January 12th

Faith that Brings Results

13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:13-21 NIV
 

Faith is an essential ingredient for finding freedom from addictions and other struggles with sin.  God has made some tremendously powerful promises to those who believe in Jesus Christ.  For example, God promises us power to put to death our lustful deeds of the flesh, and to live a new life pleasing God (Romans 8:13).  If we take Godís word at face value and apply it to our situation, it should work, right?  It may be that simple for those who have near-perfect faith, but for those who sometimes waver in unbelief, the results may not always happen the way weíd like.  

So how do we exercise the kind of faith that brings results?   Paul uses Abrahamís faith as an example to help us answer this.  Abraham believed in God.  He believed in God who gives life to the dead and who ďcalls those things which do not exist as though they didĒ (17 NKJV).  Abraham, contrary to hope, in hope believed and became the father of many nations as God had promised.  Abraham did not let the physical reality of his situation hinder his faith.  Even though he was growing very old, and it didnít look like anything was going to happen, he did not waver through unbelief.  Instead, he was strengthened in faith, and was fully convinced that God would keep his promise. 

Believe that God can do things that are impossible.  He gives life to what has died and calls things that do not exist as though they did.  When we look at our life, we may see sin ruling over us.  We may see impossible odds for getting out of bondage we are trapped in. On the other hand, God looks at our life through the blood of Jesus and sees a new person that perhaps we have not yet become.  He sees us free from sinís clutches and living in victory and fruitfulness for his kingdom.  

Our part is to join God and believe in his promises of freedom found in his word.  For example, Godís word says, ďFor the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death Ē (Romans 8:2 NKJV).  If we stand on such promises each day as we fight the temptations, we will begin to experience victory. Do you believe that?  We must not look at our physical circumstances or recent failures and conclude that freedom is impossible.  Such doubt will weaken our faith.  

It is helpful to remember that God will help you by strengthening your faith (Mark 9:23-25). The word says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  Abraham was strengthened in his faith when he did not waver in unbelief.  Likewise, as we believe Godís promises, he will strengthen our faith along the way and help us stand firm against temptation. He will help us become fully convinced that he will keep his promises to us.  Along the way, we should take care to thank him and to praise him.    

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

ďLord Jesus, I praise you and thank you for giving me new life through the Holy Spirit.  Thank you for having faith in me and promising me freedom from any sin struggle I may be in.  Please forgive me for the times that I have doubted you.  Please cleanse my mind of doubt by the blood of Jesus and fill me with your perfect faith.  I receive it now!  I join you now in faith, believing in your promises and walking in purity from today forward.  Thank you Jesus!  In your name I pray, Amen!Ē