The Bible teaches us that genuine faith is “more precious than gold that perishes” (1 Peter 1:7). Indeed such faith is going to be “tested by fire”. You can expect difficulties and persecutions in your life of faith, as well as blessings. Therefore to encourage you to hold onto and develop your faith, we will consider some of the benefits of faith.
1. Faith brings salvation. (Ephesians 2:8,9). Whosever believes in Him has eternal life. (John 3:16), and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24). The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
2. Faith brings answers to prayer. “And whatever things you ask in prayer, really believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22). Since God tells us to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11), faith is therefore a key to our material provision.
3. Faith brings all the benefits of salvation into our lives (Ephesians 2:8,9). This includes healing, prosperity, peace, love, joy (1 Peter 1:8), deliverance from demons and the curse, sanctification of the mind and emotions (the salvation of the soul) and any other benefit which the word of God promises to us.
4. Faith is a spiritual force through which our ministry for Christ becomes effective. (Mark 11:23; Matthew 17:19,20). Faith is a major key to ministry success. It brings to you what you need for your ministry, and by imparting it to others through your life and your ministry of God’s Word, you enable them to receive the blessings of God’s grace mentioned above.
5. In particular, faith is the major key for an effective healing and deliverance ministry. Jesus Christ “the same yesterday, today and forever” lives in the Christian (Hebrews 13:8, Galatians 2:20), and through the Christian wants to reveal the power of salvation to men in a way they can see and feel. In this way, our evangelism concerning the Kingdom of God will not be in talk, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20).
How to Develop Faith
We see how important faith is. Yet some people despair here, thinking that they don’t have faith. Yet faith comes (Romans 10:17), it can grow and develop. If you are not full of faith today, that doesn’t mean you will be that way all your life. You can choose to be a person of faith!
A Song To Encourage Faith by Rick Bye “Everything is Possible” – Download Here – you will enjoy it! Included here by permission of the author.
Here are some keys to developing faith.
1. Listen to the Word of God as much as possible. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Constant attention to the Word of God produces faith, especially if we attend to it with an open heart and mind. The book of Proverbs encourages us to constantly keep the Word in our hearts and to keep our attention on it (Proverbs 4:20-22). Health is one of the benefits promised.
What we listen to affects what we believe. If we listen to the TV more than to the Word, we will believe the lies of the world more than we will believe what God says. Constant attention to lies produces deception. Eventually the mind will accept something if that thing is heard often enough and persuasively enough. That is why we should keep hearing the Word of God, through preaching, Christian tapes, confession of the Word, daily fellowship with godly Christians. This will cause us eventually to believe the truth from our hearts.
2. Realise that every believer has been given a measure of faith by God. (Romans 12:3). We just have to use and develop what God has given. We must put it into action.
3. Pray in tongues and be full of the Spirit (Jude 20). We will look at this later. If you have been baptised in the Spirit as the disciples were in the book of Acts, you should pray and praise in tongues often because through this you “edify yourself” (1 Corinthians 14:4) and “build yourself up in your most holy faith”. Praying in tongues is a key to being full of the Spirit. Since faith is a fruit of the Spirit, all things things are related together.
4. Obey God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It is as you walk that you gain strength. God will not reveal greater things to you until you are faithful in the things He is showing you NOW. Therefore obedience to the Spirit and what He is showing you through the Word or through your conscience is important in the development of your faith. You cannot have living faith without taking some practical steps of obedience. Act on what God is saying!
5. Give thanks. Give thanks for the results before you see. Don’t complain – that shows you doubt God’s love and God’s answer to your situation. Give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
6. Develop a life of praise and worship. Praise drives the powers of darkness away and brings the throne of God into your circumstances. Praising God is an act of faith and helps your faith to grow. It is commanded (Hebrews 13:15). Worship is admiring God through the Spirit. If you can perceive who is God, His power, faithfulness and love your trust and faith in Him will grow.
7. Spend as much time as you can with people of faith. The spirit of faith on them will touch your life also (Proverbs 13:20).
8. Speak the WORD. By saying with your mouth you exercise your faith, you hear the Word and you build it into your life. God’s Word is anointed and has power when it is spoken to change the spiritual atmosphere (Joshua 1:8; Romans 10:10). Confession of God’s Word (saying the same thing as God’s word) brings you into the place where the Lord will move to fulfil it (Hebrews 3:1). The angels hearken to the voice of God’s Word (Psalms 103:20)
9. Seek holiness, purity of heart. “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14). It is with the heart that man believes (Romans 10:10). To the extent that the heart has uncleanness, unforgiveness and other bad conditions within, the man will lose the spiritual perception of the Lord which enables his heart to believe. Purity and faith feed each other.
10. Remember that faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). The centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:21-28) were both motivated by their love for another in coming to Jesus. And both were described as having great faith. Let us believe God for others to be blessed, in a spirit of love, and as we give of our selves God will give blessings to us also (Luke 6:37). This is related to the idea of “seed-faith”. Express your faith by planting a seed in terms of some form of giving. God will release a multiplied harvest in return if we endure and do not faint (Hebrews 10:36).
Confession and the Power of Words
“With the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). Confessing Christ as your Living Lord and Saviour with your mouth releases God’s salvation into your life. Since salvation includes many benefits and blessings our right mouth confession is a major key to receiving what God has provided for us by his grace.
We should realise that “Death and life is in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21). The power of the tongue is in the power of the words we speak. All our words have an effect on the spiritual atmosphere around us, either for good or bad. It is through words that covenants and promises are established. It is through words that our faith or our fears are expressed. Bad words open the door for bad spirits to work. Good words open the door for God and His angels to work.
Angels heed the VOICE of God’s Word (Psalms 103:20). Words are spiritual seeds. Words of life produce life. Words of faith produce faith. Words of love produce love. Words of hope produce hope, and so on. Words of death attract spirits of death, words of doubt attract doubt, words of fear attract spirits of fear, and so on. Therefore we must guard carefully what we SAY. The Bible has much to say on this subject, especially in the Book of Proverbs (e.g. Proverbs 10:19, 20, 31, 32; 12:18, 22; 14:23, 33; 15:1, 4, 28). Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. ” (Matthew 12:36,37). Paul said, “And WHATEVER you do, IN WORD or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
Confession (Gk: homologeo) means literally “to say the same thing”. To confess the Word of God then means to say the same thing as God’s Word says. When you say it, it tends to produce faith because in saying it you must also hear it from your own mouth, and hearing the Word causes faith to come (Romans 10:17). In saying the Word yourself, you identify YOURSELF with the truth of God’s Word. It is one thing to hear someone else say something, another to say that thing yourself. The more you say God’s Word, the more you will believe it, and the more you believe it, the more you will say it.
“A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.” (Proverbs 18:20, see Proverbs 12:14). This means that we feed on the words we speak. What we say comes back to affect our own heart and our own spiritual condition. That is another reason why confessing the Word and not negative things will greatly help our faith.
At times it is difficult to speak consistently with what the Bible says because our minds are not sufficiently renewed. We still have doubt in our souls. We must reprogram our subconscious minds to accept God’s principles and God’s promises without doubt (Romans 12:2). Meditation, repeated pondering, listening to good preaching, confession of the Scripture, as well as informed study will help here. The Word must enter deeply into us. This will change the way we are, the way we speak, the way we respond to difficulties and challenges. If it does not we have been too superficial in our treatment of the Word. We have substituted the mental knowledge and recognition of the words for real meditation and confession.
God talks in faith. God “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17). Through faith-filled words, God created the universe (Hebrews 11:3). As sons of God we are called to be imitators of God, filled with God’s Spirit (Eph 5:1,18). When we are in Christ and we have the promise of God, we have the right to speak about something God has promised as if it existed even before our natural senses are conscious of it. It is our faith that gives substance to this confession of things not seen. For example, if we have believed God for a car, we can talk about our car before we see it. We should realise that God has already “given us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) and all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). But the effective receiving depends on our faith. Faith is confident of the faithfulness of God in His declared promises and talks and acts so, even before the natural eye sees.