We’re going to continue on the subject of faith. The title of today’s message is “The Cycle of Faith.” Believers need to learn how to operate in the full cycle of faith. Faith Sees things a certain way, Speaks a certain way, and Acts a certain way. Let’s look at some of these characteristics of faith.
I. Let’s go on and look at another example that Jesus gave. MATT 8:5-10
A. A centurion in the Roman army was a commander of a century, a group of 100 soldiers.
B. Jesus was saying that what the centurion said and did, revealed that he had “great faith.”
1. Jesus even said that this was the greatest faith that He had ever seen in any one.
a) What was it that the man said and did that caused Jesus to measure this his faith as great faith.
2. 1st he understood the authority in the Word of God.
a) (2nd) Then He said, “Just speak the Word.”
(i) In other word he said, I need the Word of God that my servant will be healed.
(ii) That is the only way to have faith, to have God’s Word of the subject.
b) How do we know that He had to have faith in God’s Word for his servant to be healed?
c) That brings us to the 3rd thing that he did.
(i) MAT 8:13
(ii) Jesus said according to your faith it’s going to be done, and his servant was healed.
II. Later, after Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to the disciples, all were there except Thomas.
A. (John 20:25) “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
1. Later Jesus appeared to Thomas (John 20:27) and said to him, “In Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.”
2. He said this level of faith is “Faithless” or having no faith.
a) If we have to see the answer to the promise with our natural eyes before we’ll believe. We don’t have the faith that is needed to receive.
3. If you will react to felling sick by saying: “The Word is my final authority. It says that I am HEALED by Jesus stripes, and that’s all the evidence I need. I am healed and that settles it.”
a) And you really mean it from your heart. Jesus will marvel at your faith.
B. Let’s look at 1 more level of faith.
1. 2THES 1:2-3 (Paul said)
a) The word “Exceedingly” comes from the Greek word meaning “To increase beyond measure.”
2. Look at 1THES 1:8.
a) The NIV says, “Your faith in God has become known everywhere.”
b) Their faith was so great that Paul could say, “Your faith is known wherever I go.”
3. The only way that we can develop our faith to an Immeasurable level is by applying the spiritual law that says, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
C. Wherever your level of faith is as you meditate on God’s Word, your faith will increase and the limitations will decrease.
1. Remember Jesus said in (Matthew 9:29) “According to your faith be it unto you.”
2. But you might say, “Pastor, may faith is not at the level that it should be, but I have a need now.”
a) Thank God for His mercy, the Bible says that we can call for the elder of the church and the Prayer of faith will save the sick.
(i) And we can come together and pray the prayer of agreement.
b) Jesus said in (Matthew 18:19) “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
(i) God wants you to grow in faith, and that only comes through our time spent in the Word of God, but also must choose to believe it & to be in agreement with it.
III. 1st, faith sees the end result before it can be seen in the natural realm.
A. Faith sees the image of the end result, and it’s God’s Word that creates the image.
1. Just about every good thing that has come to pass in your life starts in your heart, your spirit.
a) Jesus said in (MATT 12:35) “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.”
2. God designed His Word to create an image in your heart.
a) Words paint pictures, images.
(i) When you hear the word “dog,” you picture a dog.
b) When you meditate on the Word and choose to believe it, the Word of God will begin to paint a picture of what God is saying.
(i) If you need healing, start creating an image of yourself healed by meditating God’s Word.
(ii) Confess the scriptures that promise to meet your physical needs.
c) The same thing is true for finances. ....
(i) Meditate on Vs like (Philippians 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
(ii) God will paint a picture on the canvas of your heart of your needs being met.
(iii) That image will be more real than what your physical eyes see.
B. 1 important thing about faith is that it sees the UNSEEN.
1. God saw an image of the universe inside Himself before He ever spoke.
a) He saw man before He ever created him.
2. Look at 2COR 4:18.
a) He goes on to say in the next chapter in (2 Corinthians 5:7) “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
(i) Paul is implying that the Believer is not to be governed by what he sees in the natural realm.
3. Turn over to HEB 11:1.
a) Notice the 1st part of this V. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.”
(i) I like to put it this way, “Faith brings substance of the thing you hoped for.”
b) Then he goes on to say, “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”
(i) Something that you have evidence for, exists whether it can be seen or not.
4. When you look beyond the problem, you are seeing with the eye of faith.
a) The eye of faith looks beyond that which is seen, the problem, the circumstances, and sees the unseen.
5. Look at HEB 12:2.
a) The part that I wanted you to see is the part that says, “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.”
(i) To the natural eye, Calvary looked like defeat.
(ii) But Jesus had joy because He saw the end result beyond the torture of the cross.
b) He knew He would destroy the Devil’s power and authority, and bring a new race of people into the Earth that never existed before. The born again Christian.
c) Getting hold of this idea will completely change your life.
(i) Everything that your physical eye can see is subject to change.
(ii) Jesus proved that in His own ministry.
IV. Jesus looked beyond the problem.
A. MATT 14:14-21
1. V19 Look to Heaven
2. V 16 you give them
3. The 1st thing that Jesus did was that He took His eyes off the circumstances and looked to heaven. (V. 19)
a) Then He blessed it, broke it and handed it to the disciples.
b) Then the 5000 plus the woman and children ate it.
4. Jesus looked beyond the problem and saw the image of everyone eating until full.
B. Look at LUKE 13:10-13
1. Jesus saw beyond the problem and said to her “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.”
a) He had an image of her standing strong and tall.
(i) The woman took hold of that image and walked out healed.
C. In (2KINGS 6) Elisha was surrounded by enemy forces, but he said to his servant, in (2 Kings 6:16) “Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them.”
1. The prophet was seeing beyond the physical evidence.
a) He was seeing angels, horses, and chariots of fire.
b) Sometimes Christians are too involved in seeing with their physical eyes.
(i) When we do that we are being controlled by the circumstances.
(ii) Let God’s Word form the image on the inside of you. An image of victory.
2. Look at PSA 34:19.
a) Sometimes people read this from a religious standpoint. They only read ½ of this V.
(i) They only read, “Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous.”
(ii) This plants a picture of continual defeat.
b) “But the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
3. Jesus said in, (John 16:33) “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
a) When people stop reading after the 1st part, they see themselves being of great sorrows, instead of being of good cheer.
D. Sometimes people have a wrong image of themselves, a defeat image that needs to be overcome.
1. We have a man that was like that in JOHN 5:2-9.
a) Jesus asked the man, “Will you be made whole.”
b) The man actually answered, “No.”
(i) He saw himself as being crippled the rest of his life.
(ii) Jesus had to change the image in his heart.
c) (Proverbs 12:25) Says, “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
(i) Jesus changed the image in the mans heart by giving him a good word. The greatest word this man could hear, “Rise.”
2. 1st the man’s image changed in his heart, then his attitude had to change.
a) He could have said to Jesus, “What do you mean, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk,’ I can’t walk I’m crippled.”
(i) But the man didn’t say that. His attitude was right, it was changed by the Word of God.
(ii) We also have to watch our attitude.
(iii) Attitudes come from the mind, and we have to renew our mind through the Word of God.
b) The Word of God declares you to be healed and blessed, and that’s the way God sees you.
(i) He sees you controlling circumstances and reigning in life, and not allowing life to reign over you.
(ii) (Romans 5:17) Says, “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
(iii) 1 other translation says, “Reign as kings in life.”
(iv) This is the image that God has of you and this is the image that you need to have.
V. Faith will also Speak the Image.
A. Look at 2COR 4:13.
1. When you see the image inside you and believe it, you will speak it automatically.
a) Be careful to conceive the right kind of image in your heart.
b) Jesus said in (Matthew 12:34-35) “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
(i) You’re going to talk about the image you have on the inside, either good or bad.
(ii) If you have a failure image, you will talk failure. If you have a poverty image, you will talk poverty.
(iii) Whatever it is that you say, good or bad, the words you speak will play a very important part in causing that image you have to come to pass.
c) (Mark 11:23) Says, “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.”
B. If bad things are happening to you, and you don’t know why, listen to what you are saying.
1. Sometimes people say, “I just can’t make good confession.”
a) You can, but you can’t just change your words.
(i) You have to change the image in your heart.
b) Jesus said in (Matthew 12:34) “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
(i) Whatever image it is that you have in your heart, your mouth will speak.
(ii) You’ve got to change the image that is in your heart.
C. Many times’ people will try talking faith without having conceived an image in their spirit 1st.
1. They don’t see any results.
a) They say, “I’ve confessed that I’m healed, but I’m still sick.” “That faith confession stuff doesn’t work.”
b) They’re still sick because they didn’t conceive an image of being well 1st.
2. (Proverbs 23:7) Says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he.”
3. Confession is vital, but only part of the full cycle of faith.
VI. Once you have begun to speak the image that is in your heart, you need to begin to act accordingly.
A. Peter saw himself getting out of the boat and walking on the water to come to Jesus.
1. He had to see himself doing it before he could even consider it.
2. Then he spoke it.
a) In (Matthew 14:28) Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”
b) When Jesus said, “Come,” Peter began walking on the water.
c) Peter’s faith saw, spoke, and acted.
(i) But Peter allowed the circumstances to change his image.
(ii) When he got his eyes on the circumstances, on what his physical eyes could see, he began to sink.
B. When the circumstances are against you, you have to be bold with your actions.
1. Turn to LUKE 5:17-20.
a) These men took their friend to Jesus for healing.
(i) After conceiving an image of getting their friend to Jesus, they made the journey, carrying him on a stretcher.
b) When they reached the building where Jesus was preaching, they found it was full of people, and they couldn’t get in.
(i) Instead of saying, “Sometimes that faith stuff doesn’t work; we tried our best, but can’t get in.”
(ii) It says that they sought MEANS to bring him in.
c) They didn’t look at the circumstances, they SAW, SPOKE, then ACTED.
2. Those men were bold with their faith, they ripped of the roof to get their friend to Jesus.
a) In (V 20) it says, “And when he saw their faith.”
b) He saw their faith and their actions, and healed the man.
C. The action does not prove that you have faith.
1. But if you have that KNOWING on the inside that God is doing something in your life, you will act as boldly as needed to get your miracle.
D. Let faith take its full cycle.
1. Once you see an image, don’t let anything stop you.
a) Start speaking it, and then take action.
2. If there’s obstacles in you way, don’t give up.
a) Jesus will see your faith and meet your needs.
WOLCC Sun Am 11/13/94 & Sunday, 7/24/05
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.