There is a specific sequence of events to the development of Faith. A progressive time-line that allows us to know exactly were we are in the process. Some of the steps have clear demarcations and others are harder to define. Let us visualize an imaginary journey through this process of Faith:
1. A State of Satisfaction – We have no needs and all is well. We are whole, and lack nothing. For simplicity’s sake, let us begin at this starting point.
2. A Need Arises – For example, we get sick. We now have a need for healing.
3. A Desire Is Created – The need for healing creates a desire for healing. We want to be well again.
4. Hope Comes – Our desire turns into hope when we discover reasons sufficient to make us think that we can receive the desire. Receiving the desire now becomes a possibility, and the thought of this ‘possibility’ produces hope. Hope is based on knowledge, and there are two main categories of knowledge, they are:
Worldly Knowledge – Physical and sensory information that comes to us from what we see, hear, or feel. We hear of a similar person being healed, or we hear that it may disappear in a few days. Whatever it is, it encourages us to expect an answer, and thus produces hope.
Bible Knowledge – A Bible passage or statement that communicates to us the possibility of God supplying the need, or satisfying the desire. A knowledge based on knowing God’s will on the matter.
In both of these cases, we associate with the information that healing is now a possibility. We start to accept the idea that we MAY be healed. We do not have it yet, but we may have it. We develop an expectation, and that expectation is called hope.
Bible hope is where most Christians live, never progressing on to full faith, or as the writer of Hebrews states, “the full assurance (completion) of hope.” Some people call this hope, ‘head knowledge,’ because it produces a (mental) knowledge of the possibility without a real heart reality. We confuse thoughts of, ‘I think I have it,’ with, ‘I do have it.’ One cannot pray effectively if their heart is filled only with hope and not with faith.
5. Seeking The Answer – To move on we must seek the answer to the question, ‘can I, or will I, be healed?’ For worldly or natural hope, one attempts to look to examples and/or individuals. For Bible hope, one can only look to the word of God.
This is where worldly or natural hope ends. It can go no further. We may gain more and more physical evidence to strengthen our hope, but it will always stay as just that, nothing more. There is nothing in this world that can effectively communicate to our heart that we will surely receive the desired result. There are no guarantees in this world sufficient for that, because there is no one or nothing able to give that guarantee.
Only God can give an absolute guarantee, so we seek the answer within the promises of the Bible, and we pursue Him with diligent seeking prayer. We persistently study the scriptures concerning our desire, and by doing so, we plant seeds of hope in our heart. Our continual seeking and spirit led walk nurtures these seeds, protects them, and makes them grow. If we persevere, we will witness these seeds growing up into a full harvest.
6. Faith Comes – The harvest of a word of hope is a word of faith. If you plant hope, you will receive faith. God communicates a direct message of confirmation to our heart concerning our desire. Similar to hope, faith is also based on knowledge. This absolute guarantee, spoken to us by God, produces in us a ‘heart knowledge,’ that transforms a potential thing into a reality. It is now our healing; we are given ownership of it by Him. In our heart, we have it now. We now know that it is coming, that it is ours, and that we have only yet to wait patiently for it.
Faith is the present reality of our future desire. Our once future possibility is now made a reality by the communication response of God. What was once a ‘could be’ is now a ‘will be.’ The same Bible that first spoke a general message of hope, now speaks a personal message of faith. Faith is the harvest of the promises of things hoped for, the heart evidence of things not yet seen. Our healing is now a personal reality to us.
7. Faith Is Released – Through prayer this faith reality of healing is released into this world and into our body. Prayer is nothing more than the verbal release of faith. Faith is the active ingredient, and once we have it, we know it. We no longer speculate in hope, but we now receive in faith’s assurance. Hope looks toward receiving in the future; faith receives the future into the present.
“..and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick…” James 5:15
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
“…for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:10
“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak…” 2 Corinthians 4:13
8. Patiently Wait – We must patiently and consistently walk with God in the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing that the desire is ours, and that we will receive at any moment. If we really are in faith, we will walk in the same joy and peace as having already received the physical manifestation.
“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11, 12
9. Healing Comes – The final manifestation of the reality that is already in our heart. This heart reality has brought a new reality to this world and to our body.
10. Satisfaction Restored – Our need is satisfied and we are restored back to our point of beginning.
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole (again).” Mark 10:52
Do this repeatedly, in every area of your life, and for the rest of your life. This is the narrow road of faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who (diligently) seek Him. Hebrews 11:6