By Pastor Tim Burt
Before I knew Jesus, I was a young man with little will power. The truth was, for the most part I did what I felt like doing unless I thought I was going to get into major trouble. Even then I did some not-so-bright things because I was too stupid not to. The Bible calls this state of mind without Jesus as having a “darkened mind.” Eph. 4:18 says it like this: “…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”
When I gave my life to Jesus and received Him into my heart as Lord and Savior, God’s Word says that I was delivered from Satan’s power over my life and put in the hands and dominion of Jesus. That is where my eyes were opened. Col. 1:13 “God has delivered us from the power of darkness and moved us over into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
From the moment I surrendered my life to Jesus in prayer, the Holy Spirit came to live within me. It was though my eyes had suddenly opened and I could begin to see life through God’s eyes. That was the work of the Holy Spirit that I had never experienced before. The Holy Spirit began to help me understand God’s Word. I could see that they were filled with God’s promises of help. It was like a weight fell off my shoulders. I had help and that help was from God! I no longer had to rely on just my own strength of will power that too often failed me as I caved in to most temptations. Now I could begin to count on God’s grace and the power of His Holy Spirit strengthening me to live my life. That is why the Lord opened the eyes of my understanding and why He opens yours.
He opens our understanding of the Bible—the Word of God—so that it will begin to build hope in our heart—not just wishbone hope, but real hope. When we let the word of God speak hope into our life, then the Holy Spirit can turn it into precious faith, like coal turning into diamonds. When it becomes faith, you begin to move from hoping to knowing deep in your heart that what God promises is true. You begin to build faith! That is always a great moment because that is when doubt and anxiety flee and true heart faith that pleases God and moves mountains in your life begins to develop.
In Psalm 31 we read David communing or praying to God with hope. He knew God. He knew who God was and what He had promised, and it produced a hope that you can hear in His prayers. Troubles try to steal your hope and bankrupt whatever real faith you have. You will see as David begins his prayer, he is in trouble, he needs God’s help, and he begins to appeal from hope.
Psalm 31:1-2 “In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.”
As he continues in this prayer, you hear his hope and request but something changes. Something happens when you begin to talk to God about the way He is and what He promises. It doesn’t take long before David’s words and requests moved past hope. They became a knowing which is the difference between hope and faith. For example: Do you know your name or hope it? Do you know your age or hope it? Do you know your address or hope it? It would sound stupid to say you hoped your name. You know it! That’s what faith is – knowing it! David moved from hope to knowing God would help him. He begins to declare who God is and His love and promise.
Psalm 31:3-4 “For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.”
David moves over from his emotions, his need of help, and his hope, to a place of knowing—a place of faith in what God has promised him. He declares it in faith and prays the rest of the time from a strong point of faith.
You can’t fake faith. It’s something that is built in your heart from knowing what you know about God. That only comes from spending time with Him and in His Word. This is why it’s so important to spend time in the Word. God calls His Word “quick and powerful.” It produces faith. It produces strength. It moves mountains. And as we saw in Psalm 31:4 God becomes our “rock and our fortress, leads and guides us, and pulls us out of the net (or traps) the enemy has secretly laid for us. He is our strength!”
In His Love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.