How To Get Faith

William P. Armstorng

The Foundation for Faith: God’s Word!

Let’s suppose that you are suffering from a painful disease right now. Relief is your utmost desire. How can you believe that God will heal you?

Prayer is not the exclusive remedy for sickness. Our request must be accompanied by belief that God will heal. But how do we gain this faith that activates God’s healing power?

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10: 17).

Hearing with a sincere desire to receive and understand God’s Word initiates the faith-building process. Yet a space of time is required for faith to mature. A real, personal faith is uncommon among
Christians today from failing to set aside ample time to thoughtfully meditate on the Word.

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes;… For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:20-22).

“Open your ears to what I am saying,” God tells us. Even if we do not understand the meaning, we must still believe the Word. As we feed upon and accept His Words, faith will invisibly grow in our hearts and
the understanding will also result.

Faith has always been the secret formula for receiving healing. Notice what Jesus said:

“…as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee…” (Matthew 8:13).
“…Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole…” (Mark 5:34).
“…Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
“…According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).

Divine healing doesn’t come by seeing. It doesn’t come by feeling. It comes by “inclining our ears unto His sayings”.

While listening to His Words, we are also advised to look at His Word. Read it. Memorize it. Find verses related to health and healing. Examine the Word-alone.

Soon you will visualize yourself with the healing benefits God has provided. However, should you envision your health to be worsening, you are not focusing on the Word. Somewhere, His promises have escaped your heart.

For a proper foundation, search for faith Scriptures concerning your particular need-healing, finances, problems, or special requests. Unless it is an emergency, refrain from prayer until you have read and
meditated upon faith promises. Faith in God is faith in God’s Word!

Do You Have “Thomas” or “Abraham” Faith?

Jesus’ disciple, Thomas, had a natural, human faith based on physical evidence. He could believe if he saw the prints of the nails in Jesus’ hands and could thrust his hand into Jesus’ side (John 20:24-29).
Thomas believed the message of his eyes-not what God had said.

Many Spirit-filled Christians today believe only what they can see, hear, or feel. Unless a warm sensation surges through their body or they “feel” better, it is impossible to believe that God has really healed them.

Because we feel better or receive a spiritual blessing does not indicate an answer to prayer. We must believe God for faith’s sake-not for feeling’s sake. Although he felt nothing, Abraham believed!

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21).

If God said it, Abraham knew that a 99-year-old man and a 89-year-old woman could become parents. His was a spiritual heart-faith based upon God’s Word alone. Most people with Thomas’ faith want Abraham’s blessing! They search for someone to pray the prayer of faith for them.

The word, “believe”, means “to take or to grasp.” To believe in Jesus Christ means we take hold of what the Scriptures says. His Word tells us what to expect. Then we claim it.

God promised Israel the land of Canaan, but then added, “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours” (Deuteronomy 11:24). In essence, He said, “I’ll give it to you, but you must first take possession of it.”

But why doesn’t healing just happen if God wants us to have it? Because the Spirit is gentle. He never uses force. Healing is automatic just like salvation-after we discover the related Bible truths, we must act upon them accordingly. Faith chooses to act upon the Word of God; doubt refuses to do so.

All of God’s blessings and promises are conditional. His Word explains the criteria for receiving these blessings. As we do our part, He does His.

Confess Your Faith!

We invariably link “confession” to confessing sins, weaknesses, or failures. But that is the negative side of confession.

To confess means: to admit one’s faults or to acknowledge faith in something. Constantly confessing faults yields weakness, sin, and failure-consciousness into our spirits. But positive confession
affirms and testifies about those things we believe. It is a witness to others about truths we have embraced.

A witness in court can testify only about things he has seen and heard. All opinions are rejected. What Christ has personally done for you, what the Word declares He will do, our privileges in Him–these
matters are acceptable as testimony.

Search through the New testament–especially the epistles–and mark the verses that mention: “in Him”, “in Christ”, and “in whom”. Begin to confess these Scriptures that reveal who you are and what are your
legal rights as a born-again child of God. Here are a few examples:

“And ever man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3).
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins..” (Ephesians 1:7).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corin. 5:17).

God wants happy, prosperous children. Abraham received a three-fold promise if he obeyed God: financial blessings; physical blessings; and spiritual blessings.

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).

Christ came to redeem us from the curse or punishment of breaking the Law-poverty, sickness, and spiritual death. All of Abraham’s promises have been transferred to us. But we must first know who we are and what our promises are.

Faith cannot exist without confession. As you verbally confess with words what you believe in your heart, faith will grow. Jesus said,

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he
saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23).

Three times in this verse Jesus told us to “say” or confess what we desire to happen; one time He said that we must “believe”. Believing is in the heart; confession is with the mouth.

A Child Is Miraculously Healed!

At the age of six months, our youngest son suddenly began having seizures. A pediatric neurologist at Texas Children’s Hospital diagnosed a form of epilepsy due to massive spasms of the brain. The disease causes severe retardation, making infants unable to turn from front to back or grasp an object.

Later, the doctor acknowledged that this was the worst prognosis that could be given a parent. This malady was actually a “living death”. Although a child’s physical body would mature, the brain would digress from a six-month-old to that of a newborn and remain at that level.

A minister, whom we had never met, visited us in the hospital while the tests were being made. He encouraged, “God has a purpose in this child’s sickness. I believe he will be healed. But,” he added, “it may be about six months before the healing comes.”

As our pastor and friends all over the country were praying for our baby, Satan was busily injecting his lies. “God wants you to have an afflicted child,” he whispered. “Maybe you are lacking in patience or
sympathy for others who are suffering and the Lord has designed this tragedy for you. And besides, you are no better than other believers who must bear the burden of a severely retarded child.”

While trying to reconcile ourselves to the possibility of retardation, God sent a minister friend, Bro. Verbal Bean, to our room. He spoke the exact words of faith that were needed by reminding us that healing is God’s best. Why settle for Satan’s compromise when we could have total victory?

Many years of trust in God’s proven healing power helped us make our decision. The prescribed high risk medication was politely refused as we explained to the doctors our wish to fully submit our child to
God’s care. Regretfully they agreed, on the condition that we return him for more tests.

At home from the hospital, I began to seek God for answers. We can safely question our Friend if foolish charges against Him are not included.

“When will our baby be well? When will the seizures end!” I prayed. His answer was, “When the test is finished, Rex will be well.”

That promise was steadfastly claimed. We didn’t know how long the seizures would last, but we knew Rex was healed!

Another brain scan was ordered the next month. We used that opportunity to confess our faith in God’s power to heal. “Dr. Zeller,” I testified, “before Rex was born, I dedicated him to be a missionary.
And I know that God is going to heal our baby. He is going to be perfectly well, normal, and healthy.”

His reply was, “If he is, I’m going to bring all my patients to you.” Of course, I assured him that God would receive the glory.

Each time we took Rex for examinations, the doctor was absolutely astounded that God could perform such a miracle without the aid of physicians. Not once did our baby show a sign of retardation.

Still, the seizures continued-especially during the night. Every nerve in his tiny body seemed to shatter as his head repeatedly slammed against my shoulder. Over and over his tiny body lunged forward while
he whimpered in fear. Several hours would pass after each attack before calmness returned.

For months we battled against Satan’s efforts to dampen our faith. Then our pastor, Bro. James Kilgore, asked me to address the ladies’ prayer meeting. I felt impressed to speak about trusting God for
healing. Although I had slept little the night before, I wanted to encourage others to discover the reality of God’s healing power.

That morning I expressed my appreciation for God’s faithfulness to heal and that soon my friends would witness this miracle. But I was quite unprepared for the trial awaiting me that very night.

Besides the terrible epileptic seizures, Rex had developed pneumonia. All night long he gasped for breath as I kept my hand on him, praying and believing. Like David, I encouraged myself in the Lord from the
very words I had spoken that morning at prayer meeting. That was the worst night of the long ordeal. But those were the last seizures Rex could ever have! Satan’s power was broken, but he fought to the end.

When the calendar was checked, we discovered that the seizures had continued almost six months to the day!

Rex is now eight years old with a strong, healthy body and a mind as clear and sharp as any child in his class. Several other parents have also claimed faith to believe for their afflicted children from the
testimony of our miracle child.

The symptoms of epilepsy lasted six months. But, our boy was healed that very moment we grasped hold of faith in the hospital room. By repeatedly confessing that God would make our baby perfectly normal
and strong and healthy–we were strengthening our own faith. The Lord was glorified and we were given a beautiful, unforgettable, fantastic miracle.

At last, the test was finished!

Ask! Believe! Receive!

The correct method for receiving anything from God is this:

“…What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).

This Scripture tells us we should believe at the time we are praying, not afterwards. We believe first and then receive. As James instructed, we ask in faith-without wavering-and then receive (James 1:6).

Andrew Murray, a great man of prayer, advised: “It is not good taste to ask God for the same thing over and over again. If your petition has not materialized, do not pray for it, again in the same way. That
is unbelief. Remind God that you asked for it, that it is according to His Word, and that you are expecting it. Then thank Him for it.”

Resist negative mental images. Never doubt that the answer is yours. If doubts persist, rebuke them in Jesus’ Name.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).

Resist every suggestion, feeling, or thought that does not contribute to building your belief. Stay away from all places and things that do not support your faith.

Satan can use dreams and visions to shatter faith. Beware of a “Jesus” appearing to you in a vision, bringing the message that God’s will is to make you suffer. Do not accept it. Jesus would never contradict His own Word.

To claim healing before it occurs is not lying. God cannot lie, yet He “calls things which be not as though they were.”

We are to walk by faith-not by sight. Faith is the “evidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrew 11:1). The moment prayer is made should be the time you begin “calling those things
which be not as though they were.”

Symptoms may linger. Occasionally, a disease or sickness may seem to worsen. But hold fast to your confession of faith. Then praise God before the answer is manifested.

Thank God – Despite Symptoms!

Several years ago, our car was hit from the rear while stopped at a traffic light. The force of the impact caused a whiplash in my neck, making even lifting my head barely possible.

The insurance company required X-rays to be made. As the doctor explained the test results, he began writing a prescription for pain. When I told him that God had been our Healer for several years and I
would rather not take the medication, he quickly cancelled the prescription. In fact, he seemed awed to find a patient who still believed in God’s healing power. We had quite a time, sharing past testimonies of great healings.

The following morning, every pain disappeared and my neck was completely healed. We notified the insurance company that God had healed me and made an appointment to sign their release.

But my neck began to hurt again. Satan whispered, “If you sign those papers, you can never expect to get any money from the insurance company. And you will probably suffer with your neck the rest of your
life.”

Despite the symptoms, I thanked God for my healing and signed the papers. And I have never had another minute’s trouble with my neck! Praise the Lord!

Once we are fully persuaded that God will perform His promises, we can thank Him before the answer is manifested. Thank Him in your waking moments. Lift your heart in adoration to God for what He has done and what He is doing for you right now!

“Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

We ask in prayer and then thank Him. The more we praise Him, the sooner we obtain our petition.

Let’s review the steps for receiving healing (or other needs):

* Ask for it. Confess with your mouth what you desire-based on a promise from God’s Word.
* Claim it. Believe in your heart that it is yours. Act as if it has already happened.
* Praise Him. Give thanks to God for hearing and answering your prayer.

* Receive it. Accept what God has already done.
* Tell it. Glorify the Lord by telling someone else what He has done for you.

John 15:7 is commonly misinterpreted to read like this: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what God wills, and it shall be done unto you, if it is the will of God.” However, this is the
true reading:

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Ask what you will! Abide in Him. Let His Word abide in you. Be sure that your desires are according to His will and then ask. God never fails to do His part! Failure to receive means we have failed to follow these Scriptural instructions.

In some instances, we can exercise faith for another person. While children are young, it is a parent’s responsibility to believe for them. But as they grow older, a parent cannot alone continue to believe in behalf of a child. That responsibility passes from the parent to the child.

The same is true for new believers. For a time, they can rely upon the faith of older saints. But eventually, God expects them to develop their own praying and believing.

One pastor’s wife had always depended upon his healing ministry to keep her well. She had been healed through his prayers many times and assumed she could always do so. One day her doctor prescribed major surgery after an examination. As usual, her husband immediately began to pray. But nothing happened. God did not respond to her husband’s faith.

After she had suffered for quite sometime, the pastor began to inquire about his wife’s faith. Her highest level was to believe that God would assist the surgeon with a successful operation and for a quick
recovery. Then she and her husband agreed in prayer for that request. Their petition was granted.

The doctors marvelled at her miraculous recovery. That was not God’s best miracle, but it was all she could believe for. Afterward, she began to exercise her own faith and soon found herself elevating to a
higher level of believing.

Some healings result from two or more believers agreeing together in prayer. The faith of one person strengthens that of another. But should a sick person choose to go to be with the Lord, prayer and
faith cannot heal or detain them.

My very close friend was dying from leukemia. Many of the saints agreed together in prayer for her healing. We felt completely confident that she was healed. But two weeks later, she died.

She could have received a glorious healing. But mounting marital problems had become so wearisome, she chose to trade this world for that better one. Because she desired to leave, no one could detain
her.

We cannot force others to desire healing. God has ordained that each person decide whether to accept His benefits. Our “will power” is involved. But when we find one who will agree together with us in
faith, great things can happen!

Hope Is Not Faith!

There is a big difference between hope and faith. Hope is always future. Faith claims it now! Hope believes it will happen someday. Faith transforms hope into the present.

Both faith and hope are Scriptural. The second return of Christ is a future hope; it has not occurred. But healing for our bodies was accomplished in the past. So faith claims it now.

We do not say, “I hope to be healed someday.” We were healed at Calvary. We must believe and claim our health.

Right And Wrong Confessions

Many think they are being honest by confessing their fears and doubts. But fear and doubt are of the Devil. Continually confessing sins and mistakes brings condemnation. Consequently, we will have no faith at all.

Be sure your confession glorifies the Lord. It should testify of some truth you have embraced or affirm what you believe. Rather than mention failures, why not confess God’s feelings about them. He has
forgiven us, He has cleansed us-and forgotten them! Thank Him for it!

Do not confess one thing and do another. If we say, “By His stripes, I was healed,” a fever will not keep us bed-ridden. Ignore the symptoms and climb out of bed, thus making our actions correspond to our
confession (Hebrews 10:23).

Take God’s Medicine!

God wants to heal us and He wants to keep us well. Very special provisions have been included in the plan of salvation, should we become sick or diseased. To claim your rights and privileges of healing, develop a consistent, careful, prayerful study of His Word. Read it. Meditate upon it.

The medicine of God’s Word will not cure sickness while lying on a table by your bed. Nor can it restore health if it is briefly scanned or memorized. The only way the Word can strengthen is to get it inside
your heart! Faith unconsciously comes into your spirit as you feed upon and accept His Words.

If we wish God’s prescription for health to work for us, we must take it according to directions. Notice Solomon’s words:

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health (from
the word “medicine”) to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:20-22).

Make a list of faith Scripture’s and add others as you find them. Read each passage slowly and carefully. Beginning with the Healing Covenant in the Book of Exodus, write each of these Bible verses on an index
card and meditate upon God’s medicine for you:

Exodus 15:26 Mark 11:22-24
Exodus 23:25-26 Mark 16:17-18
Deuteronomy 7:15 Luke 4:18-19
Psalm 91:10, 16 John 10:10
Psalm 103:2-3 John 14:12-14
Psalm 107:20 Acts 5:12, 14-16
Proverbs 4:20-22 Acts 10:38
Isaiah 53:4-5 Acts 19:11-12
Isaiah 55:11 I Corinthians 11:27-30
Matthew 7:11 Galatians 3:13-14
Matthew 8:2-3 Hebrews 13:8
Matthew 8:16-17 James 1:17
Matthew 9:35 James 5:14-16
Matthew 10:1 I Peter 2:24
Matthew 14:14 I John 4:4
Matthew 18:19-20 I John 5:14-15
III John 2

Make it a daily habit to feed your spirit with faith passages. Meditate upon each word as you remind yourself, “This promise is for ME.” If you take this medicine fifteen minutes in the morning and
fifteen minutes at night, reading each verse slowly and prayerfully, you will feel your faith growing!

(The above material appeared in the Search for Truth Publications, Inc. in Houston, TX.)

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