The Trial of your faith

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing.

In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials. . .

1 Peter 1:6

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing. We do not walk in each other’s shoes simply because the shoe does not always fit. Everyone has a different experience in life because they are created with different genes. It would be boring if we were all exactly alike in our DNA. I have learned and seen that in general people are gifted with different aptitude and human characteristics. I thank God for them because it gives the opportunity of helping each other out in our weaknesses. It is what a family is all about. Those within the family are the foundation that is built upon growth by the elder helping and teaching the younger within the group to become the best they can be. The family unit usually defines maturing into adulthood.

In America, we may have lost the cohesiveness of the family so many individuals must rely on other adults to help them in the process of maturing. This was true for me especially when I entered my teen years, my mother decided to leave my father. Any breakup within the family is an adjustment. Any sickness within the family is an adjustment. Any soldier that comes home from a war is an adjustment. Why? Because the adjustment means we must face change in our environment and in our emotional response. This can be the trial we face depending upon how we respond to the change. Our character is under attack, and it is not an easy thing to go through when you are right in the middle of going through it. Some call it a part of life and may just brush it off, but it is much more than that because it can define our character in who we are as a person. Any kind of suffering involves an emotional response and therefore should not be taken lightly. As Christians we are to bear one another burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ [see Galatians 6:2]. In verse 3 of Galatians the apostle Paul said that “if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Let us pray that we are not deceiving ourselves by thinking we are better than the next person. It is better to humble yourself as a little child before our Lord. The apostle Peter addressed this in 1 Peter 5:5.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5

Being subject to one another means to work out your disagreements. Disagreements can be a temptation and it can cause a sorrow of heaviness within our heart. Don’t allow the disagreement to annul your relationship with an individual unless it deals with doing evil or harming someone. Temptations deal with doing the right thing and not being proud of whatever you are doing. Our example is Christ Jesus who “also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” [see 1 Peter 2:22]. Temptations can deal with devious ploys and schemes to which you should not get involved and become a part of. There should be no deception between you and the other person. There should be no deception between a husband and wife either. As a child of God, we are to live a holy life in everything we do. In fact, Peter states that “he who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life,” [see 1 Peter 1:15]. We must surrender to the Lord our weaknesses and ask him to intervene and guide us through our emotions and the trails we are facing.

While we go through trials and the testing of our faith in Christ Jesus, the Apostle Peter urges us to consider our salvation, the glory of our Lord’s return, and the effect of purifying our character into the image of Christ will bring the result of patience and joy. We may not be able to see the result when going through a trial, but that trial is more precious than gold stated the Apostle Peter [see 1 Peter 1:7]. It is with prayer that the trial you are experiencing may be found in praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. We can confess and bring all our trials and troubles to God, and this is what Job did for he assured, “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from thee,” [see Job 42:2]. Job repented from not praying for his friends and the Lord blessed him by giving back twice of what Job lost during his trial [see Job 42:10]. Remember that it is your soul and spirit that the enemy is after who is Satan. We must “abstain from all appearance of evil,” [see 1 Thessalonians 5:22]. That means to hold back, renounce, and avoid all forms of evil. Our victory is in Christ Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. This is our joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

Let us remember part of the lyrics to “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

The Power of Faith – Believe, Speak, and Receive

Did you know that faith has power? Whatever you believe is what you will speak. What you speak produces the results you are living out every day of your life.

Whatever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:24

Did you know that faith has power? Whatever you believe is what you will speak. What you speak produces the results you are living out every day of your life. Many people do not take stock on what they say every day. In James 3:6, it is stated that the tongue defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, or our path in life. With such a warning, maybe we should reconsider the words that flow out of our mouth. Jesus spoke to his disciples about the power of faith by believing in prayer that what you speak, you will receive. Just think about the fig tree that Jesus cursed because it had no fruit [see Mark 11:12-14 and 20-24]. Peter the disciple of Jesus, pointed it out to Jesus that the fig tree had withered away, and Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” Jesus explains to his disciples that they too can have this kind of power if they would “believe what they say”.

The power of words is amazing, and we just do not think about it when we speak every day to those who we are in contact with. Just think about the words spoken on social networks. The slandering is out of control, and many are hurt at what is being said. Today we have employers dismissing people by email, rather than facing the individual in person. Add to the list cyberbullying which is posting rumors and treats. Words are powerful and we need to check take stock of our speech and behavior to that of a more positive tone rather than a negative tone. What we speak can be in the power of God and not in the power of man. Knowing that Jesus is the author of our faith [Hebrews 12:2] helps us to understand that our minds can be renewed to having the power of faith in what we speak.

The apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” [KJV]. We speak what we believe and this of itself is powerful. Paul has complete confidence in God, whom he believes that what is spoken will reveal the nature of God. We must choose blessing or cursing, life, or death, in the words we speak. Are the words we speak based upon faith? In 2 Corinthians 4:18 it states that we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” When we pray, we look at what is not seen instead of what is right before us.  I remember Smith Wigglesworth commenting how when he prayed for the sick in bed, they look to Jesus rather than the condition of the person in bed.

Can we “Have Faith in God?” Yes, we can, when we put our trust in God through His son Jesus. However, there is a condition listed in Mark chapter 11 that is overlooked.

When you stand praying, forgive, if ye have anything[ought] against any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26 [KJV]

Many forget that to receive anything from God one must have a pure heart and motive. So, if you have anger, or unforgiveness against anyone, you must forgive them. This is one reason why we have unanswered prayers. We only look at what we want, but when it comes to forgiving it can be very painful to let go of the hurt that an individual has done to us. This includes not only actions but the many unkind words that has been spoken. Do not let those behaviors or words pull you down to becoming burdened and angry. Let it go and place it in God’s hand. Remember that you cannot change another person, but you can be the reason why somebody changes. When your heart is in the right place you can ask and it shall come to pass, but forgiveness is the key to the prayer of faith. We can believe, speak, and receive just like Jesus did.  May we grow in having more faith in God and by taking stock in what we speak.

I Will Heal Thee . . .

Are you in need of a healing? Do you need spiritual, or physical? No manner what type of healing you need, our Lord is ready to heal you

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Are you in need of a healing? Do you need spiritual, or physical? No manner what type of healing you need, our Lord is ready to heal you. “I am the LORD that healeth thee,” exclaimed in Exodus 15:26, the people of God had a covenant promise of healing. Do we believe that God is willing to heal today? I can remember people praying and saying, “Lord if it is thy will, heal me.” That expression was used a lot and did not get results because those praying did not know the will of God regarding healing. When Jesus died on the cross the stripes, he received was for our benefit to receive healing. Do you know the benefits of the Lord? Read Psalms 103.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Psalms 103:2-3

Have we forgotten the Lord’s benefit of healing for all our diseases? What about the leper in Matthew 8:3 who asked the Lord, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean?” What did Jesus tell him? Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. Jesus said, I Will. Jesus went about healing all manner of sickness and diseases [see Matthew 4:23]. It is His will to heal, and it is for us today. Do you have the faith to believe for healing? What did Jesus’ brother say about healing? In James chapter 5 verses 14 and 15, James asked the question “is any sick among you?” If there was, they were to call the elders of the church to come and pray over the sick and anoint them with oil. In verse 15 of chapter 5 of James is the key to healing. The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. The prayer of faith will save the sick, so an individual does not necessarily have to have faith to be healed.  Their faith needs to be built up by the preaching of the Gospel.   If a person does not have the faith than the elders are called upon. They have faith and know who they have placed their faith in. It is in Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith [see Hebrews 12:2]. The elders look to Jesus and not the condition of the person for healing of all sickness.

Jesus gave the 12 disciples power to heal the sick, and to cast out unclean spirits [see Matthew 10:1]. It is Jesus who gives the power for healing. This power is known to be the Greek word “dunamis,” which in English means explosive power. Healing is a part of the Gospel of Jesus that was to be preached to all people. Jesus told Philip, one of the disciples that those who believe on him, shall do greater works than what Jesus did at that time, because Jesus himself will be with the Father [see John 14:12]. Remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Healing did not end after Jesus’ death; it was a part of the Gospel to free people from the bondage of sickness because of the fall of man. We do not always know why someone is sick or why some are healed, and others are not. Only God knows the reason. One thing is clear in the Bible, it is a lack of faith that many are not healed. In James 5:15, it states that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed any sins, they shall be forgiven. Put your faith in Jesus and call for the elders of the church. It is Jesus will that you be healed.

Want to read more? Download this pdf flyer titled, “The Hem of His Garment.”

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith

Jesus and the cross are common symbols today for the meaning of Christianity.

Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 KJV

Jesus and the cross are common symbols today for the meaning of Christianity. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Cross as ” a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.” As we are nearing the time of Easter, many Evangelicals celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a special ceremony. I always find it interesting how pagan themes attached themselves to basic Christian themes and Easter is one of them that has taken root in the theme of the Cross. In truth, Easter comes from the Germanic goddess of dawn. Did you know that Easter is based on a solar calendar? It is celebrated after the first full moon occurring after the Spring Equinox. I only mention this because to some people who view American Christianity have commented how America has become Polytheistic, which means worshiping more than one God. Maybe we should take a closer look at where or what we have placed our faith in.

Thus, the title of Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith should help us on where our faith should be placed. The scriptures tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, for one must believe in who He is, [see Hebrews 11:6]. In Hebrews chapter 11 we have this long list of examples of the way of faith up to the chapter of 12 of Hebrews and verse 2 where Jesus is mentioned who endured the cross and now is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus who atoned for our sins. Jesus who covered our sin from God’s sight. Jesus who put away sin by the sacrifice of himself [see Hebrews 9:26]. The final sacrifice once and for all Jesus is the only one who can save humanity.

To many it is foolishness, but the Apostle Paul commented that “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,” [ see 1 Corinthians 1:18]. This pleased God that the foolishness of the cross became the power of God to save humanity. The power of God for those who are saved is seen through the prayer of faith. The prayer of faith is seen through Christ who covered our sins. Christ who became the author and the finisher of our faith because of His sacrifice on the cross. Christ who is the resurrection and the life [see John 11:25]. Christ who destroys the work of the devil [see 1 John 3:8]. The power of God is seen through Christ death and resurrection.

This is our confidence, Jesus Christ who loved us so much to become our sacrifice for our sins. Jesus Christ who became the way to God, so that we may become God’s children. Jesus Christ who overcame the world and the power of the evil one who is Satan [see Hebrews 2:14]. We need to remind ourselves that we serve a living God and not a dead God. Christ is the resurrection, and the life means we have a destiny. We have an everlasting life because of the resurrection of Christ. That is why the Apostle John declared that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [1 John 4:4]. We have a sure foundation in Christ Jesus. Our confession in Christ Jesus is not in vain, instead it is the power of God to break the power of sin and the control of the evil one, who is Satan. The apostle Paul tells us “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain,” [see 1 Corinthians 15:17]. Let us remember on Easter where, or who we place our faith in, so that our faith is not in vain. Let our heart not waver in unbelief in departing from a living God [see Hebrews 3:12]. Let us always look to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, for it is the power of God.

The following worship song has been sung with exchanging the word blood with the word [Cross]. It’s the Cross that Cleanses me, It’s the Cross that gives me life. My Jesus, God’s precious sacrifice.

The Mustard Seed

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; Which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:31-32

Have you heard the story of the mustard seed? The mustard seed is the smallest seed, yet when it is planted it grows into a big tree. Does the size of a seed matter when it comes to Faith? No, the size of the seed does not matter. However, the right condition does matter. When a seed is exposed to the proper conditions such as light, water, and temperature it grows. What about Faith? How does Faith grow? First, we must establish what Faith is. Faith is conviction, assurance, and reliance upon Christ. In Hebrews 12:2, it states that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We must believe in who Jesus is and that He is risen from the dead, for if He is not risen, then our Faith is in vain [see 1 Corinthians 15:14].

How do we get Faith? The Bible tells us that Faith comes by hearing the word of God.   We can build our Faith by reading the word, or by hearing someone’s testimony of a miracle that has happen. The miracle of sight, the miracle of hearing, or the miracle of healing from some disease shows God’s faithfulness when we believe. Have you witness a miracle? It is always exciting to hear about a miracle, and or experience one for yourself.  Miracles are always possible with God.

In all four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we can read about wonderful healing and miracles. It all centers around the person of Jesus. God uses people who are full of faith to make miracles happen. Like Stephen in Acts 6:8, who was full of faith and power, and he did great wonders and miracles among the people. Jesus said on more than one occasion in the Bible that it was unbelief that kept the healing from manifesting itself. Just look at Matthew chapter 17:14-20, where a man brought his son who was mentally ill to the disciples and they could not heal him. Jesus asked for the boy to be brought to him, and he healed him. The disciples wondered why they could not heal the boy. This is what Jesus said.

Because of your unbelief; for I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20 KJV

Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen [see Hebrews 11:1]. Divided loyalty and indecision voids faith from working. This is usually the result of fear of failure. Sometimes we do not have patience and or willingness for the healing to take place. I once read about a woman who had a large goiter and she believed that God healed her. Everyone who knew her thought she was out of her mind because they could see that she was not healed, yet the healing took place one year later. The substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. . .she saw it, but those around her did not have faith to see her healed. No one knows why it took a year, but we do know that all things are possible with God [ see Matthew 19:26].

We can also glean some insight from James, the brother of Jesus. James said that faith without works is dead [see James 2:14-20]. James gave Abraham and his son Isaac as an example. Abraham was instructed by God to offer up his son on the alter as a sacrifice. When Abraham acted on what God told him, God provided a ram. Abraham was not divided in his loyalty to God even though he loved his son [see Genesis 22]. Each person is given a measure of faith and when we act upon it, we begin to grow and see the power of God. No matter what situation you are in, believe in the author and the finisher of our faith Jesus, and witness the wonder of miracles today. . .the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. Place it in God’s hand and believe in his provision. May your faith grow as big as the mustard tree.