Class 19: Let God Make You a Woman of Faith (Part 1)
Today, we are beginning a new study titled, LET GOD MAKE YOU A WOMAN OF FAITH.
Allow me to begin with a word from Edith Hamilton. She said, “Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.”
Let’s begin by reviewing what we covered in our last class:
First, we learned that we surrender our will to God’s will by trusting Him fully and completely. Proverbs 3:5 and Psalm 9:10 reminded us that when we trust God, we willingly give everything over to Him and that trust grows from having a knowledge of and experience with God. Second, we learned that we surrender our will to God’s by waiting for His timing. Psalm 37:7 reminded us that since God is in control, we must learn to be patient and follow His timetable. Third, we learned that we surrender our will to God’s will by following His leading without question. Deuteronomy 13:4 reminded us that when we trust God, we do so in every area and are willing to do what He says, go where He says, and be who He says no matter what.
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read the entire corresponding letter in the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
Dear Daughters & YBW:
I trust that you are allowing God to be everything to you in these trying times.
Over the years, God has honored our faith in Him and has worked countless miracles for my family and me. I am reminded of a time, one Thanksgiving, years ago, when we did not have much money, and we were very low on food. But through prayer and faith in God, the Lord provided for us that Thanksgiving, not just one, but five turkeys, and much more. Let me encourage you to “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
You may ask, well, how can I have a strong faith in God?
The first key to having a strong faith in God is to spend quality time in prayer. Prayer and faith go hand in hand because you cannot pray effectively without faith. It takes a strong faith to pray to a God you cannot see, for “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
The second key to having a strong faith in God, is reading and believing God’s Word — the Bible. Romans 10:17 says: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” If you want to become a woman of faith, you will not only read God’s Word and believe God’s Word, but you will also obey God’s Word. “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
Daughters and YBW, may I lovingly encourage you to have a strong faith in God in these trying times. God will greatly bless you for it, and it will make all of the difference in your life.
Be a Woman of Faith,
Now, please follow along as we begin our study:
There are many reasons why God requires faith. Our relationship with God is completely depended upon our faith in Him. Let us look at the following ways in which we can have a strong faith in God:
- Having a strong faith in God means letting go of arrogance and pride.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
We create problems for ourselves by not relying on God. As brilliantly as God created the human mind, our ideas are not always dependable because we have been tainted by sin. Simply put, we cannot trust ourselves. Having faith in ourselves will not lead us to the fulfilled and abundant life we crave. In fact, it often leads down a pathway of death. As Proverbs 14:12 says, a way that seems to be right to us can end up negatively. What we think is right, often turns out to be wrong. Arrogance and pride blinds us to the fact that we are not all-knowing — we cannot possibly consider all eventualities and always make the right decision even on our best days. These negative traits cause us to believe that we can do things on our own — until we find out that we can’t. This is why we need to have faith in Someone who is greater than we are.
- Having a strong faith in God means we rely on Him completely.
Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Faith is a demonstration of reliance on God to accomplish a task or reach a goal. When we are driving down the highway, our faith causes us to rely on the drivers around us to do what they are supposed to do in order for us to be safe and reach our destination. When we go to work, we rely on the fact that everyone at the office will do their part to make each department run smoothly. When we purchase a product, we rely on the fact that the producers and creators have done their best and it will work according to the prescribed instructions. We show our faith in God when we rely on Him. We realize that His power is greater and His plans are better. This realization humbles us and causes us to believe fully in who God is and trust Him completely to give us direction and guidance. Relying on God leads to obeying what He says even if it doesn’t make sense.
- Having a strong faith in God means we accept His free gift of salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In life, there are two kinds of faith. One is human faith. The other is supernatural faith. We all have human faith. This human faith is belief in what we can see, hear, and feel around us. It is this faith that allows millions of people to board planes each and everyday, without knowing the pilot and without knowing how the plane actually works, and trust that everything will work just fine and they will reach their destination. When it comes to God, however, supernatural faith causes us to believe in things we cannot see. We can’t see God or Jesus, but our faith causes us to believe that they exist. We can’t see salvation, but our faith in an invisible Christ causes us to believe that salvation is possible. It is God’s grace that saves us, but it is also our faith in that grace that brings about salvation in our lives.
In our next class, we will continue our study, “LET GOD MAKE YOU A WOMAN OF FAITH”.
Bethany Hamilton said, “The way I see it, putting your faith in God is something that each person has gotta come to on his or her own. It’s your own personal relationship with Him; a bond that’s as unique as a fingerprint.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.