Bible Society of South Africa

Before you go rushing off in faith - 17 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

Faith

1To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Word of God as recorded by many, over thousands of years, is probably one of the most insightful, incredibly meticulous books ever written to address the human condition. Its prose and poetry unrivalled, while its wisdom is unparalleled.

Yet, soon after I discovered that God’s Word exhorts us to live by faith, the realisation came that I had no idea how to do that. Hebrews 11:1 beautifully defines faith as follows: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

What are you hoping for? Is it aligned with the Bible, God or your own desires? Have you prayed in faith only to see nothing happen as you had hoped? Perhaps you watched television and saw a preacher command something in faith. You have prayed in this vein – nothing.

Many a Christian has there been who has expressed feelings of disappointment in God because he didn’t do exactly what he/she asked him to in the way they wanted. Could it be that we cannot command the Lord of the Universe to do anything that is outside of his will? Much like the earth is his footstool (Isaiah 66:1), so are we subjugated to his will. He, after all, is God, not a created being.

However, the nature of faith is such that we believe and not doubt, but before we just blindly put our faith in an outcome, we have to surrender it to God and ask him if what we are believing for is according to his will or not. Otherwise, we might as well believe in the tooth fairy.

I have found that the times I have struggled have been when instead of leaving the outcome in the hands of the Almighty; I have limited him to resolve something in my specific way. I am so grateful that God does not bow to such foolishness. He knows what is best and sometimes, those things we pray for so feverishly in prayer are the exact things that will harm us in the end.

Only an omniscient God can possibly know how to respond appropriately to every prayer prayed in faith. If we base our prayers on his Word, we are sure to see how God will bring things to pass – in his time; in his way.

Prayer: Thank you, Father God, for your Word on which we can base our faith and see our world changed for your purposes. Amen

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