All things are working together for your good. The believer in Christ has no disadvantage. Nothing bad happens to us.
Paul said the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit ‘be with us.’ The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is not something you should go and do. It is something you have, just as you have the grace of Jesus and the love of God.
One of the things the Holy Spirit does is that He prays for you (Rom.8:26). To intercede for someone is to pray for someone. He prays for you with your sighs – your “ehh!” and “ooh!” and your cries and groans because of the pains you are dealing with. The Holy Spirit uses your sighs and groans and tells God exactly what you are trying to say.
The Bible says the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God. He therefore causes all things to work together for your good.
I have no disadvantage because God is a good God!
Everything God does, He does because of His grace and love.
For example, the issue of salvation was motivated by His love. There is nothing we did for Him to save us. He saved us because He loves us.
The word ‘saved’ encompasses being born-again. It includes healing, protection and deliverance from evil and destruction. I know some people are pushing the theology that healing is not a part of redemption but that is a lie.
If the people in the Old Covenant had healing and I am in a new and better covenant, healing must be there. If He gave me the one that is hard free of charge, why will He make me pay for the one that is not hard?
The way I receive the hard one is the way I also receive the simple one. It is only because of sin Jesus had to die. Jesus didn’t need to die to heal you. He healed and supplied their needs in the Old Covenant but for the issue of our salvation, Christ died. You don’t have to pay to get everything God offers. Christ is enough. He does everything because He loves us. He even answers our prayers because He loves us.
It is by faith we receive what God has provided by His grace.
In Matthew 17:14-21, a man told Jesus that His disciples could not heal his child. Jesus rebuked the devil and the child was free, and when the disciples came to ask Him why they couldn’t cast out the devil, Jesus said “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (vs. 20-21)
If you have a margin or a centre reference Bible, you will see a number of letters written near verse 21, saying it is omitted in many translations and in the original manuscript. It means verse 21 was never in the original manuscript of the Bible. It was added.
How else can we know this? You won’t find it in any other account of this event in the synoptic gospels. So Jesus actually said “it is because of your unbelief that you couldn’t heal this boy.”
Jesus was not in any way asking us to let our faith remain as a mustard seed. He was telling them that they couldn’t heal the boy because of their unbelief. He also said if you have faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed, it will produce result. He was showing us that your faith can accomplish great things.
Remember, we have said that faith should not be defined as an English term. When you define faith as an English term, what you get is ‘confidence’, ‘strong mind,’ ‘determination,’ and ‘resolve.’ When we speak of faith in our culture, we are speaking of faith in Christ.
Faith is always in Christ. Whenever you see faith in the Old Testament and New Testament, it is faith in Christ. So Jesus was speaking of faith in Himself. Jesus was telling His disciples in Matthew 17:17 “faith in Me is the solution to every problem.” He was telling them “if you have faith in Me and you tell this demon to go, it will obey you and go out.”
The good news is that there is nothing to add to faith in Christ. Anytime any preacher like me tells you to add to faith in Christ, that is not correct.
Your fasting, prayers and giving are to strengthen your faith in Christ and not to add to your faith in Christ. So when Peter wrote in 2Peter 1:5 saying to your faith add virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity, he wasn’t saying your faith is not sufficient. He was saying strengthen your faith with these things.
Faith in Christ is sufficient. It is how Abraham received the gift of righteousness. Abraham had faith in Christ. He believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham believed what God said about His Son (Rom. 4:3, John 8:56) and because he believed God, he was given the gift of righteousness as a pattern to us who will believe what God said about His Son. When we say Abraham believed God, we are not saying that he believed that there is a God. It is not about the concept of the existence of God. It is faith in what God has said about His Son. Faith in God is defined by faith in Christ.
Abraham is called the father of faith because he was the first person God told about His Son. There were other men before Abraham, like Noah and Enoch who walked righteously, but Noah and Enoch did not have the gift of righteousness. Abraham had it because God preached to him about His Son. Abraham believed the gospel. By your faith in Christ, you have also received the gift of righteousness. It was this faith in Christ that made Abraham receive a child even though his body was dead (Rom. 4:17-23). God told him that His plan had already happened in eternity but he (Abraham) was the man through whom Christ ‘the Seed’ will come through. So Abraham knew that if it has already happened in eternity, then there is no way he won’t have a child. He hoped against hope, for God had said “I have made you a father of many nations” (Gen. 17:5). So faith in Christ is trust in Christ and faith in Christ will move mountains. Jesus says faith in Him is so powerful and so potent that if you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, it will do mighty things.
Your faith has capacity to increase. 2Thessalonians 1:3 says “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth”
Remember Paul said in Ephesians 1:15 and Colossians 1:4 that when he heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love for the brethren, he ceased not to give thanks to God on their behalf. The evidence of genuine faith is love for the brethren. Your faith in Christ is potent. So every time we hear of your faith in Christ, we throw a party for you. It is because they have received the answer to everything. They have received their own ‘gbogbonishe’ (e dey do everything).
Say this with me “I have faith in Jesus and it works for me every time! Mountains bow to me! Sickness moves by my faith in Jesus!”
Every time Jesus walked the earth, He kept saying “your faith has made you whole.” I don’t know what you are going through, but miracles will happen in this season!
Whatever mountain has been before you, they bow to your faith in Christ! Every problem, every barrenness and every tumor bow to your faith in Christ in the Name of Jesus!
If my faith as small as a mustard seed can receive, it means the more faith I have, the more I can receive.
Imagine that Christmas is coming and twenty five truckloads of bags of rice fall on Airport Road and there is rice everywhere. Then the owner of the rice says it is free and everyone can take as much as they want. Imagine you going to the site with a cup while I went there with a truck. We cannot collect the same. So if you have sense, you will have to increase your container.
Remember Prophet Elijah told the widow to go borrow more containers? She borrowed more and kept pouring the oil and it didn’t stop (2Kings. 4:1-7). That container is your faith in Christ; not your determination, not strong mind, or will power. And that is why good preaching must make you trust Christ more and more. The more your confidence in Christ grows, the more you can collect. There are things that are yours you haven’t collected and you are being envious of others.
Stop using a cup to collect. Change your container and stop blaming village people. As my faith in Christ grows, the more I can receive. Stop blaming God and forces and grow your faith.
Growing your faith is intentional. It does not fall on you. As you grow your faith, your love for people also grows (2Thess. 1:3). As my faith in Christ grows, it translates to an increase of my loving people. The way love is manifested is by forgiving and giving. Forgiving is basically your response to offense. When your faith in Christ is growing, you are better able to forgive offenses, especially in marriage.
The reason you cannot forgive your husband or wife quickly is because you are not growing in your faith in Christ. The problem is not that you can’t forgive, it is that your faith in Christ is not growing. There is a direct relationship and increase in your capacity to forgive people (especially your wife or husband) when your faith in Christ is growing. Paul says as my faith in Christ grows, my love for the brethren grows. When I grow, I can forgive and give.
Paul said “put on the whole armor of God so you can be able to withstand the wiles of Satan” (Eph. 6:11) and he also said to take on the shield of faith to push back the wiles or the fiery darts of the devil (Eph. 6:16).
John in 1John 5:4 says “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” and Peter in 1Peter 5:8-9 also said “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
So faith in Christ is also how I push back the devil. If my faith in Christ is not growing and Satan does not rest, he is throwing more and more fiery darts at me. So Satan can reach me. If my faith in Christ is growing, I can push back the onslaught of the enemy.
Coven is not a tree in your village. Coven is in your mind and that is where they meet. Those voices that tell you that you will die, you won’t make it or amount to anything in life and that nothing good will come out of you and that you are a failure, are all the communiqué of coven meeting.
If your faith is not growing, you will believe those voices and if you think it too much, you will have a dream in that direction and conclude “my dream happens.” But if your faith is growing, as they come speaking to your mind, the Holy Spirit within you will be speaking on your inside, shouting back that Satan is a liar!
No sickness in my body! No diseases in my body! I will live and not die! I declare the glory of the Lord! If I am forgiven, then I am healed!
If you fail in the day of adversary, your strength is small. So I grow my faith so that when the enemy is shouting at me, I give him back.
How does our faith grow?
Colossians 2:5-7 says “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
You received Him by believing the gospel and you continue by also believing the gospel (Col. 1:21-23). So Paul says your faith in Christ can overflow by thanksgiving.
This thanksgiving is not thanksgiving service, offering, family thanksgiving, burial or wedding thanksgiving. It is you opening your mouth and recounting to God what He has done in Christ for you. As you do that there is a direct impact on your faith. And as your faith grows, you can receive more and push back the devil and have more.
So we see Abraham in Romans 4:20 who didn’t stagger at the promise of God but was strong in faith in Christ. How? By giving glory to God. What was the giving glory about? Remember the promise is about Christ. So Abraham was giving glory to God because of what God told him about Christ and as he did that his faith was strengthened such that he hoped against hope and he had a child from a dead body.
This thing is not magic. I have showed you how. Follow this process. Faith is so potent that if you have a small one like a mustard seed, it will produce result.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thess. 5:18).
What is the will of God? It is that in every situation I find myself, I give thanks to God for what He has done in Christ. I cannot be giving thanks to God for what He didn’t do. The thanksgiving here is to open your mouth and recount all He has done in Christ.
Ephesians 5:19-20 says “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
You give thanks by your singing, melody and praise in your heart to the Lord. What you are doing when you are singing is that you are giving thanks to God for all things. All things don’t mean you are thanking Him for deliverance from accident. All things means all He has done in Christ (Col. 3:15-16).
Our singing must be filled with thanks to God for what He has done in Christ, by Christ and through Christ. As you do that your faith in Christ grows.
Bishop Wale Ajayi