In the book of James, the 1st Chapter, Verses 2-4, it says to “[c]onsider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials . . . because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” One of the most difficult things to do in life is bless the challenges that we fear the most – whether they are health, relationships, jobs, or other circumstances. But only when we come face to face with our challenges do we learn what true faith is. We pray for our struggles’ quick disappearance. We long for a painless resolution, insistent that it would be easier if challenges disappeared than for us to be transformed in the process of growing through them. The true miracle of faith is the courage that it gives us to remain steadfast despite the appearances and to believe without doubting, to withstand whatever we must face – knowing that God is absolute good.
OUR FAITH MUST SURVIVE ALL DOUBTS
The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural and the Healing Power of Hope by Dr. Allan J. Hamilton, a great neurosurgeon, is one of my favorite resources for how to be faithful when it comes to healing. He tells the story of how one of his patients named little Beau – and his grandmother, Mrs. Hilts, survived what no doctors believed would be possible. Little Beau had condition that delayed his neurological development and Grandmother Hilts had ovarian cancer. After another doctor, a Dr. Michelson told her that she had less than 4 months to live, Mrs. Hilts asked Michaelson if he regularly attended church and he said no. “In your line of work,” Mrs. Hilts said, “that’s a shame.” And she began to read from the book of James, Chapter 1, Verse 5.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that waverth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
This Grandmother of light and Spirit said: “I am not a wave, Dr. Michelson! I am a rock! A rock made by my absolute and unshakeable faith in the Lord! I am not double-minded! I am single-minded in my purpose! I am totally focused on my allegiance to God. Let His will be done! …. The Lord has given me this child for a reason.” She said
“I cannot imagine that [God] would place this dear child in my care if he did not intend for me to be here to take care of him. I know that the Lord will help me. I have more faith than you could ever imagine.” And with that, she took Beau’s little red wagon, in which she carried Beau, and departed.
The note in her medical files, memorialized by the social worker, reads “Mrs. Hilts acknowledged the Doctor’s comments and asserted that she had no intention of dying because she believed the Lord had other plans for her.” She proved to be correct. Little Beau made an astonishing recovery in his intellectual abilities and eventually went to trade school; he also got married. Grandmother Hilts was at Beau’s wedding.
However, less than three years after Dr. Michelson declared Mrs. Hilts unlikely to live for four months, he died. Grandmother Hilts attended the doctor’s funeral, holding the same little bible she read from in his office. At the ripe old age of 88, Mrs. Hilts was also the keynote speaker at a group of cancer survivors.
God will see us through every trial, tribulation or test with triumph.
OUR FAITH MUST BE PERFECTED WITH PATIENCE
Jesus teaches us that our faith makes us whole, but our faith can only do its great work if put to the test. How long had the woman with the issue of blood been tested? For 12 years before she was able to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. The bible says in Matthew 9:22 that Jesus turned to her and said, “take heart daughter, your faith has healed you.”
Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Patience is a significant portion of the test of faith that teaches us whatever it is that we want, need or desire to see in the flesh is already done. God is the material, substance, cells, molecules, atoms, energy, power and presence of all form, and everything that God has made is good. Nothing acts upon, limits, mis-shapes, stagnates, intimidates, or stand between God’s good. We have to have the faith to be loving enough, daring enough, creative enough, and patient enough to learn to see that God is always blessing us. If you are growing through a struggle, ask God – the Universe – Divine Mind every day to reveal to you the blessing of the test that confronts you.
OUR FAITH MUST LEARN TO ASK
Our faith is shaped by its power to ask for whatever we want, believing that we will receive it. If we don’t ask, we have not opened up our heart to be receptive to the deliverance that we need. In Matthew 7:6-9, Jesus says: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” In John 14: 12-14, Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
OUR FAITH MUST BE SHOWN BY FORGIVENESS
Sometimes we block our good with negative thoughts – resentment, shame, avoidance, anger, even jealousy. Faith, however, is empowered by the purity of our consciousness. Faith lifts us above the fray to embrace and radiate the love of God – without any negativity whatsoever. The challenge of being faithful teaches us to let go of everything and everyone. It’s not optional; it’s not debatable; it’s not negotiable. Jesus said that we should not just forgive “seventy times, but seventy times seven times” (NKJV and Amplified) “seven times, but seventy-seven times” (NIV) (Matthew 18:22) – in other words, we always have to be in a mental state of forgiveness. Otherwise, we cannot move forward. We become like Lot’s wife — who turned back and became a pillar of salt. She could not move forward with faith because she was stuck in the past.
OUR FAITH MUST BE FORGED IN RIGHT JUDGMENT
Right judgment is the realization of God as absolute good – not halfway or partially or a little bit of good – but everywhere present, all-knowing, all-powerful good. If the absolute goodness of God is always blessing us, then we must have the faith to see everything that happens in perfect divine order and be grateful for the blessings and the revelation and the truth of every circumstance. God – Spirit – Love – Divine Mind is always ahead of us, always sees the whole picture, always has a blessing in store, but we can’t see it in the flesh, we have to have to center in the faith that we are protected, prospered and on point with God as our guide. As John 7:24 says “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” Our right judgment is knowing that in Hebrews 13:5, God says, “I will not leave you or forsake you.” In Jeremiah 30:17, God says “I will give you back your health and make you whole again.”
OUR FAITH MUST GIVE THANKS BEFORE IT SEES EVIDENCE IN THE FLESH
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul says “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Giving thanks is not a quid pro quo. It does not make any difference to God whether you give thanks or not. But it makes a difference to our faith – to whether we are in tune with the divine flow of God’s blessings. A grateful heart opens the door to the flow and becomes an attractive force to draw the great things that are already there. Plato said, “A grateful mind is a great mind which [continuously] attracts to itself great things.” Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he first gave thanks (John 11:41).
We give thanks – not just for the good that we desire but also for the tests that shape us and form us and make us who we are. In this consciousness, know that whatever challenges you face, they are opening the door to the incredible blessings of God to pour through. Thank God for sending them. Have no doubt whatsoever that your healing is taking place, that your life is being re-ordered, that the strength of God is empowering you like never before. Release any negativity that might be blocking your ability to feel the presence of God. No hatred, or fear, or envy, or similar foolishness is worth blocking your good. Send everyone and everything love. Do nothing out of integrity, nothing that would harm others. Ask for your good; God is always blessing us. Know that no matter what the appearances are, your good is here, so give thanks.