Questions & Answers
Q: When I became a Christian, I wanted to share my beliefs and excitement with my other family members. What a shock I had when I realized they were not interested! They even cut me off from talking about Jesus Christ. What has happened?
A: The best way to explain what has happened is to break down what we know to be true. The Bible says we are born into a world of sin (Romans 5:11). If we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, the spirit of Satan lives in us (Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 2:14). So if your family members have not accepted Christ, then it is Satan through them that does not want you to talk or share with them. Satan, the prince of darkness, does not want Christ, who is light, to pierce the darkness. In spite of their resistance, however, we do know that God is at work drawing your family members to Himself. And you have an opportunity, as a vessel of Jesus Christ, to stand in faith for the salvation of family members.
Norman Grubb explained it this way: "I take it that when God chooses to put me in a certain human family and links me in life with certain people, that as a son, I use my authority to declare in faith their return to God; and then to see them, not as they still are in rebellious unbelief, but with the eye of faith as sons back in the family" (Who Am I?, page 119).
Q: What is the difference between faith and hope?
A: According to Webster, Hope is to cherish a desire with expectation; to expect with confidence, while Faith is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust; with-out doubt or question.
Hope focuses me on what I want and what I expect to happen. I can hope that there will be nice weather this weekend or that I will go to heaven when I die. The relationship between faith and hope is shown in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hope can never pro-duce assurance; it always remains only an expectation. By contrast, faith is what I use to attach myself to what I want. It is that inward seeing whereby I say a specific word and the assurance comes.
Norman Grubb says, "Faith is the spiritual hand. Exactly as, in the natural world, nothing is received and put to use merely by wishing or hoping or asking for it, but by taking and using it, so in the spiritual. The hand must reach out and take the food or the book. Faith must reach out and take the promises, and the public evidence of such taking is the spoken word of faith. Probably the effect in the realm of the Spirit is exactly the same as in the realm of matter. God offers all in His promises. The word of faith is the act of taking and applying His power according to need. What we actually take we actually have, and when the decisive word of faith has been spoken, God in His grace begins to work; and as the stand of faith is persisted in, the answer appears" (The Law of Faith, pg. 116).
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 3
- Editor’s Note
- To Think About…Faith
- Rethinking the 12 Steps
- Moments with Meryl
- How Do You See?
- A Look at a Book
- 1996 British Easter Conference Report
- The Letter to the Romans
- Tape Talk
- Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Questions & Answers
- The Mailbox
- When Quiet Equals Judment
- 1996 Annual Business Report
- Youth "Business"
- Be Yourself
- Words to Live By…