What hope is there when so many have told you it’s impossible? I contest that there is and has always been ONE hope. There aren’t options of hope that are in conveniently tiered sales packages to fit your budget of faith. Hope is begotten from the marriage between Faith and an unwavering desire to pursue God. Faith is the key to it all and that unlocks doors for us, but it is obedience to God that turns the key and gives us access to hope! James tells us that we must accompany our faith with works, for faith without works is dead (James 2:20). You can say you believe all day long, but if you don’t put action to that belief then there is no fruit…no substance to your “belief.”
We can also see that faith misused or misdirected can leave us feeling hopeless. Much like trying to fit the wrong key to the wrong lock will leave you locked out and unable to gain entry to your destination. The abuse of faith can leave you frustrated, confused, and often times angry when what you thought should happen fails to come to pass. I have heard many preachers and teachers teach on faith as though it were witchcraft. As though it were a spell that one can chant long enough and believe hard enough to bring something to pass. And because they called it faith and used “In the Name of Jesus” within their incantation, it now obligates God to fulfill their command. That kind of doctrine is foolishness. If you’re being taught to have faith “enough” to obtain something, then you don’t know faith. It’s a faith in God, not faith in things or faith in obtaining things, that effects God. Without that kind of faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). In paraphrasing, Paul says in Philippians 4:13 that he has learned to live with plenty and learned to live with lack because he knows that it is through Christ that he truly lives. It is his faith placed in Christ, not in circumstance, that gives him the strength he needs to face anything. That kind of faith can move a mountain!! That is where hope can be found like a beacon in darkness. For in this we know that the sun will rise again and joy will come in the morning. We can have peace in knowing that our outcome, in every circumstance, lies in His hands. Nothing surprises God. He has already made provisions before you were even aware of a problem!
Faith is also being taught and understood in some circles as a complete willful ignorance. The old saying is “ignorance is bliss.” That may be true when talking about what kind of unsavory food was mixed into your meal, but not when it comes to matters of life and death. When Jesus tells His disciples in Mark 11:23, “Say to this mountain be thou removed and cast into the sea,” I assure you, He never told them to just ignore it and it will go away! Willful ignorance is not faith! I would say that it demonstrates the lack thereof. True faith, the kind that Jesus is teaching in this demonstration, is to sell out to God and totally trust that He has worked out everything before you’ve ever even been aware of it (Deut. 31:8 & Isaiah 45:2). It is ONLY upon that knowledge of God and total pursuit of God that you can speak and the circumstances surrounding you must comply. In other words…knowing and walking in the will of God creates a trust in God that knowing where He leads you he will make a way for you. So, if there’s a mountain in your way it’s also in God’s way because you are in His will! So, follow hard after God and speak to the mountain…don’t ignore it. It may be a big mountain and it may be threatening and dangerous…shaking, loud, and ominous, but if God sent you, that mountain has got to go! This brings a better understanding to knowing that If God be for you then who can be against you (Romans 8:31)! Active Faith in God is the most powerful force in the universe. The devil uses guile and circumstance to come against your knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5), so he’s not intimidated by voodoo faith and magic spells to just say “in the name of Jesus I’m believing for a Cadillac.” He knows that when that Cadillac don’t come and that’s all the faith you’ve got and that’s the only way you know how to use faith…you’re like play-doh in his hands. He can get you all kinds of bent out of shape. But when your faith is anchored in God, a sure foundation, unshifting and never changing, Satan has no hope to defeat you and every plot and scheme he’s hatched against you will fail because you walk in real faith (Ephesians 6:11)!
My wife wrote a song over a decade ago called “On the Other Side of This.” This song has helped so many people get through a lot of things they were sure was gonna take them under. It’s a song that reminds us of the human element of serving God. Sometimes we get tired and battle weary when facing our adversary, but then the song reminds us that our hope is built on knowing that God is with us through the storms of life. Much like Jesus was there when the disciples thought they were all about to die. Jesus didn’t say they had lack of faith because they were aware of the storm…he scolded them for their lack of faith in forgetting who was with them. The faith Jesus wanted for them was that they were safe from all harm simply because He was with them. The song then goes on to say that no matter what comes my way I can even walk through hell if I have to because you’re by my side!! When we walk with God we can have a confidence in knowing that because He is in the middle of it all we will make it On the Other Side of This!!!
Be encouraged friends and have faith in God! Know that no matter the circumstance, God is able!!