Faith, as you know, comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17) I listened attentively as pastor Stanley Watson preach from the podium Sunday after Sunday. This particular Sunday it was the subject of faith. “Have faith in God,” he proclaimed! I pondered those words in my heart. Since I received the Holy Ghost I became quite fascinated in studying and learning the word of God. So I asked God to help me learn about faith. You will soon discover my entire life was contingent on one significant word, FAITH!
Similar to most people, dealing with the problems of life doesn’t exactly bring me great joy. In today’s modernized world we are faced with a variety of dilemmas—a lot more than anyone should want—and all the fear that comes along with them. But like all problems, no matter how big, elusive, or frightening they are, there is always a solution. For instance, take the fact that I was born poverty-stricken; how do I raise myself out of this obscure and bitter condition? Exactly how will I beat the odds? The answer for most people is an education. But my faith was put to the test when my mother approached me that Wednesday morning in July 1994. Before she took off to her farm she said, “I don’t know if you’ll get to go to high school because I don’t have the money and besides remember you have no father.” Immediately I could see the tears welling up in her eyes as she quickly turned away…. at that instance, I had one coherent thought: I uttered in a soft, languid tone “Mama, have Faith in God! He shall provide!”
When I was certain she had left I knelt down hurriedly by her bedside and I wept uncontrollably. Her words echoed over and over in my ears. Yes, what my mother said was the “truth”, but it’s only her perspective. I refused to accept the status quo! The only thing I knew how to do was to pray and read my bible. Reading the word of God was that one thing that set me free, gave meaning to my life, and transformed my pattern of thinking. That morning I reached for my bible, flipped the pages, and buried my eyes in reading….
I remembered reading “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalms 34:6) I began to cry out unto the Lord. I continued reading, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). I read it over and over and but just couldn’t comprehend it; yet I was so intrigued I kept on reading to verse 6. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” By the time I was done reading through the 13 chapter of Hebrews something astoundingly fierce had happened in my spirit. I was blown away by all the hardship those HEROES OF OUR FAITH encountered; yet enduring the cause by simple acts of faith.
I remember crying bitterly and praying earnestly to the Lord and, saying “Lord Jesus I believe in you with all my heart, Lord show me and teach me how to exercise my faith in you.” I said “Lord you are the hope and help of my countenance (Psalm 42:5).” Next thing I know the Holy Ghost began to lead me through the word of God and I came across, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matt 17:20-21) I was also lead into the book of John: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) This scripture was a pivotal key. On this discovery I decided to fast. I always prayed but I’d never attempted to fast until now. The only way I knew how to pray was to pray my situation and pray his words. So, as I started to worship and magnify God, I begun to pray my situation:
Dear Jesus, my mother just informed me that I won’t be attending high school because she has no money, and besides I have no father. Lord Jesus the Psalmist David writes, “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25)
With tears streaming like a river down my face and with my knees bent against the cooled floor, I cried…
Lord, I have NO father, he has disowned me, but you said in your words, “When my father forsake me, then you will take me up”. (Psalms 27:10). Lord Jesus you’re my Jehovah Jirah! You’re a father to the fatherless and I’m fatherless! (Psalms 68:5) Hearken unto me, your humble servant. I extend my faith to thee, I believed in your words, I ask you to provide my needs, in JESUS NAME!
As I continued to invoke his name in worship and thanksgiving, I could suddenly feel the atmosphere around me changing. The presence of the Lord came down so richly and then the Lord spoke to me and said, “Get up go down the street.” I lived on a hill and I was scheduled to do someone’s hair that day. So I got up without hesitation! I was light headed and a bit weak because I had nothing to eat all morning and it was about 4:00 PM in the evening. So I acted in obedience and cantered down the street. My eyes detected something in the distance and as I hurried closer to the object I realized it was a tiny pocketbook. I looked up, down and across the street and no one was in view. I picked it up and put it in my pocket and ran off to my appointment. But while I was there I couldn’t keep still because of two reasons. First, I knew this was the answer to my prayer. But also, having my very own pocketbook would be luxurious! The thought of what was inside the pocketbook was quite distracting while I worked on the hair. Finally, I excused myself and sped into the outside latrine to check. “Lo and behold” as my mother would have said, it contained MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! In that moment I believed I suffered a brief stage of amnesia. Upon dashing home like a lightening bolt to go and tell my mother, I had completely forgotten about what I was doing and where I was.
When I got home my mother had just arrived from her farm. I tried to tell her but I was out of breath and overcome with tumultuous joy! I gushed out with stammering lips, “Mama, mama, mama, oh mama! mama ………I…..mama……luk wat mi found wah Purseeeeee!” (I found a purse). My mother reacted with astonishment, “Weh yuh get dis a?” I finally catch my breath and gave her a succinct account of the whole story. She was a God fearing women who questioned me to make sure. She asks if I had seen anyone? I said no. I was thirteen years old and I acted on faith and I made it very clear to my mother that no one will be claiming this purse because I’d prayed and fasted for it for over seven hours. (It felt like 7 days!) She said, “We’ll wait to see if anyone claims it.” She was wavering but I was optimistic in waiting for the most favorable outcome because of my faith.
Time passes and no claims were made for the missing pocketbook. The sum of money was enough to pay my school fee, book rental, and fabric to construct my uniform. I even had enough left over to cover my transportation cost for an entire year! Now try to tell me that faith in God and His word can’t move mountains! Some of you today are faced with uncertainty, situations so rough, circumstances so ugly and terrifying that your faith is stifled, but have faith in God! Just have faith. What God did for me yesteryears he can absolutely do for you right now! You might be feeling hopeless but have faith in God! Don’t allow hard times and poverty to annihilate your faith. Life is hard but God is still good! Remember, we will encounter difficulties in living for God. Living for God doesn’t insulate or isolate us from hard times and troubles. Just have faith no matter what the need because HE promised he’ll never leave nor forsake his own.
P.S. Praying was commonplace for me but not fasting. Learn how to seek God through prayer and fasting and see him move mountains in your life. Faith can turn impossible situations around. It is so easy for you and I to stand at what seems impossible and get frustrated to the point where we lose our faith and get ahold of fear. No one likes things that are impossible so today we need to believe that God is still able to heal, deliver, and save. Nothing is too hard for God. I encourage you to ACTIVATE your faith or if your faith lies dormant RE-ACTIVATE it now. Sometimes we just need to look back over our lives and see the situations or circumstances the Lord has brought us through BEFORE and just learn to trust him again. He will honor our faith when we direct it towards His purpose and path. I dare you to step out on faith today.