I love the Living Bible translation of Hebrews 11:1. It speaks to my heart like no other. It defines faith in ways that I can relate to. It reminds me that the kind of faith that God approves of is a deep-down confidence that something we want is really going to happen – if not today, then the next day, or somewhere down the line. It’s feeling certain in our hearts that “what we hope for is waiting for us,” even though we can’t yet see it with our eyes.
The Lord gave me a great example of how I can know for sure if I am really trusting Him and taking Him at His Word. Suppose I tell my grandson, William, “Will, I’m going to take you to the zoo!” He doesn’t look at me dubiously and say, “I’ll believe it when I see it!” No, he immediately begins thanking me. He says, “Thank you, Grammy! That’s so nice of you! I can’t wait until I see the lions and the tigers! I’m going to take lots of pictures of the monkeys. And I’m going to eat popcorn and ice cream while I’m there. Hooray, I’m going to the zoo!” William is confident and certain that what he hopes for is waiting for him up ahead. That is true childlike faith – the kind of faith that God approves of.
Unfortunately, many times, when the Lord shows us a promise in His Word that He wants us to lay hold of, we begin reasoning in our minds in ways that literally talk us out of our blessings. We think, “That promise can’t be for me. How could that possibly come to pass in my life?” We begin to think that because we can’t envision HOW God could make it happen for us, it couldn’t possibly happen. Or, if we begin believing a promise that speaks to our hearts, we start to doubt it when we are faced with delays and detours. We forget that in God’s kingdom, delays are not necessarily denials.
I heard someone say that when we thank God AFTER He blesses us, that’s called “gratitude.” But when we thank Him BEFORE the blessing, that’s called “faith.” When we are confident that something we want to happen WILL happen…when we are certain that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we can’t see it up ahead…we are demonstrating the “kind of faith the men of old gained divine approval” for. (Hebrews 11:2 AMP) Today, start thanking God in advance for the answers to your prayers, and watch Him bring His promises to pass!
Prayer: Lord, work in my heart so that I can have the kind of faith that You approve of most. Show me which promises You long to bring to pass in my life, and help me to lay hold of them by faith. When the answers to my prayers don’t come as quickly as I’d like them to, remind me that delays are not necessarily denials. Thank You that as I praise You in advance for Your blessings, You will reward my faith in extraordinary ways!
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