We all have experienced times where things we had zealously hoped for, things we really wanted to happen, even imagining what it would look like…. ended up with a totally different, even a bad outcome. We might have been idealistic or even completely unrealistic about something but still hoped for the best! Sadly, these kind of defeats can end up defining and even shipwrecking us if we let them.
Failure does not have to be fatal, but our response to it can determine if we get back up and learn to overcome or just throw in the towel. What’s important is for us to learn from it and not allow our faith to be undermined or our ability to press on be thwarted.
John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
While Jesus told us we would face difficulty and adversity in this life, He also assured us we would be able to overcome just as He did because we were born of God! Faith in God and His Word allows us to overcome the world and the evil one. In the real world we need real faith to overcome the obstacles we face.
While some believers may have experienced disappointments in “word of faith” churches, that doesn’t mean faith isn’t to be taught as absolutely essential to our life. No movement of God has ever been without its flaws. And while much of the teaching in those churches was sound, for many, the practice and working out of that faith was not and for some, even heretical.
The enemy regularly targets and attempts to destroy and discredit the most valuable truths or to pervert the meaning of them so that when the authentic arrives, it has already been largely discredited and only the most persistent will get it. Same with the Word of Faith camp. There is no way we can ever say,”I don’t want anything to do with that faith stuff”. That would be ludicrous. But the answer to wrong use is proper use.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
What is real faith? It’s genuine and authentic, tested, not fake or worthless.It is truly trusting and believing in God, His ability, goodness and ways; Faith that is real actually WORKS! It is possible we can go into battle and not even be carrying a shield of faith but wishful thinking or an idealistic imagination! In Mark 11:22 Jesus tells us to “Have faith in God”, not faith in an outcome or even faith in faith. God is the author and the perfecter of our faith and perfect faith always gets perfect results! Whatever gift of faith God has given you, can and will be made perfect if you will cooperate!
But we must be tested through tribulations, difficulties and trials to determine the purity of our faith. While 2 Cor 13:5 tells us that this is essential and we need it whether we like tests or not. Most people don’t like them.
In the second part of this article, we’ll look at authentic, real faith versus the counterfeits…