand in faith we must know what God has said about us
  • What he has said we can do, what we can be, what we can expect him to do in and through us. Rom 10:17
  • Faith doesn’t come by accident it comes from activity

Understanding God’s modus operandi. Isaiah 55:8-11

  • For the unsaved and the immature Christian, God will operate based on signs and wonders. (Sign-posts) John 20:30-31
  • Miracles are a signpost to show us what God can do
  • The question is how many miracles you need to read, see or hear about for you to believe God can do something
  • Now we have to understand that miracles are not God’s best
  • God’s best is not to heal you or deliver you or provide for you every time you are in trouble, God’s best is that you may learn to walk God healing, power and provision

I think too many Christian become disappointed if God doesn’t give them an instant miracle

  • While we want to be popcorn Christians; God wants us to walk in faith
  • Faith is a process, not an event
  • We must learn to appropriate the covenant promises of God 2 Corinthians 1:20

To appropriate

  • To take something and make it your own
  • To take exclusive possession of something
  • God wants you to take possession of his promises by faith

Just as a newborn baby needs someone else to do everything for them (until they can learn to do it themselves); God will reveal his might and power to help the immature Christian.

  • But for the spiritually mature, God expects us to operate and live our lives on the basis of faith.
  • Rom 1:17 AMP For in the gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith (disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith). As it is written. The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and live by faith.

The Christian life begins with faith, it develops faith, it builds faith and it will end with faith.  Faith is the supernatural power that comes from God’s Word. Mat 4:4

  • Faith is literally what empowers the Word of God in our life.  It is what causes the Word of God to produce, to come alive, to bring health and healing and to bring peace and prosperity. James 1:21
  • Faith is the key to making the impossible possible, the natural-supernatural, turning lack into supply, going from bad health to good health.  Faith is the substance that turns our hopes into reality.

We must understand what faith is and how faith is developed

  • Faith is a journey of trusting throughout the process
  • God wants you to take possession of his promises
  • When you have a revelation of Jehovah Rapha, we understand God wants us to walk in health
  • He doesn’t just want to bless you every time you get in trouble, he wants you to walk in the blessing and favor of God. 3 John 1:1-3
  • The faith life is a daily walk, it’s a constant and consistent walk, each day we must step out our faith despite the circumstances or even the symptoms 1 John 5:14-15
  • Faith is a process, it’s a journey, it is a lifestyle Heb 10:35-6
  • Perseverance is the greek word hupomone
  • It portrays a picture of steadfastly and unflinchingly bearing up under a heavy load and describes that quality of character, which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.
  • It’s a fighting spirit, it’s an overcomer’s mentality, the ability to endure when circumstances are difficult
  • It’s not a passive sitting down and bearing things but facing our challenges triumphantly. Heb 10:37-39
  • To draw back means to timidly retreat, it paints a picture of cowardice
  • It paints a picture of retreating to a place of destruction, retreating into loss or ruin
  • He says were are not those that retreat, or shrink back
  • God wants us to be like Clint Eastwood that when trouble comes, we stare it in the face and say, “Make my day”

One of the greatest challenges is we often don’t develop our faith until we are in a crisis

  • We wait for the storms to blow, we wait for the financial crisis to hit, we wait for the health problem then we desperately try and seek God for answers. Mat 7:24-25
  • Faith is like a muscle that must be developed, it’s like a house that must be built

The substance of faith is hope

How often do we live in hope for the things we don’t have now?  Whether it is finances, health, peace, joy, or a miracle in our life.  It is something that you would love to have but don’t have it yet. Heb 11:12

  • Their faith was in the unseen not the seen.

Rom 4:18  Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Biblical hope encompasses all the possibilities that we find in the bible of what

  • God said we could have
  • What God said we could be
  • What God said we can do.

Faith gives substance to our hopes. Without faith, we live relatively hopeless lives.

Eph 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
Zec 9:12  Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

Faith is the key to making the impossible possible, the natural-supernatural, turning lack into supply, going from bad health to good health.  Faith is the substance that turns our hopes into reality.

Understand how faith is developed Jas 1:2-4

  • To understand how faith is developed we must have a clear understanding of the difference between trials and tests
  • Trial/Temptation: This is when trouble comes, adversity and difficulties
  • Trials come in three ways
  1. Things that just happen in life
  2. We reap what we sow
  3. The enemy brings trials into our lives

We must understand the trials and temptations that happen in life are often by nature what trip us up and trap us.

  • The reason James says we can count it all joy when we face trials is that when we understand the purpose of trials, we can face them with a different attitude and with a spirit of faith
  • We have to understand that it is the testing of our faith that develops something in our lives
  • Testing: Tests are given to us for one purpose and it is to determine what we have learnt, they will determine how we are going to respond or react to the trails
  • God will allow tests in our lives to determine if we are able to trust in his word, to put our faith in trust in him and his word
  • Just like a good teacher that gives a student a test not to trap them but to determine what they have learnt, what they have understood and if they understand how to apply what they have learnt
  • James says it is the testing of our faith that develops perseverance
  • Perseverance: this is a fighting spirit that refuses to give up and to give in, it refuses to surrender to circumstances

The power of the Word

Right from the book of Genesis, we see the power of the Word being spoken by faith.  That is because the bible is simply God’s written account of his plans and purposes. Isa 46:8-10

  • When God spoke he was speaking according to his plans and purposes and what he spoke came into being. “Let there be light, there was light”.  “Let there be sky, there was sky”.   “Let there be land and oceans, there were land and oceans”.
  • Nothing happened until God spoke. And as God spoke according to His plans and purposes, the power of the Holy Spirit was able to go about creating what God had spoken.
  • In the same way, God wants His Word spoken in faith to produce for us. Gen 1:1-2

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
KJV Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things, which are seen, were not made of things which do appear.

The power of faith will allow you to begin to form or reform your world, frame your world, design your world, all according to the Word of God.

Jer 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Prov 29:18  Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Isa 48:17  This is what the LORD says your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Heb 13:5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Heb 13:6  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Mark 11:22  “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. (Have the God kind of faith)
Mark 11:23  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Jesus is challenging us to begin to live life and experience life from God’s perspective.  When the words that you speak are faith-filled things begins to happen.  The circumstances in your life will begin to change.  Mountains can become stepping-stones not stumbling blocks when you learn to live by faith. 2 Cor 4:13

  • God wants us to live with that same supernatural power of faith that he lives and operates by.
  • God law of faith does not allow Him to operate outside of faith.  We have to understand that God is a covenant keeping God and he has chosen to deal with us on the basis of covenants and agreements.  He is legally bound to his covenants.
  • God cannot legally intervene in anyone’s life except on the basis of faith in his Word.  If he could, not one person on this planet would be sick, or starving, or deprived, or abused, or victimised. There certainly would not be one person going to hell if God could intervene outside of faith in his Word. Heb 11:6
  • The word PLEASE means to come into agreement with God.
  • Without faith, you can never agree with God or his word.
  • I trust as you work through this devotion on faith that you will learn to stand in agreement with God’s promises and learn to appropriate them for your life.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson each week, we are looking forward to what God has revealed to you in HIs Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.