Nov 22, 2016 00:00
And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.Romans 4:19-21 (NKJV)
The Bible says that Abraham was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Notice what Abraham’s faith was based on: the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God’s promises. It’s one thing to know someone and it’s another thing to know his promises. It’s also possible for you to know someone’s promises but never really know the person himself. Now Abraham had not only the knowledge of God but also the knowledge of His promises. Because he knew Him, He could count on Him to honor that which He had promised. Someone can make a really good promise to you but you’ll need to know that person for you to take him at his word. Unless you know him you well you’ll find it hard to trust him to fulfill his promise.
Strong faith is based upon the knowledge of God as God and also the knowledge of His will or His promises. Because strong faith is based upon the knowledge of God, it can produce great results just like great faith, but it has the advantage of also being aware of the promises of God. Strong faith is also founded upon the word of God. Unlike weak faith, it’s not dependent on the magnitude of the problem, it’s based upon the promises of God and His ability to fulfill them. Strong faith is also based on the knowledge of God’s commitment to keep His Word. Strong faith approaches God on the basis of whom He is and also on the basis of what He has said. That means then to be a person of strong faith you will not only need to know God, you’ll also need to know His promises, which are found in His word.
Strong faith is so confident of God’s ability and commitment to fulfill His promises that it won’t waver no matter what happens in the time of waiting. Even when the problem is seemingly big this kind of faith will still praise and give glory to God. The Bible says that Abraham glorified God. Abraham glorified God not because he had already received the promise but because he knew Him too well to know that He wouldn’t fail him. Now can you count on God to fulfill His promises to you? Can you still praise Him even when things don’t look nice? Can you still praise Him even when it seems like He has taken too long to respond? If you are a person of strong faith you’ll do exactly that. Your praises will be because of whom He is, what He has promised and also for what He has done, not only for what He has done.
Another example of strong faith is in Luke 5:5. Jesus was preaching by the lake of Gennesaret, and the multitude was pressing about Him. So He got into one of the boats which were there and asked Simon the owner to put out a little from the land, and when He had stopped speaking He asked him to launch into the deep and let down the nets for a catch. From what Simon said we know they had toiled the whole night and had caught nothing, but he said, “…nevertheless, at your word I will let down the net.” Peter believed that he would get a catch in spite of the circumstance because Jesus had said he would. So Peter knew Jesus as Lord for he called Him Master, and also knew that he would have a catch because He had said so. Psalm 9:10 says that those who know the Lord will put their trust in Him. Knowledge of the Lord is just as important as the knowledge of His promises. Knowledge of the promises alone may not guarantee results especially when faith is put under extreme circumstances. In extreme circumstances you’ll not only need to know His promises, you’ll need to know Him as well.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)
Strong faith is also based upon the knowledge of God’s willingness to fulfill His promises. The manner in which we ask must be in accordance to His will, and the things which we ask also must be in accordance to His will. In John 16:23, the Lord Jesus told us that whatever we ask the Father in His name He (the Father) will give it to us. So now we ask the Father in Jesus’ name. The Lord Jesus gave us His name that we might do kingdom business with it. Through the name of Jesus we can command the devil to leave and he will leave. He also said that He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6). The way to ask and be assured of God’s answer is to ask in the name of Jesus.
Another thing in asking and receiving is that God wills that we pray and He wills to answer our prayers. So when we pray we can approach God in the confidence that He is willing to answer us. In Matthew 7:7 He told us to ask and it will be given to us. In Jeremiah 33:3, He said, “Call to Me, and I will answer you…” Our God is a prayer answering God, and He desires that we pray Him. He is pleased to answer our prayers. He also desires to fulfil our joy by answering our prayers. There are a lot of things that God has already said He will do, so when we approach Him for anything we can always seek His word to know what He wills to do. Whatever God wills to do is His promise, and if we know it, and we know Him, then we can be confident that He will fulfil it no matter what the circumstance may dictate. That’s what makes strong faith.
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