by Kenneth Copeland
I’ve been called a lot of things over the years, and gullible is one of them.
Maybe I am gullible. But I would much rather be gullible than hardhearted.
For instance, if a guy came up to me and said he had fallen out of the space shuttle last week, drifted through outer space a couple days, then re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and swam to California under the power of the Holy Spirit…of course in the natural, I’d pay no attention to a wild tale like that. But if the Holy Spirit is brought into it, that changes everything—I would believe him. At least, I would believe him until someone proved otherwise.
Now, I realize that some people might think it would be foolish to believe a story like that. But they can think what they like. I just make it a habit to always believe. I choose to live on the believing side of life.
I purpose to stay on the positive side…the side that says, “All things are possible!”
It’s a Matter of the Heart
We know of at least one time when Jesus got on to His disciples for being hardhearted. It all started when Thomas made a faithless decision after hearing reports about Jesus being raised from the dead. Thomas told his fellow disciples, “Except I shall see [Jesus]…I will not believe,” (John 20:25).
Well not long afterward, Jesus “appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen,” (Mark 16:14).
Jesus called Thomas “faithless” (John 20:27). And rightly so. Thomas rejected the Word of God. He rejected the things Jesus had said for the past three years. And he rejected the testimonies he had heard of Jesus’ resurrection.
Thomas wasn’t the only one, however. The other disciples didn’t believe what Jesus had told them concerning His death and resurrection. They, too, rejected the testimonies of those who said they had seen Jesus alive.
So Jesus rebuked them all for their “hardness of heart.” Their hearts were hard because none of them was in the habit of believing.
Like many believers today, the disciples had processed almost everything they heard and saw through their minds, instead of their hearts.
Faith is an action word.
A lot of Christians fail to understand that faith is a definite, purposeful act of the heart. It is not a mental exercise.
Accepting something as fact, is not faith. That’s merely giving mental assent. It’s reasoning with your mind. You can mentally acknowledge that something is true and still never really believe it in your heart.
Real Bible faith is a matter of the heart, and it carries with it God-given responsibilities.
A man once went to Jesus for some help with his son.
“Master,” he called out to Jesus, “I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away…” (Mark 9:17-18).
Then he challenged Jesus with this statement: “If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us” (verse 22).
When the father pleaded for compassion, Jesus threw the responsibility back on him, saying, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (verse 23).
The boy’s father was trying to get Jesus to do his believing for him. But Jesus cannot do that.
Finally the man broke down in tears and cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (verse 24). He was believing in his heart, yet he was having trouble with it in his head. His heart was saying, I believe, I believe, I believe! But his mind was resisting.
Had this man known Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,” there would have been no problem with his head. He could have trusted more in his heart and less in his head.
In the end, when the father cried out in faith, “Lord, I believe,” he enabled Jesus to cast the deaf and dumb spirit out of his son and the boy was healed.
Jesus will do the work for you, but He cannot do the believing for you. You have to do that.
But remember, heart-faith grows out of God’s Word.
If you want to condition your heart to be in the habit of believing, then you must give God’s Word first place in your life. You must feed it into your heart constantly. And you have to realize that the Word is actually God speaking to you…personally. It’s not just a lot of information for your head to carry around.
Then, you must make the quality decision that your body and all its physical senses will never override the Word of God in any given situation.
If your body screams, I’m sick! I’m sick! I’m sick!…don’t allow that natural, physical evidence to be the final authority about what you believe. Go to the Word as your final authority. And the Word says, “By [Jesus’] stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
So abide in the Word and let the Word abide in you (John 15:7).
It will get out of your head and into your heart. It will get you out of the impossible and into the possible. You will get into the habit of living on the believing side of life
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