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Positive Confession

How to live by faith without denying reality

by Tom Brown

God's Word says you are healed by the stripes of Jesus and that He will supply all your needs, yet you are still experiencing the painful symptoms in your body and the unpaid bills keep mounting. You know that you must continue to walk by faith, but you think to yourself, "I need to talk with my doctor, but how do I tell him my problems and still be in faith at the same time?" Or maybe you're thinking, "I need to talk with my creditors, but how do I tell them my financial situation without sounding like I'm doubting God's ability to supply all my needs?"

Many Christians find themselves between faith and the problems. They want to embrace faith, but find themselves sliding toward the problems of life. Is that you? I have good news! I'm going to show you how to walk by faith without sticking your head in the sand-- pretending that you don't have any problems.

FACE THE FACTS

The answer to this dilemma is found in the story of Abraham. At the age of seventy-five, God promised him a son, but it took twenty-five years before the promise came to pass. What did Abraham do during this interim period?

Romans 4:18-20 tells us: "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he FACED THE FACT that his body was as good as dead...Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God..."

I want you to notice that Abraham did not pretend that he was physically able to procreate. The Bible says that he "FACED THE FACT" that he was impotent. He did not pretend to be a young, sex-crazed bachelor. No! He faced the fact that he was so old that he wasn't interested in sex anymore. And even if he was interested in sex, his wife surely wouldn't cooperate, or if she did, she definitely wouldn't get pregnant.

So how was Abraham going to walk by faith. First, he faced the facts. Before you know where you want to go, you must find out where you are. This is the starting point of faith. This is facing the facts. But you don't stop here. If you do, then you are in unbelief.

What are facts anyway? I like to use the word "f-a-c-t" as an acronym for False Appearance Contradicting Truth.

Many people confuse fact with truth. They are not the same. Facts can change; truth does not. Facts relate to situations and circumstances; truth relates to God's Word.

Jesus prayed and said, "Thy Word is truth!" God's Word is truth, but a doctor's report reveals only facts. A bank statement tells you the facts only, not the truth.

A doctor's diagnosis can change depending on how the patient responds. If a doctor's diagnosis can change, then it is not truth but fact. Yet God's Word continues to say, "By Jesus' stripes, I am healed" (1 Peter 2:24). It will read that way no matter how I feel. It will read that way today, tomorrow and to the next generation after us. It will always say that I am healed. That is truth! It never changes.

A bank statement may show a negative cash flow one month and then show a positive cash flow the next month. In other words, a bank statement fluctuates depending on the customers income and outgo. The statement shows only the facts. Yet God's Word continues to say, "My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). It will say that today as well as tomorrow. I can count on this scripture never changing. Men's opinion may change, but God's Word endures forever.

This is what Paul meant in Romans 3:4, "Let God be true, and every man a liar." God's promises are permanent and reliable.

Can you see the difference between fact and truth?

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT

1 Timothy 6:12 says to fight the good fight of faith. If living by faith was easy and the results instant, then there would be no need to fight the good fight of faith. Doubt, fear and unbelief are great adversaries to faith. They usually get stronger when the answer takes longer.

How do you fight the good fight of faith during long delays in God's fulfillment of His promises? It's easy to live by faith when God answers quickly. But what happens when the answer is taking a long time in coming? Do you give up? Of course not! But what do you do in the meantime?

The answer is right here in 1 Timothy 6:12: "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

And Paul reminds us of Christ' example in fighting the good fight of faith: "Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession" (v. 13).

Finally Paul exhorts us to "keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 14). What command are we to keep? The command to fight the good fight of faith. And how do we fight the good fight of faith? Simple, by maintaining our good confession of faith.

You see, the adversaries to your faith want to control your tongue. The adversaries want you speak doubt, fear and unbelief. They want you to make a bad confession.

A bad confession is based on the troubles and problems that you are going through. Isn't that what you are tempted to do when you are surrounded by trouble? You want to complain! You want to blame! You want to scream! But you know that God has promised to come through and get you out of the pit you're in! Just hold on! Keep confessing God's Word! It will come to pass if you don't give up!

You say, "If I kept confessing that I'm healed and prosperous even though the facts say different, then wouldn't I be lying?" How can you lie by saying the truth? God's Word is truth. In fact, it is the highest form of reality.

A GOOD CONFESSION IS NOT LYING

Let me show you how Christ maintained his good confession, even though the facts said different.

Jesus was being tried in court by Pontius Pilate. Trying to get Jesus to respond, Pilate said, "You are a king, then!"

Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

Let me ask you a question. Christ spoke the truth by declaring Himself to be king. Yet, factually his enemies could have argued with him saying, "If you are king, why are you being tried? If you are king, where is your throne? If you are really king, why don't you rule?"

The point I'm bringing is this: Christ did not look like a king, but in the heavenly places He was king. And in time, His kingdom would be manifested to the world. After two thousand years, over a billion people on this earth today claim that Jesus is their king, and more people every day are coming to realize this.

But how many people today claim that Pilate or Ceasar is their king? None. You see, the fact was clear, Ceasar was king, but the truth is Jesus is king. Truth won. Facts lost.

Jesus made the good confession as to who He was, even though it did not look factual. But facts changed. Now more people claim to follow Christ than anyone who has ever lived. Christ' confession changed the world.

He is our pattern. We, too, can make our confession as to who we really are--new creatures, righteous, saints, healed, prosperous, wise, victorious, world overcomers--and by doing this, we can change our own individual worlds.

We don't deny the facts, we simply believe that the facts will change and truth will prevail. And because we know the power of God's Word, we can face the facts and say, "Yes, the facts are that I'm feeling sick and my bills are piling up, yet the truth is, I'm healed and blessed."

When we know that God's Word will prevail, we can go to the doctor and ask him for the facts. We can talk with are creditors and tell them the facts. But in all this, we know deep within our hearts what the truth really is. It is only a matter of time before the truth wins and the facts lose.

My concern is for Christian people who are terrified of the facts. Consequently, they refuse to go to the doctor, claiming that they are healed, when in reality they are scared of finding out the facts--perhaps they have cancer or some incurable disease. Or they refuse to adjust their financial lifestyle claiming they God will supply their need, but really they want God to supply their greed.

You see, when it dawns on you that facts are going to change, yet God's Word is not, then you can face the facts with God's Word knowing that God's Word will prevail!

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