Which do we need to do when we want to receive something from God; hope, or believe?

It is written in Proverbs 13:12, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Men often hope for this or that, but that doesn’t mean they are going to get what they hope for.  “Hope deferred”, means hope put off for another time or delayed or set aside.  When we want or need something, the last thing we want is for it to be put off or set aside. We want it, and when do we want it? NOW.  Well, the verse goes on to say that when that which was hoped for comes, it is a tree of life, in other words, it takes away the sadness.  Some people spend their lives hoping for this or that, and sometimes they get what they hope for, but more times than not, they don’t.

When someone is sick, they hope to get well, and the sooner the better. And yet, there are some who stay sick for extended periods of time, maybe many years, and some never get better, even though they hope with all their heart.  And yet, according to the scriptures, their (and your) healing is already paid for by the stripes of Jesus. So why the delay in receiving it?  There must surely be a reason that we can put a finger on.  We can’t say, “Well, maybe it just wasn’t God’s will to heal them.” If that were so, then why would the Lord Jesus have healed all the sick who came to Him?  If that were so, why would Jesus COMMAND His disciples to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils?  For freely they were given the power to do so, and they were to freely give the same mercy to the sick and oppressed that Jesus himself gave.  Freely!  Think about that for a moment.  Jesus wasn’t the least bit stingy in bestowing mercy.  He handed out mercy like there was no end to the source of it. Why?  Because there isn’t any end to God’s mercy.  And that same mercy of God extends to right now, today.  God doesn’t want your hope deferred even another minute.  You CAN have that healing you’ve been hoping for.  But you have to move over from hope, unto believing.
Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. “Now faith” is the SUBSTANCE.  Many tend to think of “faith” and “hope” as being interchangeable. But it is not hope, but rather, faith that becomes the substance. Of what? The things we hoped for.  In other words, you can’t have the substance without faith, because quite simply, it does NOT say, Now faith is the HOPE….No, it says FAITH is SUBSTANCE. People try to put the cart before the horse, in that they think if they hope hard enough it will become substance.  The reality is, if we put faith to work, it becomes substance of what we HOPED for.  Got that?

Ok, we’ve figured that part out.  It takes FAITH to move from HOPE to SUBSTANCE.  How do you make faith work then?  Well, that’s the next step.  We must BELIEVE.  Sounds easy, huh?  But if it was, it would be easy to get past pain and suffering you feel in your body and just believe that you are already healed, whether you feel like it or not.  Well, actually, that IS what it takes, because “to believe” means to be thoroughly convinced of, fully persuaded of, and absolutely without doubt.  How can you believe when your body is screaming in pain?  The Bible doesn’t say a word about it being easy.  It just says do it.  Maybe your particular trial isn’t a health issue, maybe your mountain is having no job, or nowhere to live, or you lack food or some other necessity.  But the process is the same, no matter what the trial is.  You find what the Bible has to say about your particular situation, and simply do what it says.

There is a promise from God concerning every issue of life, and of course, some of them have conditions attached to them.  If you do such-and-such, God will do such-and-such.  But EVERY promise, every law of God, everything concerning what God will or will not do is centered upon BELIEVE.

If you do not believe in God, you will not seek Him.  If you do not believe God wants you well, you will have no hope of healing.  I find it strange that some people do not think that God wants them well, but yet they will spend all their living on doctors and medicines.  It makes me wonder why they are seeking to get well even though they believe God wants them sick.  Why not just stay sick, if they think it would please God.  Silly, isn’t it?  Again, God CLEARLY demonstrated in both the Old Testament and New Testament that He wants us to be well, and He provided the means for our healing, and no, I’m not talking about the doctor, but rather, it is written in Psalm 107:20-22;
Psa 107:20  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Psa 107:21  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Did you see that?  GOD SENT HIS WORD AND HEALED THEM. How does His Word work?  By believing and acting on it.  How does He deliver people from their destructions?  The same way; by believing His Word and acting on it.  For example; God’s word says eleven times in the Book of Proverbs that a slothful man will be poor and suffer.  So how does God deliver the slothful man? By sending His Word and telling him to change his ways and be diligent.  If the man listens and does according to God’s Word, he will prosper and be delivered from poverty.  No, He doesn’t deliver the slothful by dropping a winning lottery ticket out of the sky.

If we will simply do what it says in Psalm 107:21-22, we will find we will have plenty of reasons to praise God.  He really does make things simple for us, it’s just that we try to apply our own rules to God’s Word, and then blame God when we don’t receive what we’ve prayed for.  If we take time to sit down and examine God’s Word and honestly consider if we are actually applying the Word the way the LORD has instructed us to, more often than not we will find our preconceived ideas have caused us to err and miss God’s best.  Moving from “hope” to “believe” will go a long way in your receiving God’s best.  Jesus gave us a gold mine when He said in Mark 11:24, Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Read that over as many times as you need to until it gets down inside of you, and you become thoroughly convinced.

Right there you have it straight from the Lord Jesus himself. He knows better than anyone what works and what doesn’t. BELIEVE that ye receive them…not HOPE that ye receive them.
If you want them….BELIEVE that ye receive them, and what?  and ye shall have them.  When do you want them? Right now would be fine, you say?  Then when do you need to believe?  Right now, not after you see it, because if you don’t believe before you see it happen, then all you have is hope, and that won’t get you where you want to be anytime soon.
Patience is for those who hope.

Rejoicing is for those who have received because they believed first.  Patience is not bad, but I like rejoicing much better.  How about you?