THE STAGES OF FAITH
Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character?
If you don’t understand this process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder “Why is this happening to me?” But if you understand and cooperate with what God is doing in your life and business, your faith – like a muscle that is stretched – will develop great strength.
This is a great teaching and prayer for a time such as this…
Stage 1: A Dream
God gives you a dream … an idea, goal, or ambition. Every great accomplishment first began as a God-given dream in someone’s mind.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and
ever! Amen.” Eph. 3:20
Stage 2: Decision
A dream is worthless until you decide to do something about it. This is the moment of truth where you decide to invest your time, money, energy, and reputation and to let go of security. If you want to walk on water – you must get out of the boat!
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1:6–8
Stage 3: Delay
There is ALWAYS a time lapse before your dream becomes reality. God uses this waiting period to teach us to trust Him. Remember, a delay is not a denial. Maturity is understanding the difference between “no” and “not yet.” God says,
“These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Hab 2:3 (LB)
Stage 4: Difficulty
Now the problems start popping up. The 2 most common types: critics and circumstances. Don’t worry. It’s all a part of God’s plan.
“At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident – it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold.” I Pet. 1:6-7 (Ph)
Stage 5: Dead End!
Your situation will deteriorate from difficult to IMPOSSIBLE! You are backed into a corner, you reach the end of your rope, it looks hopeless. Congratulations! You are on the edge of a miracle. Trust God.
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” II Cor. 1:8-9
Stage 6: Deliverance!
God provides a supernatural answer. Miraculously, things fall into place! God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections so you can see His greatness.
“I expect the Lord to deliver me once again so I will see his goodness to me.:” Psalm 27:13
~ copied ~ Rick Warren