Faith, Wishing, and Hoping by Pastor Don Moore

Faith, Wishing Hoping by Pastor Don Moore

Bible study 1/14/12. I am trying to catch up with my postings and get these Bible studies up as quick as possible.

Pastor Don said, if you have a power failure and you walk into a dark room you instinctively throw the light switch, even though there is no power.

What do we do when our faith doesn’t work?  We expect something to happen and nothing happens.  We need to immediately ask, have we acted in the natural before examining the spiritual?  Are we wishing and hoping or are we acting in faith?

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Within the experience of operating our faith, faith begins with hope. As our level of hope steps up, it can become the presence of faith.  Hope leads us to focus on believing in faith.  When faith doesn’t work, go back and examine yourself to see if you are still hoping. If hope has vanished, we were never in faith.

Faith is sustained by hope. There is spiritual hope and carnal hope.  When we are believing for something that doesn’t happen and a correction occurs, we should  determine if that correction caused hope and faith to vanish. If hope vanishes, it was not spiritual hope in the first place.

Biblical hope will remain even if faith is not operating. Real faith doesn’t give up just because I don’t see my object manifested or my circumstances aren’t changing. Wishing and hoping is not Biblical faith.

1) The first thing we need to examine is if we are in faith or in hope. If we are in hope, we are not in faith.  Wanting and wishing is not faith.

2) Belief in the sovereign will and wisdom of God.  We say we believe God is sovereign and does what He wills. We believe that until He doesn’t do what we want; then we don’t want Him sovereign. We ask ourselves, where’s God in the situation.

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.”

Where is your faith?  Is it in prayer, in hope, or in God?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

To believe for anything we need to understand that our position of believing has to be I have faith in God. Does God have to jump and do what I want Him to do? No. God is sovereign. We are not.  God is our CEO. We may be born again, but not yielded to the Master.

Is your faith in your faith or is your faith in God? What do you believe about God?

We can believe in God but not have faith in God. If we call ourselves Christians the first step has to be have faith in God.

What are we saying in our self-talk?  Do we want to be guided by the Lord of Knowledge or our own understanding? We need to have faith to believe on the sovereign knowledge of God who knows what is best for us.

As we grow in our understanding of God, we know the nature and general idea of what God wills and wants. We may not know what His will is in a specific situation.  We know God wants us to do the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

We may not know when. We may not know the specific will at a specific time for a specific operation or event.  To gain a better understanding of God’s will,  kneel and pray, hear in our spiritual language, and come together as a congregation for His purpose.

God will remove your disappointment.

David and Bathsheba had a second son, Solomon.

Hannah went for years and still hoped. She went to the Temple and was accused of being a drunkard. Her hope was not gone She believed God for a kid and Samuel was born.

Abraham and Sarah, when Sarah was beyond childbearing years she was told she would be pregnant.  She laughs in unbelief.  Abraham laughs with joy. He had a lot of faith. They went twenty-five years after hearing that message before the child they had faith for was born.

If we abandon hope, we really weren’t in real faith. God keeps His Word. When God acts it is an example for others.

Moses was told to go and free His people. He first went in the flesh and killed a slave master. Moses had to go into the wilderness for forty years, cooling his heels as a shepherd before God tells Moses now is the time.  Had Moses gone in the flesh, it would have been a disaster. When Moses was eighty, God could trust him. But Moses didn’t feel he could do all that God asked. Moses did not feel he could speak in public.  Where was his faith?

We have to have a level of obedience. Obey God because I have a level of faith. With God’s program, He never gives us the whole blueprint. If we had the blueprints, we might try to understand and manipulate things. God wants us to walk in faith, trusting.

Examine yourself. Ask yourself, am I trusting God with all of me? Am I really listening?

Paul and Silas – Go ye therefore. Paul wanted to go to the Greeks in Macedonia. God says, “No.” The Holy Spirit says “No.”   Paul did not lose hope to go to Macedonia. He didn’t give up. He prayed and asked God when it would be fulfilled. Still he was told no. The third time, Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonian clothes and was told to go. Hope sustained him until faith manifested. Before Paul and Silas could go, God had to put things in place for them. God brought them to Lydia, a dealer of purple. She was put in place to take care of their needs and introduce them to people.

Had they willfully gone before God gave them permission, their mission would not have succeeded to the extent it did.

God also had to have the jailer in place before Paul and Silas went there. Their faith was so strong in God that, when they were thrown into jail and beaten for faith, they sang praises to God. Most people would see them being in jail and say, “Paul you really missed it. You didn’t hear from God.”  They still had hope and faith. The purpose for them being in jail was something they did not see. Because they obeyed God, a church was formed right in that prison and the jailer and his family were converted.

We can’t see around the corners of our lives. We need to trust God. God is not permitting challenges in our lives for negative reasons, but for good.

The biggest way to know people are not in faith is by their level of disappointment when challenges come.

Presumption is to not know God and attribute characteristics to Him that are not his.

Pastor Don spoke about women who have had bad earthly fathers. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that any earthly father is the way God is. People with bad earthly fathers presume the Heavenly Father is as mean a father as their earthly father. That is presumptuous. Hurt people – hurt people.

Presumption is generated by pride. Out of pride we presume to know answers or what is motivating people and make judgments. They say if God likes me He would have answered my prayer when I told Him to.

God teaches perseverance and patience through hardship and trial.

Because Paul and Silas persevered in faith, they were able to build a church in jail. By believing in faith despite their outward circumstances something good happened.

Determine you will not be moved. If you are in faith believing and don’t get the job. Don’t be moved. Stay in faith.

We are not in faith all the time.  People change what God says to meet their circumstances. Faith brings success and prosperity for people. If you pray for a job and don’t get the job you want when you think you should get it, do you say, it was not the will of God for me to prosper?

Pray in Jesus’ name.  Believe something will come for me in the proper time. God prepares us for the proper position. We need to trust God.

Desperation and fear are subject to the divine will of God. Whatever He has for me is the best for me, no matter what happens, we still trust God. We may not understand but we stay yielded to the saving will of God.

Speak it into existence. Keep believing that God has a higher purpose for your circumstance. Keep hope alive. Biblical hope leads to Biblical faith. You can’t have faith without hope. When we give up on hope we never come into faith.

Jesus healed people who were believing, or if they were in faith and in hope he helped them get to belief.

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is a progressive development. We move from hope into faith. Faith is the finality of an accomplished condition. There is no instance of anyone in the Bible saying I’m faithing for this to happen. We believe for it to happen. Believing progresses from hope and a sense of a different reality. So, when I am believing for something – it is a process of accepting something as true. This is not giving mental assent to truth.  Faith is when we’ve arrived.  Faith is an assurance that an event will come to pass.

When we are believing for something we can be at different levels of agreement that something is going to happen.  Faith is when we have arrived.

When Jesus healed the boy who was possessed by an evil spirit, He asked the father if the father could believe.  The man answered, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”

God can work with mental assent if we are honest about our level of faith. God can help us to believe.  In many instances our disbelief is bigger than our belief.

When it comes to faith, you are either IN faith or NOT in faith. So we are believing until I arrive at knowing.  Knowing is faith.  Belief is progressive.

Jesus believes.  With God all things are possible. Jesus (God) knows He is in faith. God is not in doubt.

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed and asked God to take the cup from Him. When God said no, Jesus answered, “Not My will by Thy will be done.”

When God tells us something we wrestle. We want to be on earth determining everything, but we don’t know the whole of a situation. Life on earth is not the end all. The way we live now determines our position. We excel when we have faith in Him.

People get habitually disappointed. God tests us to find out where our faith is.

God is God of Justice and justice will prevail at the end of this.

We misinterpret things because our flesh gets in the way. Our faith sustains us. If we do not do what God wants us to do in faith, God will find someone to get His job done. If you move from disappointment to despair, you are not in faith. You had a bad experience, but that does not mean to step out of faith.

No matter what it looks like, give God the glory and honor. If I give up today and complain to God, God is not getting glory for it.

Who’s bigger?  God or the devil?

If we catch hell, God may be permitting us to be tested. Will we sit down and step out of God’s covering or will we stay in faith?

Rebecca, Jonah, Job, Solomon are all heroes of faith.  Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter in the Bible. Many heroes of faith are listed.  These heroes won the victory, but not all who hold onto faith come out in what seems like victory to us.

Hebrews 11:30-35 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

Out of their weakness, God made these heroes strong. Verse 35 is scary. Heroes of faith died. They could have been delivered. The power of God by faith could have delivered. But some chose not to accept deliverance so they would obtain a better resurrection.

We fight so hard to stay alive. Paul tells the people the only reason he stays alive is because of ministering to the believers.

Hebrews 11:36-39 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

These heroes suffered much without receiving the promise in the flesh. They chose to serve God and didn’t use faith to escape. They chose to take the opportunity to die for Christ.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs shows a different aspect of faith and God’s deliverance.

Verse 39 shows they obtained a good testimony through faith. They didn’t have to see the promise because they were willing to die a martyr’s death to receive the promise.

Hebrews 11:40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Verse forty is the promise.

The man with the epileptic son goes to Jesus and says the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon. Jesus tells the disciples, “Oh you of little faith.” Jesus casts out the demon.

In the last 2000 years disciples of God have had little faith. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us and many refuse to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus did His work on the Cross. He died for our salvation, and shed His body and blood for our healing. He defeated the enemy. His work is done. He is seated at the right hand of God and it is up to us, His disciples are to continue His work on earth. We fight a defeated foe. Only when we give satan power can satan affect us.

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us. He is asking us what you will do in His Name? He asked His disciples, “When I come, will I find faith on the earth?”

How much faith can I operate in?  What do I believe God to do? What are we going to do with the Gospel? Will we re-write it into a faithless Gospel, or will we apply the truth of God’s Word to our situations?

Are we of little faith? Jesus told us that believers will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Can we up the ante? Can we grow from naysayers to believers?

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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