What Helps You to Walk by Faith?
Twice a year—in April and October—our ministry staff around the world pause and pray. All our staff, for all day, thanking and beseeching the Lord for every provision. At our gathering at headquarters today, I had the privilege of giving the opening devotion on We Walk by Faith. Here are a few thoughts from my message.
The Impossible Promise
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt,.. you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21-22)
The obvious question: How’s that working for you? Moved any mountains lately? Receiving everything you ask for? No? Is the answer, “You just need to have more faith”?
Challenges to Faith
World events—terror, typhoons, government failureMinistry needs and opportunities—plans, people, money, safety, strategies, opportunities, fruitfulnessPersonal realities—health, finances, prodigal children, relationships
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. " (Hebrews 11:1)
"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:1)
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." (1 John 5:14)
A word in common in these verses: confidence. Our word “confidence” comes from Latin meaning "with faith." So God invites us to bring our requests to Him with faith, trusting that He is reliable and faithful.
Walking by Faith
How do we believe, trust, have faith to come to God with confidence? Here are some thoughts that have helped me over the years.
Who God is—Father, El Shaddai—God Almighty, El Elyon—God most high, El Roi—the God who sees, Jehovah Jireh—God our provider, sovereign, all powerful, good, holy, and so much more.
What Jesus did—He became like us, lived among us, died for us, rose from the dead and offers us new life and eternal life, and so much more.Why the Spirit came—to comfort, encourage, teach, remind, convict, empower, pray for, enable, and so much more.
Remembering each of these truths turns my heart toward trust.
My response, throughout any faith challenge or crisis, is basically a declaration of faith: “Thank You, Lord." When I say thank You, as I first come to Him, or as I wait and wait, or in the midst of disappointment, distress or despair, I am saying “I trust you, Lord. I believe you are God and you are good.”
Of course, when we come to God, asking to move mountains or move someone’s heart, we want answers. Our preferred answer is “yes.” Of course, we often get a “no” and more often get a “wait.” Personally I have found God’s most frequent reply is, “I have a better idea.”
There is another result of coming to our Father with trust: the fruit of our faith. A good list of this is found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
What an amazing outcome to approaching God and asking for our smallest need, our greatest longing, even the seemingly impossible: We can be filled with peace and joy, and so much more.
What about you? What helps you “walk by faith”?
2013 Judy Douglass