Faith is real and we all have faith in something or someone. Faith convinces us to trust with unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.
The word faith is easily associated with religious beliefs or traditions but what about faith and healing? Do you find it easier to have faith in God yet struggle with the idea of a God who heals situations in your life or body?
There was a woman in the bible who suffered with a physical issue for 12 years, an issue of a discharge of blood. And because any prolonged bleeding by Jewish law made her ceremonially unclean it forced her to become an outcast, not even allowed to enter the Temple. A seemingly hopeless situation in her day.
One day, however, when she heard that Jesus was passing through she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.” (Matthew 9:21) It was in this moment that she placed her faith in Jesus from whom all healing comes.
When she touched His garment the scripture tells us that Jesus turned in the crowd of people, knowing that healing power had gone out from Him. He saw this frightened woman who had stepped out boldly and reassured and affirmed her healing.
“Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22)
Faith heals. Faith places its trust in a trustworthy God who loved us before we loved Him. Faith believes that nothing is impossible with God.
“…if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Take heart, your faith will make you well.
Blessed living leads to a blessed life.
A blessed life does not imply a life without trials or suffering, it implies a life of consistently bearing fruit that in turn blesses us and those around us.
We tend to think of fruit in the natural mind that is useful to the human body. However, in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ we have been given the capability to produce tremendous fruit if we stay planted near the river.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)
In other words, there are no fruitless seasons of life if we stay near the water source, the river of blessing. There will never be a season when we are not enjoying the fruit of our labors in Christ. Jesus promised that;
“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:38)
We can toil all our lives and never experience the ‘river of blessing’ that God has specifically designed for our lives. We must first believe in Jesus who is the river of blessing. When we find our delight in Him we become like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season.
“Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.” (Ezekiel 47:12)
Are you planted near the river?
Do you ever feel like your faith walk is easily affected by life’s circumstances? Do you seem to waver between trusting in God and trusting in yourself to work through the trials of life? When you don’t know what to do, what do you do?
The bible tells us that faith and wisdom work together to bring stability into our daily lives.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” (James 1:5,6)
Did you notice the warning to ‘not doubt’? Doubt embraces uncertainty and distrust, it makes us hesitant to believe, fearful or apprehensive about the truth. God encourages us to receive wisdom from Him and then warns us not to doubt the instruction in truth that He gives. If we doubt we are described as unstable and tossed about as the wind.
“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Faith in God and the application of His wisdom in our daily lives will give us the stability we desire that will position us to weather any trial or test that comes our way. This is God’s promise to those who love Him.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
Perseverance is the key to fulfillment. Many are inspired to fulfill their designed purpose and yet so few enter into their promise land. Perseverance implies a continued, patient effort towards a desired end that leads to fulfillment.
The decision to perseverance is just the first step, finishing well requires a strength beyond our ability. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to persevere. He was also given assurance that he would have divine protection in his difficult pursuit of fulfilling God’s plan for his life.
“And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land…They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:18, 19)
Even with this powerful promise of protection from God, Jeremiah struggled with all the threats and opposition he received early on, just as we struggle. God used it all to show Jeremiah his need beyond his own abilities. The Lord answered his complaints by addressing his inadequacies to go the distance without God’s help.
“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” (Jeremiah 12:8, The Message)
Like us, Jeremiah had to learn how to depend on God’s strength to persevere. With every deliverance Jeremiah’s trust in God’s power and presence grew. He achieved the fulfillment of God’s purpose for his life and received all that God promised him.
Whatever God has asked of you, His power and strength will get you there, not your’s. Choose to persevere, trusting in His daily provision. May the ‘few’ turn into the ‘many’ who persevere to the end, fulfilling their purpose on this earth!
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
If you have a ‘life vision’ you are living with purpose, you are a visionary. The best visions come from God because His vision for you comes with the power to achieve fulfillment. His vision for your life places you into a company of great visionaries that have come before you, impacting their world for the better, inspiring change and bringing hope and help to all nations and people groups. Don’t settle for the ordinary life that lacks vision when God has given us an extraordinary opportunity to use our gifts and talents to fulfill His will for our lives.
God spoke long ago to those who would follow Him with a trusting heart. He predicted that they would speak of His awesome deeds one day upon the fulfillment of their vision.
“They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness.” (Psalm 145:6)
I have received many visions from God without a clue as to how God would lead me into the fulfillment. Looking back, He has certainly performed awesome deeds on my behalf to support me and my path of fulfillment. His ways cannot be compared to our way of doing things, we must trust in His higher way.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
A vision has to move from the mind to the heart and then to reality. Small faith steps lead to cumulative results that begin to have the impact that God envisioned for us.
What vision has God given you? It’s never too late to start moving and aligning your life toward it. Submit the process to God and with His help you will see the fulfillment and discover your purpose!
“A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” (Proverbs 13:19a)
Have your own trials and sufferings affected your heart of compassion towards others? Do you struggle with feeling sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of others with very little inspiration to help?
Jesus warns us about having compassion for others when at the end of our lives we will be held accountable for how we treated others. He will proclaim you ‘blessed’ by His Father to inherit the kingdom prepared for you when you live a lifestyle of compassion towards others.
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-38)
His followers wanted to know how and when they had done these acts to Jesus and He explained that “…as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
For those who lacked compassion for the suffering Jesus ‘condemned’. In other words they would have no part of Jesus and were told to depart from Him, cursed into eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) All because they refused to follow Jesus.
Our personal sufferings tend to turn our focus on ourselves and walking through it can block out others in their pain. Compassion is always available to us when we place our trust in God to see us through. This same compassion that we receive can be a blessing to others when extended. The world would truly be a better place.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)
Success is measured in results or outcomes, such as the gaining of wealth, fame or rank. Blessing is measured in the gift of devine favor such as anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune. Success can be momentary whereas blessing is designed to become a lifestyle.
Blessed living speaks to the way of the righteous and not the way of the wicked. The blessed man or woman chooses to become a student of God’s Word, His best practices for blessed living.
“Blessed is the man who[se]…delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1,2)
Living a lifestyle with the singular motivation of gaining wealth, fame or rank can lead us into choosing the way of the wicked and therefore forfeiting the blessed life. This man or woman will walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand with the sinners and sit with scoffers. (Psalm 1:1)
Blessed living is pictured like a majestic tree that is planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in the proper season. This lifestyle has a long term view, investing now for future returns that reap happiness later.
Blessed living is also described as a tree with leaves that do not wither, as in all that this man or woman does prospers. This is devine favor from God.
The wicked may have momentary success but at great cost because it is short-lived.
“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:4)
The way of the righteous is the blessed life so choose wisely the lifestyle that leads to blessed living.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, in all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)