What emotion did this post title stir in you? Perhaps it caused you to raise an eyebrow. It may have caused you to toss the dining table over and throw something made of glass at the wall (If so, we need to talk. You obviously have an anger problem).
I have had this stirring in my spirit for some time and I have been allowing it to incubate, ready to preach a sermon on it. However, I cannot wait. It is all coming together and I want to get it out here so that it MAY help someone.
It is also usually regarded as a good thing, a pleasant thing, a thing one desires to possess. So how could it ever be a BAD thing?
The fact is, everyone has some measure of faith whether they realize it or not.
Here is another interesting fact: even people who do not know Jesus have faith. Faith is not exclusive to believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ (Some people already know this, some people are in shock after reading this statement).
As believers, we have Faith in the Lord (or at least we should). But people of all walks of life have Faith in all sorts of things. I met a gentleman last week who started his own business and became very successful because he believed that he would. He spoke success, thought success, and never let any set-back deter him. Through the hard times, he pressed forward never giving up and he achieved success.
Is this not the definition of Faith? Please read Hebrews 11:1. I have written about the definition of faith before in another post but allow me to quickly share the definitions of Substance and Evidence:
- Substance-In a general sense, being; something existing by itself; that which really is or exists.
- Evidence- Something which shows that something else exists or is true, a visible sign of something.
According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the substance and evidence of what we hope for, even though we don’t actually see it yet. The successful business man mentioned above livedlike and acted like he was successful, believing he would be successful, long before he actually was successful.
Which brings me to my real point (thank you for sticking with me), can faith be a bad thing? It would certainly seem so. Listen to other people talk (or maybe listen to your self) and pay attention to what they are saying.
How many people do you hear saying things like:
- “If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I always feel terrible.”
- “I’ll never get out of this hole. I’m always broke.”
- “That kid of mine is never going to amount to anything.” Or in speaking directly to the child, “You are never going to amount to anything”.
- “I just don’t know how we’re going to make it.”
- “I’m just doing the best I can but it doesn’t seem to be good enough.”
- “I hate my job.”
- “I’ll never get that raise.”
- “I’ll never get that promotion.”
- “I just can’t seem to get ahead. I guess this is just my lot in life.”
- “I can’t afford it.”
I could go on and on but just listen to what people are speaking by faith into their own lives.
You see, Faith CAN be a bad thing if it is not used according to the guidelines of the Bible.
Do you recognize the statements above as being words of faith? These statements are the substance and evidence of what they are hoping for, expecting to happen in their lives and in their futures.
This begs the quick definition of another word, “Hope”. Hope is not what many in modern western society believe. It is not a warm and fuzzy, wishful thinking toward something. One of Webster’s definitions of hope is this: to expect with confidence. This applies whether one expects good or expects bad.
The statements listed above are certainly not what the person speaking would want, but
Faith does not necessarily pertain to what we really want, Faith has to do with what we really believe, what we really expect.
This is sometimes a hard lesson learned. In fact, God has been trying to teach me this for years and I am really striving to work on it. I can say that since I have begun to work on it, I can tell a huge difference in my life. I am not nearly as concerned about certain things that at one time worried me a great deal.
I have written several posts over the years regarding the power of the spoken word. This post will certainly fall into that category, as well.
I realize this post is longer than normal. I also know people do not have time to read a book every Monday when my posts comes out. Sometimes however, I just have to share what the Lord has laid on my heart and trust that someone who needs it will read it.
I preached a sermon not long ago wherein I relayed the following…
“People who are passionate for God believe when others doubt. If you’ll remember it was Joshua and Caleb who entered into the Promised Land and came back with a report of faith. Out of 10 others, they were the only two who came back speaking victory.
The others saw the giants IN the land, Joshua and Caleb saw the Lord OF the land.
Listen to the words of faith Joshua spoke; Numbers 14:6-9, And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
He did not say this based on his own arrogance or his own self-confidence, he said it based on what God had already said.
Listen now to what the other 10 spies said; Numbers 13:31-33, But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
All they saw were the giants. They even saw themselves as grasshoppers. They were already defeated in their own minds before the battle ever began.
When I compare what Joshua and Caleb said to what the others said, I am forced to believe that our words determine our possessions. And do you know what else that tells me? People who are passionate for God receive when others don’t. Joshua and Caleb were the only ones out of those 12 spies that got to enter into the Promised Land later.”
Are you speaking victory or defeat. The victory has already been won by Jesus. All He asks us to do is to live like we believe it, walk like we believe it, act like we believe it, talk like we believe it, think like we believe it,…and believe it.
TAG – You’re it!
Supplemental: I began to write this on the morning of August 12th. Later that day, I read the Proverb for that day (I have taught before regarding there being 31 chapters in Proverbs, enough to read one every day of a given month).
Chapter 12 revealed several good thoughts to ponder.
- V.5, The thoughts of the righteous are right…
- V.14, A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth.
- V. 18, There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
- V. 25, Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.