Focus: ‘Faith’ in a positive and negative sense
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.
As you attempt to build your faith and keep moving forward, it’s important to think about faith itself, and what it actually is.
Those of us who were raised in church and learned memory verses might automatically think we know exactly how to define it. We might spew out a few well known scriptures like: ‘Calling those things which are not as though they were’–or ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’, or the one above, which I’ll repeat, ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’…and all of those are true.
It’s possible you’ve related faith to an act that can bring about a positive outcome–and that would also be true. However, I’d like you to consider the flip side of positive faith and how the opposite of positive faith could be affecting your life.
There is a story in the Bible about a man named Job. Job was a bit of a worrier. In the first chapter of the book of Job, we are told that if Job’s seven sons and three daughters were in attendance at a feast–Job would go and offer sacrifices ‘just in case’ any of them might have sinned while they were there. It says that Job did this continually.
Job went through a time of extreme testing. It turns out that all of Job’s sons and daughters were killed in a terrible storm while they were ‘feasting’ at the oldest son’s home. Besides that, all of Job’s livestock and servants were attacked and killed by foreign enemies.
A short time later, Job was stricken with boils that covered his whole body. His pain was so intense, he cursed the day he was born. Job was sorry to be alive and wished he could die.
In Job 3:25-26, he makes some statements that are very thought provoking. He says: “For the thing which I greatly feared is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.”
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When you think about a statement like: ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’–are you able to interpret that in terms of a negative kind of faith? Think of it this way, Job was seeing the substance of what he had hoped wouldn’t happen. The negative things Job had been obsessed with, happened.
Job was obsessively obedient to God, hoping nothing bad would ever happen to his sons and daughters, instead of trusting his sons and daughters welfare to God. He constantly took it upon himself to offer sacrifices ‘just in case’ his children might sin.
All of Job’s worrying about his children didn’t save them. What Job feared came to pass. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this line of thinking and how destructive it can be. The real point to be made here is: Fear is negative faith--or the absence of faith.
If you and I are wanting to move ahead in the development of our faith, we have to stop worrying and allowing fear to torment us. We can’t keep dwelling on the ‘what ifs’. We can’t keep saying, ‘I’m so afraid of…’ When we are tempted to speak negative things because of fear, we must see it just like any other kind of powerful declaration we would make in a positive sense.
When you say, “I am not afraid”–it is a positive faith statement. It may not be entirely true as far as a complete manifestation–maybe you are still afraid–but in a statement of positive faith, you’re declaring you want to not be afraid. You want it so badly that you’re calling something that is ‘not yet’, as though it had already come to pass through the act of saying, “I am not afraid.”
Victory in the area of building our positive faith will only happen if we focus our attention on the promises of God found in His Holy Word. There is comfort and courage to be found there–if we are willing to seek it.
Our lives will be transformed in positive ways as we stop speaking negative words and imagining negative outcomes to our circumstances.
Declaration: I will find new strength by cultivating the growth of positive faith in my life. I will feed my positive faith from the promises I find in the Word of God.
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