Faith + Praise = Victory
Heb 11:1-3 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Faith is the conviction of something. It actually has two major different meanings in the Bible. There is ‘the Faith’ or the doctrine or the belief system that we live by. There is a lifestyle in ‘the Faith’.
There is ‘faith’ being persuaded of, credence. This is the faith found in Hebrews 11.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
If you have faith when you pray, you will receive.
Faith is called a shield, a walk, a stand, a life (Gal 2:20). Every area of your life touches on faith. We pray in faith, we are enriched by faith. We can overcome evil by faith. Without faith there is no reason to praise. Faith is our link from the natural to the supernatural. It is the currency to make transactions in the Spirit. Faith brings stuff into this world.
It is very important to simply believe God’s Word is true.
This is the bottom line—to simply believe.
Faith as a noun is mentioned over 200 times.
Where does faith come from and how do we increase it? It is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Your muscles have memory and become skilled. That’s like faith. Your faith can become skilled in believing in something.
The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith.
Rom 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
Everyone has a measure of faith. There is a measure of faith, some great, some small. Hearing a Word from God must increase understanding. There is mercy given to those who can’t understand. This is for children.
A little child had a balloon that popped. She went to her daddy and asked him to fix it. That’s the kind of faith we need to have with Jesus. He truly can fix all the pieces and put them back together.
Jesus can do it, He’s our Dad! God is able to do anything!
There are levels and measurements of faith. We need to be not a church of small faith, or mustard seed faith. Our faith can’t stay the size of a seed. We need to let our faith grow big into that mustard tree!
If we’re going to get anything done in this hour of time in this city, we need great faith!
Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Psa 119:89 “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Faith is total dependence and total trust in an all-powerful God.
John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Prayer should have answers in this level of faith. All the things that you know to do to abide in Him and Him abide in you, should make it easier to receive the answers you’ve sought.
How is your faith on Monday? When things are tough? When there is a trial? When it’s not easy to feel God’s presence?
Let that great faith become a part of you, in every fiber of your being, all the time.
Rom 10:14 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Acts 8:5-8 “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”
There is something about faith. Philip had revival. God spoke to him and told him to talk to an Ethiopian. This man was already studying God’s Word. Philip just needed to explain it. When he did, this man decided to get baptized.
Acts 8:26-39 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
Mark 9:23 “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Lack of faith makes God angry.
There are hindrances to faith:
- Ignorance, not knowing the promises of God. You must read God’s Word.
- Disobedience or unbelief.. Real Biblical faith is obedience. Israel in the wilderness disobeyed had unbelief. Heb 4:6 “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:”
- Hope or ‘Someday Thinking’ can hinder faith. Hope is based on the future. Faith is right now. ‘I’m hoping God heals me—someday.’ Faith says, ‘I’m healed.’ Faith is ‘now’. Hope will defer faith. ‘God can if He wants to, but it’s okay if He doesn’t.’
- Natural Senses. I’ve got to see it or hear it to believe it. Trusting more in doctors than in God. Faith says God is working even if I can’t see it. Thomas was this way, ‘I will not believe until I put my finger in His side and touch the holes in His hands.’
- Wavering, in one day and out the other. Faith high/faith low. That doesn’t work in the long run. The Israelites did this as they wandered through the desert. They had manna, but they still didn’t trust Him. Don’t have a bipolar walk with God. Get consistent. Consistency is a jewel. Find it and keep it.
- A Feeling of Unworthiness. None of us are worthy! That has nothing to do with God’s kingdom. Isn’t it wonderful how God still blesses. Mark 16:13-14 “And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” No faith is no power, no revival, no victory, no action, no works, no Jesus! Our faith is a walk in the dark that says, ‘I won’t fall.’ Faith is still happy even when there’s nothing to be happy about. We walk by faith and not by sight.
People in the Bible that had great faith did not have a lack of action.
You can read about David’s faith when he fought Goliath. Faith drove him to the battlefield. Elijah prayed for rain and kept praying until he got his answer.
When your car doesn’t start, the first thing you do is try again because it’s supposed to work. When you pray, you’re going to get your answer because ‘it’s supposed to work.’
Noah had great faith. He built that thing!
Joshua had people walk around a wall day after day after day. He obeyed and walked by faith.
That same great faith is available to us, but we have to choose it.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full audio of this sermon (and other great sermons!) click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.