Does Your Faith Seem Weak?

by Sandra Conner (Radical About Jesus Ministries)

JESUS ON WATER WITH PETER - BLUE

During my 40 years of ministry to the sick, I have realized that one very common problem often plagues those seeking healing from the Lord. That problem is fear concerning their own faith and whether or not it is too weak to receive the help they need. So let me address the problem from two different directions. First of all, we will see from God’s Word that “little” or “weak” faith did not keep Jesus from performing extensive miracles for people when He ministered in person. And secondly, we will look at how to make sure our faith grows stronger on a continuous basis.

Many people look at the scripture in Mark chapter 6 where Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and teaches in their synagogue, but is rejected by the people. Verses 5 and 6 of that chapter say, “He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid his hands upon a few sick fold, and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.” If we are not careful, we can be easily deceived by the enemy Satan and the lies he has managed to slip into religious doctrines, and this situation offers an excellent opportunity for such deception. Many people who need healing read these words and say to themselves, “Well, Jesus could not do any big miracles there because those people did not have enough faith. If they didn’t have enough faith with Jesus standing right there, then I’m sure I don’t have enough because I need a really big miracle.”

But dear one, that is not the case at all. This passage does not say the people of Nazareth had “weak” faith. Look again. And look at the story as it is told in the other Gospels as well – especially, Luke, chapter 4. Each Gospel writer emphasized a different aspect of the story – as they did with many of the events they described – because each had a different job to do with his Gospel. Luke makes it clear that these same people totally rejected Jesus as the Messiah – or even a true prophet of God. They so rejected Him that they pushed Him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built and tried to throw Him off the hill to kill Him. We are not dealing with “weak” faith here. We are dealing with total unbelief, rebellion, and absolute rejection of Jesus as an anointed prophet of God. And, yes, in the face of such absolute unbelief and rejection, He cannot perform much in the way of miracles for them because God as instituted His covenant with man in such a way that man always has a part to play in the work of God in his life. These people made their choice not to receive miracles from Jesus.

But what is interesting to me is that, even with all that unbelief and rejection, the one thing Jesus was still able to do was heal some sick people. Now, isn’t that something to think about? He was not able to do any “mighty miracles,” but He was able to heal a few sick people – obviously some who did believe in Him. So doesn’t that tell us that, as far as God’s power is concerned, healing sick people doesn’t really count as “mighty miracles” ? In other words – it’s some of the easiest work God does. Now, of course, as far as God Himself is concerned, it’s all easy. But, you understand, these explanations were written in terminology that we can all relate to.

But does the Word have anything to say about people with “weak” faith getting something from Jesus? Most decidedly, yes! Let’s look at just a few. First of all, in Luke 17:5-6, Jesus’ disciples ask Him to increase their faith. But Jesus’ answer to them is, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’” Now, a mustard is extremely tiny. In fact in other places in scripture Jesus refers to it as one of the smallest of seeds. So if that is the measure of faith we need for a miracle as big as uprooting a tree and moving it into the ocean, getting healed doesn’t take a whole lot.

But Jesus follows this statement with a short sermon about how servants act, and He makes the point that we expect our servants to work. He indicates, by tying those two points together, that the amount of faith is not the problem, but rather being diligent to put that faith to work. We must remember that James says “faith without works (corresponding actions) is dead.” (James 2:17-26). The word “works” from the Greek literally means action that corresponds and bears out the truth of that faith that we claim to have. In other words, we must make sure we plant our faith in God’s Word and then act and speak in agreement with the Word if we expect our faith to bear fruit.

Now let’s look at Matthew 6, where Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, is telling His followers not to fret about food or clothing or other material needs because God will take care of them as surely as He does the birds and the flowers. In verse 30, He says, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Now, consider this dear reader. Even though their faith is “little,” God is going to be able to provide all their material needs – if they will just put that “little”faith in Him and let it work there.

And Jesus proved that what He said was true when He fed more than 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. In Matthew 14, He has compassion on the multitude who have followed Him and listened to His teaching for several days, and when His disciples suggest He send them away to find food, He says to the disciples, “They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him,’We have here but five loaves and two fishes.’” (Matt.14:16-17). You see, He was giving His disciples the chance to use their faith to feed the crowd. They could have done so, or He would not have told them to do so. But they did not yet understand about putting their faith to work so Jesus had to go ahead and work the miracle Himself. But notice: He worked this huge miracle for them even though their own faith was too “little” to do the job.

Now, lets’ look at one more. To my mind, it is one of the greatest examples because, to me, this miracle was enormous. Again, for God, it was everyday stuff. But looking from the human perspective, this is something extraordinary. When Jesus came to His disciples walking on the water, in Matthew 14:25-32, His disciples become fearful. He calls out to them to be not afraid, and Peter says, “Lord, if ti be thou bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus, without any hesitation, says, “Come,” and out Peter hops. Now the extraordinary thing is that, according to the Word, Peter, “walked on the water to go to Jesus.” This ordinary human being walked on the water. Was it because his faith was so “strong”? Let’s see.

We all know the story, don’t we? “But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’” And what does Jesus do? Does He say, “Sorry, Peter, your faith is too weak for you to get this miracle. If you can’t believe better than that you’ll just have to drown.”? Of course not.

“Immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him and said unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’” So there you have it, friend. Jesus says Himself that Peter had “little” faith, and we can see that he most certainly did. But Jesus was still able to perform miracles for him – and did so – even with “little” faith. In fact, I believe Jesus knew Peter well enough to know that He didn’t really have strong enough faith to make it on his own when He told him he could “come.” But that did not cause Jesus to tell Peter not to try. And even though Peter’s faith was “weak,” He still managed to walk on water for part of the way. Then even when he started sinking, Jesus was still able to work on His behalf and deliver him – even though his faith was only “little.”

So, dear one, don’t be burdened with fear concerning your faith because you think its small or weak. Just plant that faith into Jesus – and His Word – and it will be enough to give Him what He needs to work for you.

However, we do not want to be satisfied with faith that is not as strong as possible. So we need to realize that God has provided a way for our faith to increase and grow stronger on a consistent basis. That way is His Word. Now don’t get led astray by multiple religious doctrines that try to tell you that trials and tests will create or strengthen your faith. They will not! There is absolutely no scripture that even hints at the idea that trials will create faith. On the contrary, the Word of God tells us of only one thing that will create faith in us. Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF GOD.” You see, God’s Word is the only thing that will show us those spiritual things that are real. We cannot see them, touch them, taste them in the natural. We couldn’t believe in God by looking to our natural senses to tell us He was there. It took the Word. When we heard the Gospel – either by reading it, hearing it preached, listening to someone’s testimony – or in other ways – that Gospel (Word) convinced us that God was real and that He loved us. In other words, it created faith in us, and we were able to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior.

In the same way, all of the things God has provided for us – all of the victories He has accomplished through Jesus – are in the spirit realm. Our faith – by our own confession of that Word – and our own acts of obedience to that Word – bring those spiritual things into the natural realm. Salvation in all its forms (cleansing from sin, healing, deliverance, material provision, peace) is established in the spirit realm and moves into the natural realm – to manifest in our bodies, our minds, and our circumstances – through faith.

So if we want more faith – or we want our faith to grow stronger – we must get into God’s Word faithfully and apply it to our lives. We must not only read it; we must obey it – be doers of it.

Jesus talked about people who were dull of hearing and who had hardened hearts and could not believe. Do you know how they got that way? They heard the Word, but they made no response to it. In actual fact, every time we hear truth from God’s Word and just toss it aside and don’t apply it and obey it, there’s a film that begins to form over our hearing and over our hearts. The next time the Word comes forth, we don’t hear it quite as easily, and therefore, we can’t believe it quite as easily. Then if we do that again, the same thing happens again. After a while, our hearing becomes dull, and our hearts become hardened.

Contrarily, every time we hear truth from God’s Word and do apply it and obey it – make it a living part of us and our lives – our hearing becomes even more sharp, and our hearts are opened up even more by that Word becoming active on the inside of us. Life begets life. That’s why Jesus had so much to say about being careful how and what we hear, as in Mark 4:24-25. “Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. [A more clear translation of this last line is “from him shall be taken even that which he thinketh he hath.”]

So we do not want to be casual in our care of the faith God has given us. We need to be diligent to get into His Word and obey it so that our faith will continually increase and grow stronger. Remember, we are not interested in just having enough faith for our own needs. We want more than “little” faith because we want faith strong enough to help the other people in our lives receive their miracles from God’s hand as well.

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Image courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy:
http://karenswhimsy.com/public-domain-images/life-of-jesus/life-of-jesus-7.shtm

‘Thinking God’s Thoughts About Healing’ by Pastor John Osteen

I first became acquainted with John Osteen’s ministry more than 30 years ago. I was in need of healing in my body, and I desired to know God’s Word better and get closer to Him in my personal life and for the sake of ministering to others. The Lord led me to John Osteen and his teaching, and my life was never the same again.

Pastor Osteen is with the Lord now, but in his generation, he, along with several of his contemporary ministers, such as Kenneth E. Hagin, T. L. Osborn, and Oral Roberts, was faithful to preach the unadulterated Word of God about salvation and about deliverance and healing. The world has always had plenty of preachers and teachers who focus on man’s traditional beliefs and man’s denominational doctrines.  But people who need healing cannot receive faith from man’s doctrines and traditions. Faith comes (according to Romans 10:17) only from God’s pure Word.

For the past 38 years, I have  personally studied God’s Word on healing in depth and shared that Word and its power with thousands of people who needed salvation, deliverance, and healing. The Word works, and it is teaching of that Word that brings sick people to the place of faith for receiving healing from the Lord. Let the message on this Video build and energize your own faith.

(Sandra Conner) 

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John Osteen: ‘What To Do When Nothing Seems To Work’

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This message by Pastor Osteen is one of the best I’ve ever heard about how to proceed in faith when you’re having trouble receiving the manifestation of God’s healing and deliverance. Answers the questions of thousands of people who are struggling in faith and gives specific instructions on the steps to take to get the victory.

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Healing Scriptures Video Now On YouTube

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Good News!  We now have “He Sent His Word and Healed Them” — 39 minutes of healing scriptures — on YouTube. You can access the video and listen to Ted Pavloff read the healing Word of God and enjoy faith inspiring pictures while you listen.

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Are You ‘Laboring’ To Get Healed?

by Sandra Conner (Radical About Jesus Ministries)

 

Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”   Matthew 11:28-30

SUE'S LAKE SUNSET  with credits

The Message translation interprets part of this passage as follows: “Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Are you struggling with “trying” to get healed? Are you “working hard” at it? Have you prayed and thanked the Lord for His work, but find that you are still out of rest and feeling pressed and stressed to “get” healed? Then QUIT trying; QUIT straining; QUIT “working” at it.

This verse is for you. It’s for those who are “laboring” to get healed as well as those who are laboring in any other endeavor in life. We do not have to struggle to get healing from the Lord. In fact we don’t even have to “try.” All we have to do is ask and believe. It seems to be the “believing” part that causes most of the problem though. When we are really believing God, we are in a state of rest. In fact, in Hebrews, chapters 3 and 4, the Lord has a good deal to say about how the Israelites were refusing to believe Him and obey his Word to go freely into the promised land and trust Him to defeat the enemies there. He says clearly that their failure to believe Him enough to act on His Word kept them from getting into a state of rest. And as a result, kept them from receiving what they needed. He then tells us that all of this account has been recorded for our learning

So let’s learn. Verse 10 of chapter 4 tells us, “For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” You see, if we will stop laboring to do the “work” of getting healed ourselves, but will do the only work God gave us to do – believe – we will come into His rest. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (John 6:29). But remember, dear one, true believing is not in the head, but in the heart. It is so deep-seated that it moves us to act on what we believe. It moves us to confess and to act on God’s Word even when everything else around us says we should not.

But,” you may say to me, “you personally wrote an article about taking the Word of God as medicine and making sure we read it several times a day. Isn’t that a kind of work?” I did, indeed, write such an article. But that concept is not intended to be a burden of labor for us. Sitting down with God’s Word and absorbing it into our bodies and souls is not “work.” If we find that it is labor, then it is because we do not yet believe that the Word truly is our God-prescribed medicine. If we did, taking it into ourselves would be a joy and a rest. If we go to a human doctor, and he gives us an antibiotic and says to take one three times a day, we don’t consider taking that pill as “work” or “labor,” do we? Of course not. And neither is taking God’s medicine “work.

Furthermore, if we believe that the Word is God’s personal letter to us and that it can be trusted to give us all that we need, reading it every day would give us rest and peace continually. But if you find that you do not believe, dear one, do not despair! Because the more you do read the Word, the more it will create faith in you. Then you will believe it, and reading it will no longer be a task of labor, but a respite and refreshing.

But we must come to the place that we understand and believe that the healing we seek for our bodies is already accomplished by Jesus’ redemptive work. Isaiah says, “By His stripes, we are healed.” (Is. 53:6). Peter says, after the crucifixion and resurrection, “By His stripes, we were healed.” In God’s mind and heart, it is done, dear one. Now come to Him in faith and snuggle up to Him (He’s in His Word, you know), praising Him in peace until the manifestation comes.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11 that He is “meek and gentle.” The word meek is so often misunderstood by modern-day man. There is another “M” word that gets so much attention these days that many people fail to appreciate the true meaning of meekness. The word “macho” is the adjective so many in our society equate with strength and masculinity – so much so that when someone refers to a “meek” man, he is thought to be weak and ineffectual. Not so. The true definition of meekness is the quality of having great strength and power that is leashed and kept under rein so that it demonstrates itself only when called for and then only for good and not for evil. For Jesus to define Himself as “meek and gentle” means that He is capable of using His unequaled power any time He wills to do so, but that He wills to do so only when it will help those He loves or promote the Kingdom of God on this earth.

Another translation renders these words as “humble and gentle.” So what does the word “humble” tell us? Well, Jesus is a King, is He not? And when a king is humble it means two things: He is easily accessible, and He is easy to be entreated for His help and favors. Jesus is so easily entreated. When He walked the earth, every person who came to him for healing or help of any kind found Him willing, eager, even yearning to meet their needs. He’s the same today. The Lord whose strength carried Him through the most horrible beatings and the worst kind of death on our behalf – to set us free from the punishment we deserved – is the Lord who now wants to use His power to help us receive all the benefits of that ultimate sacrifice. And those benefits include healing for our bodies.

In these verses from Matthew, He also calls us to be yoked together with Him. When two oxen are yoked together it is so that they will pull together – always going the same direction, at the same speed, and with the same degree of leverage. That’s what Jesus wants for us: that, being yoked to Him, we will always be going the same direction, at the same speed that He is. We will not be pulling a heavy burden, straining and trying desperately in our own strength to get to something that is always just beyond our reach. We will just be moving along with Him, comfortably and joyfully, knowing that, yoked to the one who “always causes us to walk in victory,” we can’t miss getting to the desired result. And that includes getting to the manifestation of our healing.

So if you’ve been struggling, straining, laboring – stop it. Just get into God’s healing, life-giving Word and settle down into it until you are at rest. “Come to Me. Get away with Me, and you’ll recover your life.” (Matt. 11:28, The Message).