Persevering in Faith

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This New Year we have put an emphasis on Believing God for Greater Things. What does that mean? It means what we think to be “impossible”, God can make possible. It takes great faith… And that’s where we’re going to hang out today.

We all know what faith is. At least I think we do? There are probably hundreds upon hundreds of sermons on the subject as well as a ton of Bible verses. So that should make us experts right? Maybe, but do we actually live in faith believing? Or do we just have the knowledge that faith exists in our heads? Could it be that the knowledge of faith has yet to reach our hearts?

This week is my first week of classes for the spring semester at Malone University. In one of my classes, “Serving Christian Communities”, we were discussing knowledge and believing. The word for “believe” that my professor gave me was “pristis”. It is the Greek logos (word) for believe. The Greek definition he gave was: “trust, belief, and faith”. Those three simple words form a HUGE concept for the Christian faith.

As our discussion continued, the professor asked me if someone could think and not do. I agreed in that someone could know something but not do anything about it. It’s like the phrase “talking the talk, but not walking the walk”. I could say that I know how to make all these glorious types of foods, like Chicken Marsala, or even cook a steak, and I might actually have that knowledge, but it is possible that I may not actually execute the cooking process.

The next question asked by a fellow classmate was, “can you know and not believe?”. This time I had to think.  I let the question sink in and then I remembered the Greek definition of believe, or “pristis”.  I answered with this: you can know but not believe. There are many people who know ‘of God’ but do not believe ‘in God’. Take Satanists for example, they know there is a God because they are against Him, but they do not solely believe in Him. They do not put their faith and trust in Him.

Think about it, God has performed miracles. He has made the impossible happen! He made Peter walk on water (Matthew 14). Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 6). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11)! And most of all, Jesus defeated the grave (Matthew 28)!

Do you have the same belief Peter had when he stepped out of the boat? Do you believe that five thousand people can be fed with only five loaves of bread and two fish? Do you believe that Jesus can raise the dead? Do you BELIEVE that Jesus can make the impossible happen in your life? Do you really?

You see, many of us are waiting on the Lord. We have things that we have been praying about for days, weeks, even years! It’s hard not to lose faith and just give up. It’s hard to continue to press into God and believe He will come through. That is where the enemy gets us the most. Once we have been praying for so long, the enemy tries to tell us that there’s no use anymore and that God doesn’t hear us. But let me tell you friends, that is a lie!

God hears every prayer and every thought. He knew our words before they even rolled off our tongue (Psalm 139). This is the reason we need to keep the faith and BELIEVE. Jesus did not give up on us. He could have chose not to die on the cross for our sins, but He did. He took the death sentence upon Himself, he became the sacrificial Lamb for us and  overpowered the enemy and defeated the grave!

I encourage you, keep this scripture in mind:

“The Lord is my strength and my song.” – Exodus 15:2

Meditate on this and remember that it is through your faith in Jesus, and the love that He so generously gives us, that keeps our song playing. There is a woman in the Bible who struggled with keeping the faith. Her name is Naomi. Check out Pastor Aaron’s sermon “Believe For Greater Things: Persevering in Faith” on PAG’s podcast to learn more about Naomi’s story. Get ready  for a GREAT ending to someone who persevered in faith… it truly changed the course of history forever and is actually quite personal to me and you.

http://painesvilleag.com/believe-for-greater-things

Remember friends, “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Jenny Bushnell,
PAG Blogger & College Student

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