Volume 30

E. Michal Gayer
Volume 30

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is Present Tense

Devotional TeachingsThe Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 by saying, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” From this and the rest of the Word of God we can discern that faith is a spiritual substance. It is the evidence that there are things, which are hoped for but not yet manifested, still to come. When we need or desire something we do not have, we experience an expectation to obtain it, which is called “hope.” Faith is that spiritual quality which gives substance to hope. Faith is grasping the unseen aspects of hope and bringing them into the realm of reality. In other words, faith enables us to take a hold upon things in the unseen domain of hope, and bring it into the realm of our own personal reality.

Hope is always future tense. It lies in our future. Faith, on the contrary, is present tense. It is “now.” In a real sense, faith gives substance to the things hoped for. It believes that when you pray, you have obtained the thing you asked of God even before it becomes your manifest reality.

Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes to us by the hearing of the Word of God. That means that as we hear God’s Word over and over, we become established in believing that God is who He said He is and that He will do what He said He will do. It enables us to believe that we are whatever God said we are and we can do whatever God said we can do. That is faith, taking God at His Word. Our faith develops as we hear and assimilate God’s Word. It is strengthened as we act upon God’s Word.

Appropriating healing and receiving from God through faith is a process. F. F. Bosworth gives an interesting example of this process of receiving from God in his book Christ the Healer  (Baker Book House Co, 2003).  He likens our receiving from God to moves in the game of checkers. Each person moves in his own turn. When one person makes a move, he has nothing to do until the next person makes his move. When God provided for healing, He had made His move. He sent His Word. Jesus came. He lived, He ministered, He died and He arose from the dead fulfilling God’s Word and accomplishing the great work of redemption. God, through Jesus, had made His move.  He provided all that we need.

The next move is up to us. Now it’s our turn to act. Our move is to pray, trust God and expect that what He promised to provide in His Word, He will bring to pass. This faith step causes us to act upon what we know from the Word of God. We act upon our faith even before we see the results. In other words, it means we need to believe we’ve received when we pray for healing even before we experience the manifestation of healing in our body. Mark 11:23-24 underscores this when Jesus stated, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.” This step of faith in prayer is our move. Our move is to ask according to God’s will in Jesus’ name, believing in faith and expecting God to do whatever He promised He would do according to His Word. 

The person of faith needs only to know that God has spoken on his behalf in order to believe God’s Word and act upon it. Our move is a faith move that does not wait to see before it believes. It is God’s responsibility to do whatever He promised. His move follows our faith move. God heals after the prayer of faith has been offered and after we act upon it in faith. This final move belongs to God. God will not move out of His turn, but He will always move when it “is” His turn. God’s move is to do the thing He said He would do in His Word and fulfill His promise to the person who sought Him by faith.

Remember, first of all God moves by giving us His Word. The second move is ours. We move by hearing God’s Word and acting upon it in faith. The third and final move belongs to God. God moves fulfilling His word to us. It’s a simple but very true pattern of how God responds to our faith. Our faith in a very real sense sets God to working on our behalf according to His Word. Because not all healings are instantaneous, our stance of faith keeps the process active until the healing secured at the cross by Jesus becomes manifested. The key to obtaining blessings from the spiritual world is faith which believes before it sees. 

Faith considers the work of healing finished even before it is naturally manifested because of Jesus’ great sacrifice at the cross (ref. I Peter 2:24). Faith stands unmoved until all is corrected or set right. Victory comes from persistent faith that refuses discouragement always remaining unshakably fixed to the truth of God’s Word. Faith accepts the fact that as surely as Jesus bore away our sins, He also bore away our diseases, sicknesses and pains. It refuses to accept otherwise.