First of ll, faith is not sight.
Faith is not a mental gymnastic.
I remeber a young man who contracted elephantiasis, a disease in which a log become swollen to the point it looks like an elephet’s leg.
There is no known cure for it.
This young man came to faith in Jesus for salvation, came forward to give testimony of the joy he found in Jesus.
But then he started praying in for his leg to be healed. After months of praying this at our church’s Friday eening prayer meeings, one evening I heard him praying his frustration to God. “Lord,” he said, “I’ve prayed and prayed, I’ve believed and believed, I’ve confessed by His stripes I am healed. But nothing’s happened.What more mental gymnastics do you want of me?”
That prayer was the clue to why he wasn’t healed. All his believing, and confesing were forms of “mental gymnastics” which God exacts as the priceof healing. Hence his remonstration to God. “God I’ve done all the menal gymnasics I know how to do! What more mental gymnstics do you want from me as the price for my healing?”
No, faith is not a mental gymnastic.
It is not a form of self-talk, not auto-suggestion (though the latter requires a “natural faith” to be effective.
It is not an abstract belief or assent that God exists.
It is not the Christian faith, or the Hindu faith or the Buddhistic faith or any of a number of belief systems that the world calls “faiths”.
It is not denial of reality. That could be dangerous, even life-threatening. Faith does not deny the physical symptom, just denies its right to continue.
We want to claim victory in faih, not deny that a fight is going on!
It is not resignation (even if it’s called resignation to God’s will). “Whatever is going to happen is God’s will for me. I accept it unconditionally.” That’s not faith!
Faith is not expecting somehing to happen in the ffuture. As when Martha said,
“I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24) That was hope, not faith.
It is not struggling to believe something.
It is not will power, not “mind over matter”.
It is not “throwing away your medicines” – a dangerous thing.
It is copying the words of someone else who has faith. It is not his words that got his results, but his faith.
It is not being “pretty sure of” something.
It is not “trying to feel better.”
It is not having faith in your faith. Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” (Matthew 11:22.)
It is not “quoting a lot of scriptures” as they do in “word-faith” churches. Quoting scriptures may mean just that you know the BIble teaching on faith, not that you have faith. Or it may a form of trying to talk yourself into believing something. Not faith.