Topic for today on The Flashback Show is “ FAITH “
What is FAITH
Is Faith one of the Greatest weapon of a Christian?
Does Pride interfere with Faith?
My guests for this discussion are;
Sharlyne Thomas, an award-winning author, inspirational speaker and professional editor. She has published six non-fiction books so far. She was named Author of the Year at the 2013 Newsome Awards Orlando event and was named the 2013 Member of the Year of Business Women Inspirational Network for which she was a Board Member for nearly 10 years.
Sharlyne received the Ersaline Davis-Daurham Love of a Mother Humanitarian Award in 2013. She also contributed to the script for “The Turnaround” movie released in 2017, which has won and been nominated for several awards such as Best Screenplay.
Zinetta R. Baker, a professional nurse with a BSN of 24yrs in nursing, licensed Minister for 15yrs in church ministry, recently obtained her MA in counseling speciality in Marriage and Family. She started a Christian-based mental health counseling and consulting program in church since June 2018 with her fellow counselor partners who are Christians as well.
She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Christian counseling, an author of 17 books, and has a blog for encouraging and empowering single women of their God-given purpose.
What is Faith?
Tamara: My definition of faith is when you have complete trust in God! Nothing and nobody can come between that; there is no Eve moment! The serpent can’t come in your ear whispering nothing to you; because you gonna have your Bible ready for him.
Sharlyne: According to the Bible, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). To me, it’s simply trusting (believing/knowing) that something is true.
Zinetta: The Scriptural definition according to Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” This means to the believer, faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as the present and the invisible is seen. The Word of God and His promises for our lives is the substance and evidence. Faith requires trust in God, belief in God, hope in God, and love for God.
What is the difference between Faith and Hope?
Sharlyne: They’re related as per Hebrews 11:1, but hope is more about expectation and faith is more about trust. For example, you can either hope that you’re married by age 35, or you can have faith that the Lord will send your spouse at the right time.
Tamara: The difference between the two is with faith you believe that all things are possible with God in your life and with hope it may or may not be possible; it’s a 50/50 chance.
Zinetta: Faith and hope operate together like conjoined twins to the Christian believer. The definition of faith is described above which includes hope in its meaning. Hope is Scripturally defined as a “favorable and confident expectation” and has to do with the unseen and the future (Vine et. al, 1996). Hope is an attitude and focus. Faith is the foundation that fuels hope in God’s Word of authenticity and living.
Why is it difficult to have faith in God?
Tamara: If you’re still trying to decide if you’re going to take the leap of faith; then you’re still on the fence and going off of a worldly mindset. How can you believe in God and you’re still dabbling in the things of the world?
When you make the commitment it’s no longer difficult. Your spiritual mindset will help sustain your focus and build up your faith muscles.
Sharlyne: Those who find it difficult to have faith in God are probably walking by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). We have to learn to rely more on our spiritual sight than or natural sight. For me, I have more faith in God’s Word than in what I see.
Zinetta: Difficulty is a matter of personal perception and true understanding of what Biblical faith is, what faith looks like in action, trusting who God is and what His Word says. An unbeliever may have difficulty understanding faith if there is no personal relationship with Jesus Christ who helps us in our faith and lacks trust and understanding of God’s Word. A Christian believer who experiences difficulty in having faith in God usually attributes it to unpleasant situational events that may have occurred in their life and somewhat blames God for allowing such things to happen. The latter applies to an unbeliever as well who experiences the same and is human nature for us to struggle in this area. However, when you genuinely trust in God, faith becomes possible and all we need is a mustard size seed of faith (Luke 17:6).
Does pride interfere with faith?
Zinetta: Pride is a pitfall to faith, a form of self-righteousness, it is one of seven things God hates (Proverbs 6:16-17) because it is self-driven with high-mindedness in personal accolades, and precedes self-destruction (Proverbs 18:12). Pride shifts the focus off of God and onto self and interferes with believing and placing full confidence in God and His Word. Pride blinds God’s truth and ultimately interferes with faith in God.
Sharlyne: Yes, if we rely more on our own power, strength or wisdom, than we won’t lean on God and have faith that He is in control. Psalm 10:4 says, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God.”
Tamara: Yes; it does! Proverbs 16:18….Pride and Faith can’t intertwine.. it’s like oil and water—-
One of them has to part ways; there is no way for both of them to be under the same roof! It’s like a love and hate relationship; it won’t ever work.
Does holiness work with faith?
Tamara: To be holy; you have to have faith! Holiness isn’t a simple walk in the park! Everyone that claims to know God; isn’t holy! 1 Thessalonians 4:7
There are many scriptures on holiness 2 Timothy 2:21, Leviticus 20:26 and many others they all point out the same thing—-you have to lay down all the worldly stuff; you have picked up along the way; and take on a spiritual way of life! In order to even begin the process; you require faith. Without it the renewal process can’t take root.
Holiness is a form of sanctity or setting apart from sin, its influences and used for God’s special use according to 1 Peter 1:15-16. Faith is required to believe that Christ is Holy and therefore as Christians, we are to exemplify holiness in everything we do. That is putting faith into action by living holy as commanded in Romans 12:1.
Sharlyne: Not necessarily – You don’t have to be holy to have faith (i.e. for salvation), but you will need to have faith that God can make and keep you holy (i.e. to be delivered from some form of bondage). Jude 1:20 does mention “holy faith,” but the Bible does not state that holiness is a requirement to have or work your faith.
What is Faith greatest enemy?
Sharlyne: Most people say that fear is the opposite of faith and that is partly true. However, I’ve heard Joyce Meyers say, “Do it afraid.” That means you can still step out on faith even if you have some type of fear. Doubt/disbelief is really the greatest enemy of faith because if you don’t believe God, that means you don’t have faith in Him (see Hebrews 11:6).
Tamara: Self doubt—-you are the only one that can stop faith from working…you not standing up to your #1 enemy—Satan….many of us aren’t strong enough to walk away from the negative aspects; that we’ve given a front row seat in our lives…we believe and fall for every negative aspect that the enemy shoots at us…”you will never be anything in this life” “nobody wants you” “you”re ugly-fat-etc” we have to stop giving the enemy access to our lives, thoughts and our bodies.
Zinetta: Faith’s greatest enemy is FEAR. Some people think faith is walking a plank blindfolded not knowing when the dropoff will occur. It is the fear of the unknown, fear of not knowing the outcome to life’s situations, fear of the unexpected that can stop faith from working. Underlying fear is the selfish desire for power, control and predictability which opposes faith’s principle of hoping for the invisible as if it is present, an expectation for God to act on our behalf. Fear encompasses doubt, lacks trust in God, and harbors disbelief in God’s power and is not of God (2 Timothy 1:7). The effects of fear over faith is evident with Jesus walking on water to meet the disciples on the boat in the midst of an unexpected storm (Mark 6:49-50). Much to our dismay, we respond in like manner to the disciples when the storms of life unexpectedly and seemingly threatens our sense of security, forgetting that God is in control of all things.
Is there a difference between believe and Faith
Zinetta: Yes and no. To believe is to place trust in something or someone and faith is the foundation from which belief is rooted. For example, like the planting of a tree, the seed is faith planted in the soil foundation (human heart), God’s Word is the source of nourishment to the seed of faith, as it blossoms and springs forth, it produces hope, belief, and love in the born-again Christian. Faith is to believe, to love, and to hope.
Sharlyne: Yes, faith is what you have (a characteristic like integrity), and believing is what you do (you believe God for something). John 20:27 says, “be not faithless, but believing.” I have resolved to go beyond faith by “knowing” in my heart that God’s Word is true, and I can believe it and stand on it.
Tamara: —1 Thessalonians 2:13
The two go hand in hand! You can’t have one without the other. You have to be a believer in order to have faith.
James said Faith without work is dead. What does this mean?
Tamara: —James 2:14-26
Does your mouth match your heart, soul, spirit, mind and body? You can speak with your mouth that you believe in God and you want to renew your life with Him; but does your soul, spirit, mind and body agree? If you speak those words your actions have to match! Your walk has to match! You can’t speak it and not live it!
Zinetta: Yes, James 2:17, 24, 26 explains this concept to mean that just having faith, hoping and believing God’s Word to be true and real, yet not practicing active obedience demonstrating living faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). James illustrates that active faith should produce active works, like fruits of the Spirit are produced when we are actively connected to the vine of Christ (John 15:5). Christians can not profess practicing faith yet live and behave faithlessly (dead).
Sharlyne: That means we have to “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). If we have faith in God, then we have to prove it by our actions. For example, when you have faith that God is your provider, you may pay your tithes even on a tight budget.
Is there a way where people can practice how strong or weak their Faith is?
Sharlyne: Sometimes we are forced to strengthen our faith muscles due to certain trails – It’s not a choice to test our measure of faith, it’s just a circumstance where we can prove it.
Tamara: Look at Abraham, John, or Mary for starters! All of them had strong faith! Can you relate? Weak faith would look something like Sarah not believing that God could and would bless her in her old age. Genesis 18:9-15
Zinetta: God tests our faith through the attitudes of our hearts, behavioral actions, and life circumstances to strengthen our faith, trust in Him, and produce the fruits of His Spirit within (Galatians 5:22-23). James 1:2-4 affirms that when we experience trials of life (known as spiritual tests), our faith is developing perseverance or patience, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit. That is to say, there is learning to be gained in hardships and God often uses struggles to draw us closer to Him. The measure of how strong or weak our faith is, is determined by our outlook and response to the presented situation. Do we weep and remain hopeless or rise up and stand on God’s promises that trouble will not last always (Psalm 30:5). My personal testimony of putting my faith in God and trusting in His Word for healing my brokenness from my broken marriage that ended in divorce last year and presently encouraged and empowered to help others deal with their state of brokenness is nothing but the love of God that healed me and strengthen my faith in Christ even the more.
When is it difficult to put your hope on Faith?
Tamara: When you’re still a baby in Christ—(new believer—or when you’re not fully committed)
Seasoned/Committed Christians that have been through some storms and had no help in sight; only God! They have firm and unwavering faith that God is going to show up and save the day! Hebrews 5:12-14 When you’re a babe and you haven’t been through any storms and haven’t seen the power/hand of God; then you don’t know what to expect; so your doubt will creep in and you’ll try to fix things/or simply walk away/give up; instead of praying for God to send you any help.
Zinetta: During life’s struggles, losses, hardships, and consequences from decisions we make that may not have been the will of God for our life in that moment. Because we are not perfect and we do make mistakes, every human being has experienced a low point in life where it seems all hope appears lost and faith seems obsolete. But once you understand that difficulties come to grow us and strengthen our hope and faith in Christ, difficulties become another faith exercise to overcome believing that it is working in our favor in the long-term (Romans 8:28).
Sharlyne: You don’t put your hope on faith, you put your hope and faith in God.
Is Faith one of the greatest weapons of a Christian?
Zinetta: LOVE is the greatest commandment Jesus commanded of his followers because it involves an unselfish service to others, and gives evidence (works) that you care (1 Corinthians 13:2, 13). FAITH is the foundation and content of God’s message, HOPE is the attitude and focus, and LOVE is the action (active obedience) because God is love and demonstrated His love to all mankind through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ and granting all who believe in Him eternal life (John 3:16).
Sharlyne: Yes, because the enemy does not want you to have faith in God, believe His Word or trust that He will protect and provide for you. When you build your house upon a rock as per Mark 7:24, then you won’t be moved when the storms of life come. You can decree and declare God’s Word no matter what you see in the natural.
Tamara: Yes it is! Faith blocks the hand of the enemy in my opinion. When a Christian has faith they have no doubts that God is going to show up in their everyday life. There is no wiggle room for the enemy or any of his tactics (temptations, distractions; etc). Ephesians 6:16
For instance a single woman or man has complete faith; that God will lead them to find/meet the right soulmate for them. So therefore they aren’t jumping from bed to bed! They enjoy their singleness and are content and purposeful in the meantime…
Why was Peter unable to walk on the water?
Is it because of fear or he lost faith?
Tamara: Matthew 14:22-31
Self-doubt! Peter didn’t fully grasp the power that had been placed in him; his faith wavered!
Zinetta: Both fear and little faith affected Peter’s ability to maintain walking on the water. Peter’s initial faith (foundation) empowered him to personally experience the miraculous and undeniable power of placing his faith in Christ in the midst of the storm (“walking by faith and not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7). But Peter began to focus his attention away from Christ and on his surroundings, which caused his faith to waver (sinking sand foundation) and succumbed to his environment. Jesus used “little faith” in the context as a tender rebuke for Peter’s anxiety about the storm appearing to overtake him. Such as we operate today when the storms of life seem to be overwhelming and threatening to our personal safety in life (materials, things, social status, and/or loss of relationships), we forego the blessed opportunity to experience the miracle working power of Christ when our focus shifts from our loving Savior to the temporary woes the world brings.
Should we pray to ask for faith?
Sharlyne: Romans 12:3 says that God has given all of us a measure of faith; and Matthew 17:20 says that even if that measure is as small as a mustard seed, we can still move mountains. We don’t need to pray to have faith, but sometimes we may have to say like the disciples in Luke 17:5, “Lord, increase my faith.”
What is the act of saving faith and is faith only supernatural?
Tamara: Saving faith? Knowing and trusting in God completely! Accepting Him into your life and wanting to do right by Him and Him alone! You are telling the enemy; thanks, but no thanks! Everything and anyone that doesn’t line up with the godly ways of life; have to depart! You have a determination to change and become renewed; you seek out and search for those people, places, and things that don’t fit, and you make the necessary changes. Many people say with their mouth that they believe, but they show with their actions who they really represent! If you’re going to represent the Kingdom of God; you have to speak as His child; walk as His child and act like His child!
Faith is only supernatural if you don’t believe! Faith comes naturally to those that know, love and have accepted God as their Lord and Savior!
Why do we seek medical help first when we are sick, does that mean our faith is shaky?
Zinetta: Seeking medical help does not indicate our faith is shaky. Rather, receiving medical help coupled with faith and believing that God is in control whatever the medical concern may strengthen our faith and trust in God. Oftentimes, God may use a medical condition to grasp our attention towards seeking Him for healing. Faith becomes questionable when we believe the medical report over believing God’s report of His healing for us.
Where should you draw the line between Faith and unreasonable?
Tamara: For me, I don’t think I can ever draw the line when it comes to faith! The Bible says this in Matthew 17:20 “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.” (NKJV) and in John 10:10 it says this: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have lifeand that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV)
Just knowing that; I am always in anticipation of every good thing that God has for me! Your faith has to be intact to receive it and it also has to be in God’s will! Our lives aren’t always going to be peachy! But when you realize the power of God and how faith comes into play; then you are mindful that brighter days are ahead!
Many people think of faith in the wrong sense; they believe faith is tied to material things alone! They assume that if they have many material things then that is; because they have faith in God; and He is blessing them!
This is the #1 thing to remember is: You have to believe in God to have faith! There are many unbelievers that have wealth; that doesn’t mean that God gave it to them!
To draw the line; is like you’re saying; that you don’t believe that God can do everything and anything; and that He has limits.
We as believers know that God is limitless, and He alone; calls the shots! All we have to do is have faith and do our part, and that’s believe! Believe that He will give us the power, strength, and courage to endure!
Does how fast something works for us depend on the strength of our faith?
Sharlyne: No because God has His own clock/calendar which is far different than ours. We may have great faith for something but still have to wait weeks, months or even years for the manifestation of the answer. Romans 4:19 says that Abraham was “not weak in faith,” but we know he had to wait several years after God first spoke with him before his promised son Isaac was born.
Can prayer and Faith solve any problem and how often must we pray?
Zinetta: Yes, problems can become clarified and thus solved when genuine faith and trust in God, consistent prayer, studying and applying God’s Word are incorporated in our daily life routine. The Bible declares “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 meaning to adopt a prayerful attitude at all times which will naturally propel us to pray frequent, spontaneous short prayers throughout our day and “meditating on God’s Word day and night” in Psalm 1:2. Knowing and meditating on God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to our everyday life and learning to live as God wants us to live. Problems may result when we choose to live our lives apart from God’s ways.
Anything else you want to add before we go?
Sharlyne: Make up your mind to continuously walk by faith and not by sight, wholly relying on the Word of God to give you hope, joy and contentment in every situation.
Zinetta: Faith is not an overnight growth, mystical or absent-minded thing. It is an ongoing spiritual discipline and active lifelong journey designed to grow us into spiritually mature Christians.