To Increase Faith, Praise!
Rhema! I love it when the Lord takes the Logos, the written word and makes it come alive to me through the revelation brought by the Holy Spirit, that is Rhema, the living active word that lights up all my mind and my spirit to truth. With Rhema I see. With Rhema I am able to apply the word. When God brings Rhema or enlightenment to a scripture there is immediate impact.
This week as I studied Romans I received “Rhema” around the correlation between faith and praise.
Romans 4:17-21 (AMPC)
17 As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.
18 [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be.
19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb.
20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,
21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
Abraham knew God. He had followed God. God gave him a promise. In the natural it looked impossible, in fact it appeared ridiculous. The facts were obvious. There was no way naturally that he and Sarah could have children. They were just too old.
When we have our eyes on the facts faith ebbs. “But he is paralyzed”, “The doctors say there is nothing else they can do”…. “There is no work”… “She has fallen away from the faith so far”…”We are out of options”… “ The house isn’t selling”… “ I don’t have time, energy, resources to do this”…
The list goes on, we are all able to fill in the facts.
Last week after Dave had knee surgery the doctor and nurses all warned us how rough the second night would be. The pain would hit. The swelling would increase. Sleep might prove evasive at best. We were concerned. Then right before I left the hospital I realized we were believing according to the historical facts for most patients, but Dave was not most patients. He had a covenant keeping God. So I said enough of the negative declaration! I declare less pain and a great nights sleep! I also prayed and praised God that night and declared the word over Dan who goes to our church and had his knee operated on the same day. The next morning Dave told me he had slept well. When we got into physical therapy with the other knee patients two men had good nights, Dave and Dan. The facts and faith collided, faith always wins!
Lets take a look at how Abraham stood in faith against all the facts.
Verse 17 tells us that Abraham believed God. He knew that even in the face of that which looked as good as dead God gives life. All it takes is for God to speak of that which we do not see, that which has yet not existed, as if it is a present reality and it will be so.
How was it that Abraham did not waver in his faith in God and the promise God had made him? I believe the key to his faith is revealed in verse 20. Unbelief did not shake his confidence in the promise of God because he gave praise and glory to God and then grew strong and became empowered by faith!
Praise means “to commend, to applaud or magnify”. For the Christian praise is an expression of worship as we lift up our voices and magnify the Lord. Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural and into the powerful presence of God.
Psalm 89:15 (NIV)
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
When we Praise Him we walk in the light of His presence!
His presence and light expels our darkness. In His presence is joy and hope and direction.
Psalm 16:11 (AMP)
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
As we Praise him our faith builds.
Romans 10:17 (AMP)
17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.
I quote this scripture a great deal. As we listen to the preached word of God our faith builds. We need to remember that declaration of the promises of God is self-preaching! Abraham knew the character of God. Abraham knew the promises of God. He stood and looked not at the natural but to his supernatural God, the God who promised.
Hebrews 12:2[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith
We like Abraham have to look away! Away from that which seems as good as dead, that which seems impossible to human reason and perhaps ridiculous in the eyes of those around us. We must Praise God for that which He promised. As we praise our faith will be strengthened.
Last week I was in the Psalms and I was also struck by the concept of Praise.
David had a promise that he would be king. He was anointed to be king. However, before that promise was realized his life was a bit bumpy, no red carpet found. He spent much of his time either in battle or hiding from Saul and his men in caves. It is in this place of being unjustly pursued that we find David praising God.
Psalm 59:16-17 (AMP)
But as for me, I will sing of Your mighty strength and power;
Yes, I will sing joyfully of Your loving-kindness in the morning;
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
To You, O [God] my strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my stronghold [my refuge, my protector, my high tower], the God who shows me [steadfast] loving-kindness.
Psalm 56:3-4 (AMP)
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust and faith in You.
In God, whose word I praise;
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not fear.
What can mere man do to me?
Sounds a bit like Abraham. Abraham stood on the promise for an heir for 25 years, David on the promise he would be king for close to 15 years from the time he was first anointed by Samuel to the time he became king over Judah. I believe both men were examples to us as to how we are to deal with problems and dismal circumstances as we wait for the promises of God to be made manifest in our lives.
Remind yourself of who God is.
Remember how much He loves YOU!
Recall and declare the Promises He has made. They may not be promises for the exact house you want or the perfect job you are hoping for but there are so many promises that God will take care of your every need.
Praise him for who He is and those promises even when you do not feel like it. Praise him and be strengthened. Praise Him and watch your faith grow to believe Him for even greater things!
Isaiah 40:31Amplified Bible (AMP)
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.