For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. — Mark 11:24 NET
by A.B. Simpson
Faith is not working up by will power a sort of certainty that something is coming to pass, but it is seeing as an actual fact that God has said that this thing shall come to pass, and that it is true, and then rejoicing to know that it is true, and just resting and entering into it because God has said it. Faith turns the promise into a prophecy. While it is merely a promise it is contingent upon our co–operation; it may or may not be. But when faith claims it, it becomes a prophecy and we go forth feeling that it is something that must be done because God cannot lie.
Faith is the answer from the throne saying, It is done. Faith is the echo of God's voice. Let us catch it from on high. Let us repeat it, and go out to triumph in its glorious power.
Hear the answer from the throne,
Claim the promise, doubting one,
God hath spoken, It is done.
Faith hath answered, It is done
Prayer is over, praise begun,
Hallelujah! It is done.
Faith is not presumption. Some Word of Faith teachers and prosperity gospel preachers act like it is. "Name it and claim it," based on irrevocably false theology and skewed biblical interpretation. Such *faith* is a dangerous thing. It breaks the person and leaves broken people in its wake.
However, that is not the faith of which Hebrews 11 speaks -- not the kind of faith that Simpson promotes here. The biblical faith is simply taking what God has clearly spoken, and then living into that. Faith is Abraham and Sarah believing that God would give them the son of promise -- even if they laughed all the way to the birth, at the incredible impossibility of God's plan. Faith is David believing that the kingdom was his, by divine calling, even as he ran for his life in the wilderness, with a price on his head -- believing so strongly in the promise that he conducted himself as king under God in the wilderness. Faith is Hannah believing that a son of promise could be hers, even if her body made that birth impossible -- and she wet the ground with her tears, and offered the agony of her prayers, living into the promise.
So it is with any true calling of faith. Faith knows nothing of silver spoons, comfort paths, and sensually laden, self-serving worship -- kicking back in relative painless ease and modeling faith and fulfillment. Never trust a faith leader who 1. has not suffered in the discipline of faith, and 2. makes himself rich in preaching or teaching or leading. For that is an illusion of faith, not the real thing.
That kind of faith will wilt under true trial, and give way under seductive temptation -- because self is at its center.
True faith simply sees the promise of God, His revealed Word, in the power of the Spirit, and swings life out on that promise, even if it costs all that people call normal life. Such a life will enter the promise. And many will be blessed -- perhaps unseen in human time, yet a great harvest of souls. And eternal fulfillment for the one who claimed -- and lived into -- the promise.