Class 20: Let God Make You a Woman of Faith (Part 2)
Today, we are continuing our study titled, LET GOD MAKE YOU A WOMAN OF FAITH.
Allow me to begin with a word from Joni Erickson Tada: “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”
Carrie Judd Montgomery said, “You get faith by studying the Word. Study that Word until something in you ‘knows that you know’ and that you do not just hope that you know.”
Let’s begin by reviewing what we covered in our last class:
First, we learned that having a strong faith in God means letting go of arrogance and pride. Proverbs 14:12 warned of the consequences of trying to forge our own path in life without the guidance of God. Second, we learned that having a strong faith in God means we rely on Him completely. Proverbs 3:6 shows that God directs the steps of those who choose to put their faith in Him. Third, we learned that having a strong faith in God means we accept His free gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 describes how salvation by faith in God through the grace of God gives us freedom and hope in life.
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
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).
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:
1. Having faith in God means we are committed to spending time in prayer.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “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.”
Faith in God will lead you to pray to God. Praying to God will cause you to have faith in God. Prayer and faith are like twins. It is nearly impossible to have one without the other. If you claim to have faith but don’t pray, many of the things you are having faith for will not come to pass because you don’t believe they will. If you pray but don’t have faith, God sees no need to answer your prayers because you do not believe in Him and in the promises that He has given. Prayer in faith ensures that God will not only hear, but will answer your prayer. Whatever you ask God to do, make sure you have the faith, the belief, that He will do it. Whatever you believe God can do for you, make sure you are praying to Him and expressing your faith through communication with God. He is happy for those who put their faith in Him and who continuously believe even when they can’t see or feel anything.
2. Having faith in God means we are willing to listen to His Word.
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
When you read the Word of God with an open, receptive heart and mind, you will not only be instructed as to what to do in life, but you are also given the grace and power to carry out God’s will. Reading the Word of God and intently listening to God speak to you through the Bible increases your faith. Reading the Bible gives you confidence and courage. It is a sure and firm foundation that you can stand on and know for certain that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. The Bible is filled with thousands of promises from God. For example, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, “The Lord will fight for you”, “I will supply all your needs”, “They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength”, and on and on we can go. When we read these promises of God, we are encouraged. And when we embrace them as personal to our lives, our faith is activated so that we not only hear what God is saying, but we believe He can do mighty works through us.
3. Having faith in God means we are willing to believe, and therefore, obey what He says.
James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Many people love to quote Scripture, frame passages on their walls, place verses on bumper-stickers, billboards, and advertisements. All of these are wonderful activities and we don’t have to look far to see that the world needs to be exposed to more of what God says. However, God would much more prefer that we not only read His Word, listen to His Word, and believe His Word, but that we also would obey His Word. You see, belief in something leads to action on something. If we believe the words of God, we will be compelled to do what He says. Our hearing is in vain if we do not act upon what we have heard. Many people, sadly, believe they are doing God a favor by attending church each week, singing some songs, listening to a sermon, and giving their tithes. But these same people leave the church building having no intention on applying what they hear to their lives. They deceive themselves into thinking that they are saved by the hearing of the Word or by the routine act of going to church, but they have never made the intentional step to do what they have heard. This is understandably very disappointing to God. Hearing and not obeying is like looking at yourself in the mirror and moments later forgetting how you look. God wants us to be diligent listeners and to be fully committed to obedience to Him.
In our next class, we will begin a new study, “LET GOD MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL FROM THE INSIDE OUT”.
Elizabeth Gilbert said, “Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.”
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.