Strategies For Faith

I am waiting on a Promise.

Well, I’m waiting on a few promises to be honest, but there is one in particular that is close to my heart.

The Lord has not yet released me to share it in detail, so for now let’s just say that I have a huge Promise that I am waiting on – and it feels like God is taking forever to fulfill it.

There’s a great church down the street where we used to live that always had the most encouraging signs. One particular sign that I will never forget said, “God always keeps His promises but He is often not in a hurry.” In my case, it feels like God hasn’t been in a hurry for about 11 years.

I don’t want to be negative here, but to be fully vulnerable I have to disclose that this has been a journey of ups and downs for many years.  I’ve seen other personal promises come to pass and there are still more things that I am waiting to see happen in my life. But for some reason there is this one Promise that seems to tug at my heart more than any other, and it has been a great battle at times to remember that the promise IS actually MINE.  That I’m not forgotten or forsaken.  And above all, that God WILL keep His promises to me.

 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20, 21 NIV). 

The worst part is that in the past I felt like such a hypocrite at times. I’ve been in ministry for many years, and I am always teaching people to have faith – to trust in God’s faithfulness and trust that what He says is true. God is most certainly faithful and He only speaks truth. But the number of times in the years that I have regurgitated this and spoken the same cliché statements without really believing it for myself has been too numerous to count.

Of course I have had times when I spoke it from a place of personal conviction, but as the years have grown longer and I have yet to see my promise fulfilled the more I’ve simply clung to the cliché and found myself struggling with the absolute truth that what I am saying to others is in fact FOR ME as well.

So why write about this?

Because I know that there are others out there who are kindred souls, waiting and waiting on a promise from God.

Because up until recently, my head has known His promises but my heart always met my mind with the sting of cognitive dissonance.

My heart would desperately cry out for the fulfillment of the promises of God while my head just sort of “knew” what is true. And as I have gone deeper into intimacy with Him in the Secret Place, He has given me a strategy for the waiting period that has given birth to a new hope in my heart. The dissonance is gone and in its place is expectation.  

Very high expectation.

And a knowing that cannot be thwarted even by the devil’s most crafty tricks and distractions.

1. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).

Most of the time faith comes by hearing…and hearing…and hearing it again! Verbalizing aloud the promise that God gave you not only activates something in your heart, but it also pushes the devil away because he hates the fact that you are declaring the truth. The more you remind yourself of God’s truth and Promises, the more you start to really believe.

Write it in your journal, in your Bible, and anywhere that you can look at it so that you have a record of it as well as a way to remember to say it aloud.  You have the amazing invitation to partner with God to see circumstances change.

2. Faith comes by hearing – but you have to KNOW His character too!

When you don’t truly know God’s character and His heart for you, it will be easier for the devil to come and steal from you. The Bible says that Abraham did not waiver in faith, and that he was “fully persuaded” that God could do what He promised. What helped me was diving into the Psalms and seeing how God came through time and time again for David and the other Psalmists. Psalm 33:4 (NLT) is one of my favorites: “For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” Until we know that we can truly trust Him, we will struggle with the cognitive dissonance in our hearts.  

Knowing His heart for you comes from intimacy with Him and a deep connection in the Secret Place.  This will look different for everyone, but I suggest starting with some worship music and your Bible in a quiet place, away from distractions.  He longs to meet with you.

3. Faith comes by focusing on the good things that God has done in the past.

You must fill your mind with good things. Remember past answered prayers. Remember how God came through for you and for others that you love. Read through Hebrews 11 (the “fathers of faith”) and meditate on stories in the Bible that show God coming through with His promises. Listen to music that builds your faith – do anything you can to fix your thoughts on what is pure, admirable, lovely, true (Philippians 4:8).

Remind yourself of all that God has done for you!  Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the things you may have forgotten.  God is so faithful, He can’t wait to reminisce with you over the goodness in your life.

4. Faith rises when we don’t stop declaring His truth over our lives!

It’s one thing to verbalize God’s promises aloud a few times and to sit down one day and remember all that He’s done for you – but it’s another thing entirely to keep declaring it until you see breakthrough. John 14:13 (NIV) says: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

In the original Greek, what it really says is “whatever you DECLARE in my name will be done.” Declarations are powerful because they activate conviction. They stir up faith! Proverbs 13:2 (NIV) says “From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things.” Good things will come when we declare them.

5. Faith explodes when we hang out with faith-filled people.

One of the biggest blessings during my 11 year wait has been the people that God has brought into my life who have helped increase my faith and my hope when despair tried to sink in. It seems like yearly God ads to my circle people who take God at His word and do not waiver. Sometimes I think that my best friend Lori and my cousin Karen have both believed in my promise more than I did at times!

They encourage me to keep going and often push me to focus on God’s truth when I forget it, as do my pastors. And trust me – I have had the nay-sayers too, those who cannot seem to look past the natural and believe God’s reality as my reality. The challenge is to not listen to anything that goes beyond God’s already spoken words over me even if it looks impossible in the natural. I have also had pastors and prophets that I trust pray over me and I only attend worship conferences and services where I know that the spirit of the place is full of faith. This has fed me more than words can express.

6. Faith comes when we pray for faith.

A very simple step, really. Just ask God to increase your faith. If He supplies us with everything that we need to live a life of godliness (2 Peter 1:3), then why wouldn’t He also give us greater faith?

7. Ask Him for revelation.

God tends to speak to me in pictures and through His word. But He also speaks through music, nature, preachers and other spirit-filled believers. He recently gave me a picture of something (after I asked for revelation during this season) that completely put my mind at ease for the moment. He reminded me that He isn’t delaying my Promise, just holding it for an appointed time.  WOW.  What a perspective change!  Keep pressing in and He will speak to you like that.

I can honestly say that this strategy has certainly helped me come to a place where I am so rooted in hope that I wake up daily with excitement that this could be THE day. It took me a few weeks of consistency with these seven strategies, but for a year now I daily see the fruit of it.

We must always remember that God is good, and that He wants to do immeasurably MORE than we could ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If He has spoken a promise over you – consider it DONE in Jesus’ Name. Even if God does not appear to be “in a hurry,” He is always on time.  He has an appointed time for your Promise – and it will impact nations and generations for His glory!

Don’t give up.

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

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2 thoughts on “Strategies For Faith

  1. The following resonated with me.

    “Because up until recently, my head has known His promises but my heart always met my mind with the sting of cognitive dissonance.
    My heart would desperately cry out for the fulfillment of the promises of God while my head just sort of “knew” what is true. And as I have gone deeper into intimacy with Him in the Secret Place, He has given me a strategy for the waiting period that has given birth to a new hope in my heart. The dissonance is gone and in its place is expectation.”

    Thank you for sharing. Be blessed!

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