August 19, 2011
Have you ever encountered someone who made a comment similar to: “Their faith was shattered”? Or maybe they said it of themselves, “After that situation, my faith was just shattered”.
The problem with these comments is that they are confusing Faith with Belief.
As we learned on Wednesday Word Study – Faith, there is a difference between the two.
Faith is a divine gift from God. It is a DIVINE certainty that something will or will not happen. It is a knowing that cannot be described or touched, but resides deep in our soul, our inner most being. A divine gift from God that cannot be shattered, damaged or destroyed.
Belief is a confidence that something is a certain way, will or will not happen. It resides in the mind of an individual. It is usually based on previous experiences or training.
I used to ponder this scripture a lot:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
Having lived a life of faith and faith teaching for almost 40 years this used to stump me. How can hope be deferred if our hope is in Christ and our faith is in Him?
Well while studying faith this week I have come to realize something very important that I believe will help all of us, me included. There isn’t a one of us out there who have hoped, prayed and believed for something that didn’t happen.
I would say that most of the time we were quick to just say that it must not have been God’s will for us. But we know even when we are saying it that it just doesn’t ring true in our hearts. But it is the only explanation we have.
We many times are referring to this very scripture below when we come to that conclusion.
1 John 5:14-15 AMP
14And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
15And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
But we as His children seek to be in His will. I know there are times when a certain job or move is not of Him and when we don’t get the job or we make the move and then it doesn’t feel right or work out, we know that it was not His will.
But there are so many things in our lives that we can have certainty are His will and when we hope towards them and then they don’t happened we are shaken.
We know that on the trip to Calvary Jesus took 39 stripes for our healing. He bought and paid for it there so we would never have to be sick again. Yet here we are struggling with this very thing.
He also became poor and weak so we did not have to be poor and weak. He became sin and took the penalty once and for all for our sin so we would never have to suffer the punishment of sin.
There are certainties in the bible that we know are God’s will and yet when we pray, hope and believe, they do not come to pass. We believe that because we did not receive our healing that God did not mean for us to be healed. Or maybe that our healing was not bought and paid for by Christ and that healing is not for everyone, but for God to choose on a case by case basis.
But we must know that is not true. God is no respecter of persons. He loves us equally and would never withhold one universal gift from one of His children while giving it to another.
We have often chalked it up to ‘not enough faith’. We’ve come up with a multitude of reasons and excuses because we refuse to believe that the scriptures we read and studied about faith are wrong.
So where is the disconnect?
I have come to believe that the disconnect is in our concept of faith. I have come to believe that what we many times refer to as faith is really just a belief that something will happen.
Remember as we talked about on Wednesday, faith is a divine gift from God. It is not something we can generate or create on our own. It resides in our inner most being and is just something we know without any definitions or explanations, we just know!
I think what we do so many times is that we build a form of hope for something we want or need to happen, but instead of pouring faith into the form, we pour our own belief into the form.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
We must pour the supernatural gift of faith into our hope to manifest or materialize what we hope for. If we pour our own mental belief into our hope mistaking it for faith, our hope will be deferred! Our heart will be made sick!
So what must we do then? We must spend time with the Holy Spirit, requesting and receiving His gifts from Him. We must read the Word and allow the Spirit to teach us and bring revelation knowledge to us. We must listen to faith based teaching by credible pastors and teachers. We must share testimonies of faith with our friends, family and co-workers. This is how we grow that seed of divine faith given to us!
And even past experiences can produce faith when you tell them to yourself and to others again and again! When you recite to yourself all that God has done and you ‘hear’ it again, it builds your faith. Faith comes from the Holy Spirit BY hearing! Our faith will arise in our spirit man in the pit of our soul and that faith will not be denied!
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Once again we need to rethink what we know about this word, this concept. Are you filling your form of hope today with true Holy Spirit faith or are you filling it with your own mental belief?
God has given His only son not only for our spiritual salvation, but for all the gifts a child of God is entitled to. He has even provided the gift of faith to pour into our hope to materialize those gifts here on this earth. But YOU must be the one to engage in a relationship with the Holy Spirit to receive those gifts.
Luke 11:13 AMP
13If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts [a]that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and [b]continue to ask Him!
Invite the Holy Spirit into your life today to teach you, comfort you and grant you His gifts.
3 thoughts on “Are You Confusing Faith with Belief?”
Wow! This left me feeling like a sprinter at the starting line–this blog is my “GO!” Nancy, you hit on the exact explanation of all of this. The “Hope deferred…” scripture has been on my heart a lot, lately. I’m pumped up and determined to re-hear!! Thank you!
Thanks Linda! I’m still processing it myself since the Lord showed it to me. As with all my posts they are the result of God teaching me as I go and learning for Him to transform me.