July 29, 2013
How to Live a Long and Prosperous Life in Faith
The key to living a long, healthy and prosperous life and to pleasing God is to have faith in him and believe that he will honor the promises he has made to us in his word. Many people could be living a better life but they either don’t believe in God, they are angry with him or they believe that God is angry with them and for whatever the reason is they do not seek a relationship with him. There is one true God and he is a loving, forgiving, merciful and faithful God and not just an angry God. Psalms 103:8 states that “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”
The first step is to believe this statement as true because the bible is God-breathed and God is incapable of lying, as stated in Hebrews 6:18. The second step is to want to live your life God’s way and then get yourself a bible and do daily bible study. The next step after that is to understand what you are reading and apply God’s word as you learn it to your everyday life. You must also confess your sins to the Lord and repent, find a good bible-based church where the word of God is preached and nothing is added or subtracted from what is written in the bible, confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior and that he died on the cross to save us from our sins then was raised three days later so we could have a right relationship with God, and finally be baptized. By doing these things you will be displaying your faith in God and in his son Jesus and letting God know you believe in his mighty raising-of-the-dead power which pleases him. After you are baptized, it is important to attend church regularly and really listen and absorb what message is being preached that is inspired from God and relates directly to teachings from the bible. It is also important to continue daily bible study and if there is ever anything you are reading and do not understand, do not be afraid to ask someone at your church for help to figure out what it is God is saying so that you can understand how to apply it to your life.
The more you study and read about God’s faithfulness to his people and about his promises and how Jesus healed many while he was on earth as a human, the more your faith will grow. Hebrews 11:1 states that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance of things we cannot see.” A few verses later in Hebrews 11:6, it says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who honestly seek him.” Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20-21, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
What Jesus is saying is that if you have even a little bit of faith, he can work with it and with you and in you to do many great works for God in his name. Just ask Jesus for help if you struggle with your faith and he will be faithful to help you overcome your unbelief like he did with the kid’s father in Mark 9 when the father’s kid was possessed by an evil spirit that kept throwing the boy into fire or water and made the boy unable to hear or talk. The father asked Jesus to heal his son “if you can” in Mark 9:22. In Mark 9:23, Jesus responds with, “If I can? Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father told Jesus in the verse following that, verse 24, that he does believe and asked Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. Jesus then cast out the demon possessing the father’s son and it came out of the boy after throwing him into one last fit on the ground. Just like Jesus was able to heal the boy and help his father overcome unbelief, he can heal you and help you overcome any unbelief that lingers.
Deciding to have faith in God and in his promises and mighty power and to live life God’s way is a rewarding life and the only way to have eternal life in Heaven after Jesus’ second coming. This is not a guarantee that you won’t run into problems, because you will, but the difference between living life God’s way and living without God is the difference between being brought through difficult times to better times while alive on earth and being saved for eternity, and between depending on your own strength instead of God’s to get you out of your troubles and struggling with life and not having eternal life with Jesus after his second coming. And genuine faith is useless when things are going well in your life because it is easy to believe in God when times are good. It is when you are in the middle of your struggles and difficult situations that letting God know in prayer and through your other words and through action that you are trusting him to turn your situation around for the better and honor his promises to you, believing that the impossible from a human point of view is made possible when you put your situation in Jesus’ hands that shows God that your faith is genuine and strong. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, the apostle Peter tells us that God puts us through many trials to see how strong our faith is and when we pass the test each time, we will be rewarded with eternal life.
After being put through a period of trials and tests, you will learn to have unwavering faith each time you end up passing the test and not letting the enemy’s lies shake your faith. Remember that anything you hear that contradicts what God says in his word is not from God and is a lie that the devil is trying to tell you so that you lose your right standing with God and eternal life. The key is to prepare yourself with God’s word so that when the attacks come, such as when the devil points out your current situation and how long you have been stuck there, that things will never get better, quote God’s promises from the bible. For instance, in response to this particular attack you might go to Jeremiah 29:11 to quote, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You may also write in your heart Psalm 34:17,19 which says, “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.; The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.” If you write all three of these verses, along with God’s other faithful promises, then you will be able to stand firm in God’s truth when the enemy attacks with lies.
For more wisdom on living life God’s way, I suggest reading the book of Proverbs and all four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For helpful ways on how to pray to God, I suggest reading from the book of psalms. When you want a boost in faith, Hebrews chapter 11 is good along with most of the psalms, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 Peter. Your goal should be to know all of the bible but the best way to go about it is to start with topics that are the most helpful to your current situation. If you need healing, read the gospels and some psalm verses (Psalm 103:3, for example) that talk about healing, and Jeremiah 30:17. Do you need help, or rescuing from a bad situation or from your enemies? There are verses that talk about God helping or rescuing his people. Psalm 18 is an excellent place to start for being rescued from enemies. You can look up any topic relevant to you and find verses on it in the bible. Write the verses down so you can read them over and over again until they are written in your heart. When you start off with topics in the bible relevant to you, then you will have more interest in learning the specific verses that will help and will have an easier time applying what you are learning from God’s word to your life.
Following these steps and guidelines will help you live a long, healthy, and prosperous life filled with joy, peace, and all other good things that come from God. He is waiting and longing to be good to you. He has his arms open and is ready to teach you and give you the good life he planned for you before you were born. You can start living this kind of life today by taking the first step.