Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
12 Keys to Faith
#1: No fear. You can not fear man, man’s words or his countenance
Faith requires great boldness and courage. It takes – well, sometimes, it is putting yourself in a position to be mocked or made fun of. It’s an action, it’s words spoken, it’s like the bible says “faith without works is dead”. God’s faith doesn’t match the logic of our world. To speak life over a person close to death takes great boldness and faith. You must be able to ignore the sneers, comments, countenance and words that go against what you believe. You must stand unshakable in Christ Jesus.
“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?.Is 51:12
Nehemiah was a man who was unmoved by the defeating words of his enemy. He sought out to do the impossible . He kept his focus and led in the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
#2: Never Give up. Believe that God can do the impossible
Think of the moment Peter was about to step out of the boat, that’s where we need to be with our faith. Taking the leap even though everyone tells you “No, that’s impossible”. Sometimes we think our situation is hopeless and there is no end, but that is not true. We can trust in God even in the most hopeless situation. God rescues us, this we can count on. Consider this trying time to be a test of your faith.
“With God, all things are possible” Matthew 19:26, mark 10:27, Luke 18:27
For with God nothing will be impossible.Luke 1:37
”Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
let God be true, but every man a liar. Romans 3:4
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day Psalm 91:1-16
#3 Count it all joy
Even in the darkest hours, I can have joy in my heart. I have this joy because I keep my faith in God’s word. Sure, things can shake us up, but we need to be ready with our sword (which is the word of God) and warfare (our protection Eph 6). Maybe we can see it as a faith meter, keeping our tank full or keeping our focus on God’s truth.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1-4
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
#4 Be willing to risk looking like a fool to the world, but a faithful servant to the Lord-: Not ashamed or embarrassed.
Faith means that you are willing to look foolish before the world and those around you. Don’t you think those in Noah’s day thought Noah was a complete fool? He was building a huge ark- for what? His sons were busy building this big ark, I’m sure their friends and family thought they were crazy.
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith Hebrews 11
What do you think Abraham’s family thought of him when he went to sacrifice his son or when he left his entire family and his hometown to an unknown location that the Lord was leading him to? So many examples are in the bible of men and woman who did the impossible, they went against what others and the world would have had them do – Esther, Ruth, Abraham, Jacob, Abel, Joshua, Moses, Moses parents, the people of Israel when they walked through the waters, Issac, Joseph,Jeremiah, Ezekiel, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul and many more.
A friend of mine was told her mother was not going to live through the night. She spoke scriptures over her mother and told the doctors and nurses: “no! my mother will live”. Some laughed, some tried to comfort her with her mothers death but no one believed her words. Guess what! Her mother lived and she was miraculously healed. My daughter spoke out in faith when the doctor told her she needed back surgery. She risked being called a fool by saying to the doctor “ You are wrong and God is going to heal me”. That’s amazing faith. This faith pleases the Lord.
Abel is spoken of as a man of great faith. He gave the Lord the best he had. He trusted the Lord and was not afraid to give up his best. His brother hated him, so we can guess that his brother would try to discourage him with words “Why do you need to sacrifice so much?”. I’m sure his brother would verbally hurt him, but Abel didn’t let his brothers words and countenance affect him and his faith. He always stood firm.
#5 Speak life- speak out – stop complaining. Tell others that you trust in God. Let your life be a testimony of praise for Him.
Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. Malachi 3:16
Reading over Hebrews 11, I see that faith is more than just believing. It’s moving out in faith, it’s fearless and it’s willing to risk everything. Before, I only noticed the obedience and faith of the great patriarchs, I never considered the persecution they endured because of their faith. Faith is when you don’t rely on man’s words, worldly knowledge or influence. It’s when you step out – in a new realm. It’s just like walking on the water. You are about to do something that no one would believe. With God, ALL things are possible.
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Prov 18:21
#6 Don’t let your faith be tossed around like the waves of the sea – believing one minute and doubting the next. No fear, No doubt
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yoursMark 11:23-24
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:6-8
#7 : Have scripture ready, close-by at all times to crush any doubt, unbelief or lies that the devil wants you to worry about
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you .Luke 10:18-19
One important key to faith is your sword, which is the word of God. I wrote down scripture that defeats any lie or false thinking that may enter my mind. I posted them all over my house- on my refrigerator, oven, doors, cabinets, mirrors, walls, children’s rooms and everywhere. That may sound crazy to some, but every time I walk by the scripture I read it out loud and it changes me. I woke up so tired the other day, moping into the kitchen and boom! There was scripture in my face when I looked up. I said it out loud and I could feel my faith meter for that day increasing. It’s really amazing. In the verse below, we learn that Jesus wants to do miracles for us but unbelief gets in the way.
“ And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief..and because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Matt13:58, Mark 6:5)
Looking back to the examples of the Israelites in the wilderness, their doubt and unbelief angered the Lord. Some were killed by plague, other times they lost their protection. Ultimately their fear and doubt caused a 2 week journey to turn into a 40 year journey of testing. When the Lord showed them the promised land, only 2 out of the 10 spies believed God would deliver them. Eight of the 10 men said it would be impossible and caused the entire congregation to doubt, fear and complain to the Lord. The 8 doubting spies feared the people in the land, for they were giants. The congregation wept and cried all night long from hearing the fearful and hopeless report. They complained to Moses and doubted God. The Lord was angry and those who feared in unbelief died in the plague.
The Lord said to Moses“How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”.” Numbers 14:11
“Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. …. the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.”
Hebrews 3: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
#8: Learning to wait. Faith takes patience, or waiting time in which we hope
Consider the life of Joseph; he was hated and rejected by his 10 brothers. They sold him and he ended up as a slave in another land of another language. He was later forgotten in a prison cell. Joseph could have given up at any moment, but he didn’t. He could have thought- well, this is it, I’m going to die here, my life is over. However, Psalm 105 tells us that God was testing him.
“He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions.”
How many of us today would have withstood that test?
In Act7, we are told that God delivered Joseph from all his troubles- and that same promise is for you also. God doesn’t promise us a life without trials or troubles, but He does promise us that He will rescue us, He will deliver us. He will deliver you from all your troubles.
- Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
- Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!Psalm 27:14
- Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
- Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass Psalm 37:7
Here’s a lesson the Lord taught me last week as I pondered on the faith that pleases God:
Within my heart, I heard:
Do you believe you have eternal life? I said of course I do, I believe that. I have no doubt.
Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for you sins? Yes, I do, I do.
Do you believe God cares for you? Yes, I do
You believe everything in the bible to be true, but why does your faith toss like a wave when you are believing for me to rescue you? to answer your prayers? To heal you? that whatever you ask in My name, it will be given?
If you believe, because of your faith, that you have eternal life and that Jesus died on the cross for you, you should have the same faith for all of my words.
I have noticed that my faith can be just like the waves described in scripture. That’s where doubt, fear and hopelessness try to enter my thoughts. Remembering Phil 4:8
has helped me. I know the enemy tries to destroy our faith in the Lord. He sends arrows of doubt, fear and unbelief into our thoughts, but God has given us the power to reject those wrong thoughts . God has given us Spiritual warfare
in order to fully protect us – and they do!
- And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith Matthew 21:22
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to GodRomans 4:20
- I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord Psalm 19:14
- For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7
- So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go Joshua 1:9
- What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, …Romans 4:1-25
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5
- And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.Hebrews 11:6
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
#10 Pray to Him- Cry out to Him and he will hear you( Gen 21:14-21. 1 Kings 17:18-24, Luke 8:40-48)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless.
Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them straight to safety,to a city where they could live.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.
Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins.
They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
#11: Have a right relationship with the Lord
You must love the Lord you God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. You must love your neighbor as yourself.”we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law” Roman 3:28.This doesn’t give us an excuse to continue on in any sin we are living in. Sin in our lives can interfere with our prayers. Don’t let sin be a stumbling block. Don’t pretend to Honor God with your lips but turn your back on Him.
- Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered 1 Peter 3:7
- Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. Romans 4:13
- Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I findthat your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.Revelation 3:2
#12 Remember all He has done – keep a journal of remembrance
Keep a journal. Stop and recall all the miracles He’s done in your life. Remembering builds up your faith.
“By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Heb 11