Does God hate sinners?

You have likely seen the banners declaring that God hates gays, or God hates America, or God hates sinners. Some go as far as to say that God rejoices when sinners die. You may have even seen these things on picket signs at funerals of high profile celebrities by a vocal group that seeks constant attention. Consider this truth in Ezekiel 33:11a

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.

 

This truth was so important that God said it twice in Ezekiel.[1] Does God hate gays? Does God hate sinners? Those who declare such things are blind to their own sins. The truth is that sin is sin. The original sin is pride. Satan was the highest angel in heaven and perfect until pride arose in him. His goal was to be independent of God and then exalt himself. And what was Adam’s fall? The temptation was, “You will be like God.” Satan tempted Adam with pride by luring him to seek independence from God. Pride caused his fall and consequences followed Adam’s attempt to become independent of God.

Who struggles with pride? Perhaps a better question would be, who doesn’t? When I do something right, I’m proud of my efforts or accomplishment. When I look down on someone’s sin, I am enthroning myself and exalting my self-righteous attitude over the other. Just as the Pharisee felt proud of his righteousness and condemned the sinner in front of him, the Christian falls into this same trap when they look down on homosexuality, addicts, thieves, or other sinners as though they are worse than themselves.

But which is worse? Homosexuality or pride? Drug addiction or self-righteousness? The truth is that the ground at the foot of the cross is level. We all are in need of God’s mercy and His power to overcome our weakness of the flesh.

I’m driving home this point because I want the reader to recognize that there are no hierarchical sins. What is big in our eyes is not in God’s. What is small in our eyes is still sin in God’s eyes. And the Lord does not seek our condemnation, but our deliverance.

When the religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they said, “The law says she must die. What do you say?”

A few questions come to mind immediately. First, where was the man she was with? That is the nature of religion. The very people trying to condemn others excuse the sins that are inconvenient to their agendas. No one keeps the law, yet they try to use the law against others. Jesus proved this truth as we’ll soon see.

The second question is, why did they feel the need to bring the woman to Jesus? They didn’t acknowledge His authority and certainly could have executed the woman without His input.

They came to Jesus because they knew that His desire is always for mercy. The Bible says that Jesus was God in the flesh and full of grace and truth.[2] Even Jesus’ critics understood His heart of grace. They knew the law condemned the woman, but they also thought the law could condemn grace.

Jesus stooped down and started drawing in the dirt. I envision Him drawing out words like, Adultery – lust is adultery in the heart. Greed – idolatry in the heart. Covetousness – stealing in the heart. Jesus often showed our need for grace by pointing out that even if we don’t show outward behaviors, sinning in our heart makes us just as guilty as the physical act.

They grew impatient and said, “Jesus, the law says she must be stoned, what do you say.”

After a few more impatient demands for an answer, Jesus stood up and said, “Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

Those who boasted of their abilities to keep the law looked at Jesus’ words on the ground and their own consciences convicted them. One by one they walked away until Jesus was alone with the woman. “Where are your accusers?”

“There are none,” she answered Jesus.

“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

Do you see the glorious message of grace? While the law and others stand as our accusers, God is the only one not accusing. While we think God is our accuser, the truth is that He alone offers grace. God rescues you from sin and then gives you His Spirit. When you are walking in the Spirit, sin has no power and you can go and sin no more.

When you are in the flesh, sin is inevitable. This is true whether you have evil intentions or good ones. In the Spirit, you are abiding in Christ’s righteousness and in Him there is no sin or condemnation.

Whether your sin is substance related, sexual, or anything else, there is no condemnation. God loves the sinner. Every child of God was once a sinner rescued by grace. God is not looking for those who can measure up to a godly standard. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.

 
By Eddie Snipes.
This excerpt was taken from God Loves the Addict.


[1] Ezekiel 18:32 and 33:11

[2] John 1:1, John 1:14

Simple Faith – Part 3

Building upon faith

Let’s take a moment to dispel another misconception of faith. Mark Twain made the following quote famous, “Faith is believing something you know isn’t true.”

Any Christian would refute this statement; however, many live as though this is their mission in life. They try to make themselves believe, and when doubts creep in, they try to overcome doubt by attempting to muster up more faith. It’s purely a human effort – and it’s destined to fail. Best case scenario, human faith is unfruitful. Worse case, people give up on believing. They give up because faith has failed them and they get tired of pretending. Manmade faith is often nothing more than self-deception.

Many years ago, my wife began a relationship with a woman who seemed very religious. As with most Christians, my wife had unanswered questions that nagged at her. She confided some of her struggles with her friend and was summarily rejected. The woman she believed to be her friend sent a scathing letter to her saying, “You have a disease called doubt. As with other diseases, doubt can be spread. I can’t be friends with you or maintain contact with you because I don’t want to catch your disease of doubt and corrupt my faith.”

The absurdity of this lady’s reaction left me stunned. While the Bible tells us to bear up those who are weak in faith, the human-based faith can only survive in a vacuum, and therefore cannot bear up anyone, for it is dependent upon mankind.

The great irony is that many people are shields to their faith rather than being shielded by faith. The Bible says that faith is the shield that protects the Christian from attack; therefore, if our faith needs to be protected rather than being our protection, it is not a true biblical faith.

The woman who feared doubt did not have true faith. Like so many others, her faith only survives as long as she can protect her beliefs from being questioned. She stands as the shield to her faith and through human will, protects the fragile belief system she has placed her hopes upon. Read the testimonies of Christians-turned-atheist. In almost every case, the testimony is the same. “I got tired of pretending.”

Perhaps we aren’t supposed to pretend. A Christian should not be afraid of truth – for all truth ultimately points to God. When you look at the arguments against the Bible they are often a woven tale that avoids anything that affirms the Bible and only accepts the things that are in agreement with the presupposed position, or can be twisted to fit the argument.

Another irony is that manmade faith has the same substance, whether someone claims to be an atheist or a Christian. Atheists stand as guards to their faith in humanistic thinking, weeding out and attacking anything that challenges their fragile belief system. They react with the same volatile emotions when something questions their foundation of sand. There is little difference between the counterfeit faith of religion and the counterfeit faith of atheism. And they both create similar reactions from the possessor when challenged with ideas that rattle their foundation of sand.

Many arguments are fashioned this way, and an entire book could be written with examples. Rather than picking out an example from the plethora of arguments against the Bible, let’s use the Bible itself as an example. My grandfather often used this as a tease, but it serves as a good example in our discussion. In this case, I can only accept the KJV’s wording, and through it, I can prove that women are dangerous drivers. Look at these passages from Acts:

Acts 27:15
 we let her drive
Acts 27:17
 and so were driven.
Acts 27:20
all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

 

There you have it. The Bible disapproves of women drivers, right? I used the text exactly as written, without alteration, and I am able to prove my point by scripture. In reality, the only thing I have done is exclude information. What’s missing fills in the key to an accurate understanding. By hiding information that doesn’t say what I want to be said, I can give the false impression that I’ve proven something that is actually false.

If we look at Acts 27 in context, we discover that ‘her’ is a ship that the Apostle Paul and Luke were aboard. It was caught in a violent storm, and they struck the sails and allowed the ship to be driven wherever the storm would take them. In despair, the men felt that all hope was lost.

Excluding key pieces of information can make this text to appear to say something it does not say. The same is true for science, history, archaeology, and any other source of information. A critic can present a persuasive argument by excluding what he or she doesn’t want you to know, and presenting what can appear to say what they want you to believe. How do we defend against this? Simply by finding out the whole truth. What is missing is often what dispels doubt. This is why the Bible commands that we study to show ourselves approved.

Sometimes the information we need is not available. Yet if you know what you believe and why you believe it, the missing evidence won’t rattle you. It’s amazing that we can have a mountain of evidence, but if we have one criticism we can’t answer, we’ll doubt the mountain and trust the objection.

Rather than covering our eyes and pretending questions don’t exist, we need to look at the question and explore the objection in light of what we know is true. Only then can we have confidence. The person who runs from the disease of doubt can never have confidence in the truth. Sometimes the questions aren’t answered easily, but honestly seeking for answers will give the Christian confidence. And honestly looking at the mountain of truth will give assurance when the molehill of doubt arises.

In discussions with people who claim to be ex-Christians, I see a pattern. They began by refusing to look at questions honestly and standing as guards to protect their faith. A college environment or another source of influence put them in a position where they couldn’t escape criticism. By sheer human will, they fought doubt until it finally overcame them. In frustration, they declared that their faith was a childish fantasy and they gave up the whole thing.

Now they stand and guard to protect their new faith in humanism against the attacks of Christianity. They use the exact same methods; they have just changed sides. They still will not look at the whole truth with honesty. So now they continue to guard half-truths and protect their new faith, only it’s easier to stand in the atheist camp since there are more allies and it masquerades as intellectualism.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t need to protect God – or your faith. Faith is not forcing yourself to believe something. Faith is being assured of truth so that it becomes your firm foundation. If you can’t stand with confidence, you are lacking a foundation and your faith is manmade.

Let’s now look at what Jesus said about faith. Look at Luke 17:5-6

 5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

 

Rarely will you hear this passage looked at in light of what Jesus was communicating to the disciples. Just like the rest of us, the disciples who learned under Jesus struggled with doubt. Daily they witnessed the model of perfection – Jesus Christ. In the light of His life, they recognized something was deficient in their own lives. Throughout His life, Jesus professed absolute trust in the plan of our Heavenly Father. It was a plan that would lead Him to the cross. Yet He never wavered. In the same sense, Jesus constantly challenged the disciples to follow His perfect plan.

Jesus and his disciples knew the religious leaders of the day were seeking to destroy them and several times it looked like they might succeed. Once, they were nearly stoned, and to His disciple’s dismay, Jesus went right back to the city where their lives would again be in peril. Jesus said that He couldn’t die until His time was fulfilled. How could this man so firmly believe in God’s plan that He could walk right into peril without batting an eye? The disciples wanted this confidence, so they said, “Lord, increase our faith.”

Did Jesus give them a list of ‘faith principles’ or ‘laws of faith’? No. He made it clear that they already had all the faith they needed. Jesus often used a mustard seed as an illustration. He often called it the least of all seeds. Jesus wasn’t saying, no seed is smaller than a mustard seed. It was a word picture that every person in that culture could understand. Mustard was a spice that everyone used and it was likely the smallest ingredient people could identify with. One time Jesus held up the tiny seed and declared it to be a symbol of how the Kingdom of Heaven grows from the smallest source.

In regards to faith, Jesus is again holding up a seed that looked so insignificant. “If your faith is this big, it can move mountains.” Jesus used both mountains and trees to illustrate the power of our faith. Both are objects that appear immovable, yet none can stand before faith in the heart of the one doing God’s will. So the answer to faith is, “You don’t need more.”

Jesus again uses this as a teaching opportunity when the disciples experienced failure. In Matthew 7, Jesus gave his disciples power to cast out demons and heal the sick. He sent them out to preach his coming, and they returned in victory, excited that even the demons had no power against His name. However, victory was turned into confusion when their faith was challenged.

After returning from a mountain, Jesus saw a commotion around His disciples. When He approached, the people informed Him that His disciples could not cast out a demon from a man bent on destroying himself. This was after the disciples had experienced great victory and rejoiced that demons were subject to them in Christ’s name. After Jesus cast out the resistant spirit and healed the man, the disciples came to Him to find out why they couldn’t do it. Look at Jesus’ answer in Matthew 17:19-21

 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

 

The plain meaning is easy to overlook. The reason they failed was because of unbelief. Yet, Jesus made it clear that they indeed had the power, for all they needed was a mustard seed of faith – and then nothing was impossible. Nothing also means this event in which they failed. So we can see that Jesus empowered them to do this very thing. The disciples succeeded in Matthew 7, but here in Matthew 17 they failed. Unbelief caused the failure, and the solution is found in prayer and fasting.

Prayer and fasting does not increase their faith. Jesus made it clear that they already had enough faith. Instead, it was a call to weaken the flesh and build them up in the Spirit. Fasting brings the flesh under subjection while prayer puts their focus on the Spirit.

Unbelief is of the flesh, but faith is of the Spirit. The disciples were so focused on their unbelief that they could not walk by faith. All of their efforts combined could not muster up faith – and indeed it did not need to. They were already given the gift of faith. The problem was that they were walking in the flesh. The flesh verses the Spirit is a topic for another chapter, but keep in mind that Jesus never increased their faith. He always reminded them that they had what they needed. Unbelief may hinder their faith, but the solution wasn’t to gain more faith, but to deal with what was causing their flesh to dominate their lives and empower unbelief.

Romans 12:3 tells us that God deals every person the measure of faith. Faith isn’t something we build, nor is it something we obtain or increase. Faith is a gift from God. Anytime spiritual matters become man centered or man dependent, we have stepped outside of true faith. The Bible never tells us to build our faith; it tells us to build our lives upon our faith. Look at Jude 1:20-21

 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

 

This passage doesn’t tell us to build faith. The Bible says that we have a most holy faith that we should build ourselves upon. It’s most holy because it comes from the Most Holy God. We keep ourselves in the love of God by keeping his word. This is another avenue we’ll explore later. Let’s also consider Romans 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Why does faith come by hearing the word? It goes back to our examination of Hebrews 11. Faith is a sure foundation. The word is our foundation and as we hear the truth of God, we learn how to build our lives upon it. We hear, believe, and build ourselves upon the most holy faith that is revealed in the word. The word is by the Spirit (see John 6:63) just as faith is of the Spirit. You can know the word and still not have faith, but you can’t have faith without the word. The power to believe (or live by faith) has already been given to us by the Holy Spirit. What’s lacking is our understanding of God’s word and how to live in the Spirit where faith is discovered.

Rather than faith being something we force ourselves to believe, faith is believing God. It is God revealing His word to us in a way that creates such certainty that we build our lives upon that unshakeable foundation. Faith is believing God so that we are accounted as righteous. By faith, we move our foundation from human nature, and build it upon the assurance of God and His promises. A false faith says, “I believe,” but then remains on a dead foundation built on the weakness of the flesh. Then all spiritual matters are dependent upon man and have no part in the eternal power of God. When faith depends on mankind, it is a weak foundation and will not stand when we need the rock of a firm assurance.

We have a better foundation. When we believe God’s word and build ourselves upon that most holy faith, the disease of doubt has no power over us and we need not to convince ourselves to believe anything we aren’t sure to be true. We will have the firm assurance of truth and that assurance is the shield and strength of the Christian life.

 

Eddie Snipes
Excerpt from Simple Faith: How every person can experience intimacy with God.

Simple Faith – Part 1

 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and expressed his fear that they might be drifting away from the simplicity of their faith in Christ. The same threat faces you, your church, and every Christian on a daily basis. If we allow human philosophy to muddy the waters of truth, nothing will be clear.

I once had a discussion with someone about faith. In our talk, it was stated that faith was too complicated to understand. Books on theology and Christian philosophy clouded the issue and made things seem too hard to grasp by anyone other than learned scholars. Once again, I pointed back to the simplicity of the gospel. The Bible says, “Abraham believed God, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Faith = believing God.

Could it be any simpler than this? What was the evidence that Abraham believed God? When God commanded, Abraham believed the promise and then obeyed the command. I can’t say, “I believe God,” and then act in disobedience. If I truly believe, my life will show it. Disobedience is rooted in unbelief, but obedience is born from faith. Let’s look at an example.

Look back in history to the time of Jacob and Esau in the Old Testament. Esau was the firstborn son. In that culture, the firstborn received a double portion of the family inheritance and received the family blessing. What’s more, these were descendants of Abraham; therefore, the one who held the birthright was rightfully the carrier of the promise that would ultimately be fulfilled in Christ. As we read through the New Testament, we see that God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his descendants was the promise of our redeemer – Jesus Christ.

Esau despised his birthright and willingly forfeited his right to the promise by trading it to Jacob for a pot of stew. He considered satisfying the cravings of his flesh as more valuable than the promise of God. For this reason, he sold his birthright to Jacob for food. When he rejected the promise given through his birthright as the firstborn son, God rejected Esau from the future blessing that carried the promises of God.

In the course of time, Jacob’s mother came up with a plan to obtain the blessing for her son. Jacob and Esau’s father was the son of Abraham, and God established him as a prophet. His blessing was the promise of God. Isaac planned to bless his firstborn, Esau. Knowing the end of his life was near, Isaac called Esau and sent him into the field to hunt for venison. He loved the venison stew Esau made, so the plan was to have a nice meal and then bless his son.

When Jacob’s mother heard the command, she prepared the stew for Isaac while Esau was gone, and sent Jacob into the room to be blessed. Isaac was nearly blind, so he was deceived into believing he was blessing Esau. When Esau returned, he discovered what Jacob had done, and made plans to murder Jacob. To avoid being killed by his brother, Jacob fled the country to live with a relative.

All this background has little direct application to faith, but it sets the stage for one of the best examples of faith in the Bible. God shaped Jacob’s life for twenty years, and then sent him back home knowing he would have to face his brother. Just before Jacob encountered his brother, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel.

As is often the case in the Old Testament, God embeds the gospel into the events of scripture. Jacob had once looked for blessings in the efforts of his own hands. He took what he wanted and hoped he could get enough. He supplanted – or chased after things, trying to take what he wanted. Life was fleeting away, and Jacob struggled to fulfill a desire that could not be fulfilled outside of God.

Previously, Jacob’s goal had been to get what he wanted and life was nothing more than grappling for things he hoped would make him happy. Then the time came when God redeemed him out of his old life, and gave him the promise. No longer was he called Jacob – which means ‘the supplanter’, but now he was called Israel – which means ‘God prevails’. No longer was he dependent upon his own efforts to find fulfillment, but now he would trust in God, who would prevail and cause him to inherit all that had been promised through is forefather, Abraham.

This is a picture of prevailing through the Christian life. Before coming to Christ, we grapple for satisfaction, and the only fulfillment we find is in what we take by the heel and claim for our own. As satisfaction eludes us, we keep wrestling against God and man, looking for the things we think will make us happy. History proves that the one who possesses the most is rarely happy or satisfied, yet because it’s the only way we know, we pursue life just as the rest of the world does. Then the Lord calls us out of that lifestyle, gives us His name, and we become inheritors of the promise.

Now, we too live by the promise that God prevails. Many Christians don’t understand this and still grapple for the world, but the truth is, the promise is ours and all we must do is trust in our God who prevails, and go where He leads.

When the nation of Israel turned from the promise and lived like supplanters, God always referred to them as ‘the house of Jacob’. Yet when blessing them or revealing the promise, God called the nation, ‘the house of Israel.’ We, like Israel, either walk in the failing world system and live like those pursuing something that can’t be obtained in the flesh, or we live like conquerors and walk in the promise of ‘God prevails.’ To walk in the promise, we have to step out of human effort and into faith.

This is the trial Jacob / Israel faced. God visited Jacob while he lived with his uncle and commanded him to go back to his homeland – the very place where his brother waited to take vengeance upon him. God said for him to return, and the Lord would be with him, bless him, and make him a great nation. It’s the call of faith. Go, and God will bless. Step out in faith, and trust in the promise.

Jacob arose, gathered his family and possessions together, and headed toward home. Not knowing how his brother would respond, Jacob sent a messenger ahead of him to greet his brother. The messenger returned and said, “Your brother gathered together four-hundred men and is coming this way toward you.”

That wasn’t a good thing to hear. Shouldn’t God have given him a sign of peace? No one arms four-hundred men and rushes to meet someone just to say, ‘hello’. Clearly, war was in Esau’s heart. Jacob had no army, no defense, and no plan of escape. The normal human reaction would be to turn around and run. No one would blame him if he did. This was the moment of truth.

The command of God was, “Go back to your home,” which was the Promised Land God gave to Abraham. The promise was, “I will be with you to bless and prosper you.” Circumstances seemed to testify against God’s promise, but Jacob chose to believe God over his human instinct.

Let me stop for a moment and point out an important truth. Fear and doubt aren’t necessarily a lack of faith. It’s often said that faith and fear can’t coexist, but this is not true. People are made to feel guilty because they feel fear when in danger or facing a circumstance that seems impossible. The truth is that faith is of the Spirit, and fear is of the flesh. The Bible tells us that the flesh and the Spirit of God are at war against each other. We’ll explore this in greater detail later on, but keep this truth in mind. Jacob didn’t pretend his fear did not exist. Nor did he try to muster up a false faith. He acknowledged his fear before God and prayed for the Lord to guide him.

Jacob divided his family into two groups so one could escape if the other was attacked, and then stopped and took in the dire situation that surrounded him. He had obeyed God, and instead of protection, he was now helpless as an army rushed toward him. He then approached God with a request, and a declaration of obedience. Look at Genesis 32:9-12

 9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’:
 10 “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.
 11 “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children.
 12 “For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ “

 

What a wonderful example of prayer founded upon faith! The two companies were his wives and children. They were divided so they could not be attacked together.

Notice, he didn’t deny his fears, he confessed them. He didn’t bargain with God, he testified that he was acting in obedience. He didn’t say, “I obeyed; therefore, you owe me.” No, Jacob acknowledged that he was not worthy of any of God’s mercies. And then he claimed the promise that God gave him. God wants us to trust in His promises. And live by them.

Jacob did not put himself into this position, God did. It was to test Jacob’s faith so he would choose to either trust in God, or turn back to the perceived safety of the old life outside of God’s will.

It’s equally important that we understand the difference between acting in faith, and tempting God. The Bible forbids us to tempt God – or put God to the test. To put God to the test is to take it upon ourselves to put our lives or safety in a position where God must intervene to save us. God has the right to put Himself to the test so we must choose to trust His word or our fears, but we have no right to manipulate God by our will.

When the word commands us to obey and we must face persecution or suffering in order to obey, that is an act of faith. When we decide to place ourselves into harm’s way, that’s an act of the flesh. I can’t jump in front of a bus and pray, God save me. I can’t overspend and then give the last of my money to charity and say that God has to miraculously pay my bills. I’ve even seen people provoke persecution and then wonder why God allowed them to suffer. There is reward in obedience, but not in foolishness masquerading as faith.

In Jacob’s case, he crossed the river separating himself from his brother. He was afraid and was in fear for his life, but his prayer was, “You commanded me to do it. I’m afraid. I know I’m unworthy of your deliverance, but I stand upon your promises.”

Then a crazy idea struck Jacob. He made several bands of goats and sheep, then sent them in droves toward his brother. Messengers were sent with each band to tell Esau that these were a present from his servant Jacob.

In my mind’s eye, I picture Esau scoffing at the idea. “Does he think a worthless flock of sheep is going to stop my revenge?” Then he encountered another. And another. And another. At some point, Esau probably shook his head at the absurdity, and eventually it struck him as funny. By the time he reached Esau, his anger had been pushed aside and he could do nothing but greet his brother and ask about the droves of sheep he kept passing.

The method God uses isn’t relevant. What is relevant is God’s faithfulness. He commands our obedience, and then puts us into a position to either believe his promises, or believe our fears. Sometimes Esau comes into our lives as a sinful desire for what opposes God, or as a fear that calls us to flee from God. Neither are sin unless we choose them over believing God. Faith isn’t the absence of fear and doubt – faith overcomes fear and doubt. Faith is how we overcome. Look at 1 John 5:

 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.

 

Faith can’t be overcome; but it can be neglected. Even in fear, we have the power to believe God. We also have the power to disbelieve God and put our trust in fear.

There will be times when God will put you to the test, for it proves whether you are trusting in Him, or yourself, circumstances, or feelings.

Faith is not complicated, but it is something our lives must be built upon. There are many misconceptions of faith, so in the following section, we’ll dig deeper into what the Bible teaches about faith and how it applies to our individual lives.

Eddie Snipes
Excerpt from Simple Faith: How every person can experience intimacy with God.