Living by faith is about taking hold of every promise of God that belongs to you.

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This article is a continuation of, ‘What Is Living By Faith?‘, where we concluded that living by faith is not about believing that God works all things together for good, regardless of what it looks like right now. We saw that living by faith is not about repeating to yourself that all things work together for good, whilst yet another calamity that you are powerless to do anything about, comes upon you. Instead, we found out that living by faith is about standing against everything the devil throws at you, and refusing to accept it – because you know that you have been redeemed from the curse. We found out that living by faith is about taking hold of every promise of God that belongs to you. For example, the reason that God was able to work all things together for Joseph’s good was because Joseph did not just submit to the circumstances. Joseph did not become despondent or bitter, Joseph held onto to what God had promised him through his dreams and had faith that those dreams would come to pass.

There is no promise of a life on Easy Street.

There is sometimes a misconception about living by faith that causes those who favour the ‘passive faith’ explanation to view the idea of ‘aggressive faith’ as heretical nonsense. This same misconception about living by faith also causes what could be called, ‘faith failures’, amongst some who hear the faith message and do receive it. It is the misconception that living by faith is supposed to be easy, the misconception that you just need to believe, make a few confessions and things will happen. That is simply not true, and so when people believe and then fail to see results, they become discouraged and wonder why their faith didn’t work. Likewise others mock the faith message, because they view the idea of life being like a bed of roses as being ridiculous – which it is! There is no promise of a life on Easy Street – much at that would be nice!!!! John 16:33 makes it very clear that it is impossible to go through this life trouble free: “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration”  (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition). However, Jesus promising us troubles is not the point of the verse – what I have quoted here is the part of the verse that most Christians know, it is not the complete verse though….

Faith refuses to submit to tribulation.

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The complete verse says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you]”. Jesus was not speaking in order to promise us troubles, He was speaking to promise us peace in the midst of those troubles. Jesus was speaking to assure us that we could be totally confident and unfazed even in the midst of a storm of troubles, knowing that in Him we have the victory. And that is where faith comes in – faith refuses to submit to tribulation, trials, distress and frustration. Faith finds out what the Bible has to say about the situation, and then speaks God’s words over it; rather than words of worry, fear, doubt, etc.

So why is it then, that some people hear about faith, speak words of faith, and yet don’t see the results? The answer can be found in the parable of the sower. In Mark 4:16-17, Jesus said, “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended“. There are people who like the sound of the faith message and receive it with gladness – but they think it is going to be relatively easy. So when they find that the results do not come as easily as they had expected, when the same (or worse) troubles continue to come upon them, they become discouraged and let go of their faith. Sometimes they may even continue to speak the same words which sound like faith,  but their heart is no longer in it – doubt has been allowed in and what were once words of faith, are now just idle words. These people and their ‘faith failures’ are then held up as ‘proof’ that faith doesn’t work.

Faith producing results is dependent on patience.

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The truth is that faith always works (my next article will look at possible hindrances to getting results), but the results of faith are not always instant. We are told that it is through faith and patience that we will inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12) – take out the patience part, and you have an incomplete formula. Faith producing results is dependent on patience – it is patience that enables you to maintain your faith, even when you see no results. Sometimes taking a stand of faith is hard, very hard. It often takes extreme perseverance, when it appears that absolutely nothing is happening. That is why the title of this article says that living by faith is not for the fainthearted, because it really isn’t. If you have made living by faith your lifestyle, you will understand what I am talking about; if you haven’t then, let me tell you – you have no idea how hard living by faith can be. If you think living by faith is supposed to be like a walk in the park, then you are sorely mistaken.

Living by faith is tough – but the rewards are worth it!

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Living by faith is tough – but the rewards are worth it! Plus, you are not in this on your own – you have God on your side, backing you up. When things get tough, remember that you can do all things through Christ which strengths you; remember Proverbs 28:1, “The righteous are bold as a lion“. Living by faith is hard at times, but it is much easier then facing the alternative: Not living by faith, and consequently getting the same negative results as everyone around you. Also, as you begin to get ‘faith victories’ under your belt, taking the aggressive stand of faith that is so often necessary will become easier. Every time the devil tells you that it’s not going to work, you can tell him, “Yes it is! It worked last time!!!!

If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.

If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.

For the salvation prayer, please click here.

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