The Holy Spirit speaking through the writer of Hebrews gives us some great insight into God's Word that believers need to really and literally take to heart, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) In other words, there can be no escape from the penetrating, searching application of the Word of God. His Word is truth (John 17:17). It is not dead or powerless, but in fact is an active, living power. It is like a penetrating sword that reveals, every part of man, what man is. It shows what the thoughts and intentions of the heart are. (Luke 8:17)
God's Word becomes a living thing only as we act upon it. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle James tells us, "...faith without corresponding action is dead." (James 2:18) His Word is also a part of Himself, that is, God and His Word are one. It is also the will of the Father, just as Jesus, the Word made flesh, (John 1:14) was the will of the Father sent to earth to save humanity. (John 3:16) We also must keep in mind this very important aspect concerning God's Word. What God says, is; what God says, will become. If He did not want it to be so, He would not have said it. Furthermore, you can utterly depend upon His Word. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Due to our five senses being the source of learning, prior to becoming born again, we have depended on the words that have come from institutions, that is, the words of man. However, institutions may fail, individuals may die, nations may disintegrate, but God cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13) Behind the Word is the integrity of God, as He told Abraham, "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord..." (Genesis 22:16) "For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself." (Hebrews 6:13) Not only this, but Jesus Himself is also behind every Word, "by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant." (Hebrews 7:22) "...Jesus is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6)
There must be a clear distinction in your mind between believing God's Word, and mental assenting to God's Word. Although there is a vast difference, for many, it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Simply put, believing God's Word (as we saw in James) is acting on the Word. Whereas, mental assent is acknowledging the truthfulness of the Word, the integrity of the Word, but never acting on it. It's like going into a bakery and possessing the cake that you desire verse standing outside the bakery desiring the cake in the window but not possessing it.
Hope is a necessary part of the Christians life, (1 Corinthians 13:13), but hope is also not faith, because hope is always living in the future, whereas, faith is always now. Faith is not only recognizing the truthfulness of God's Word, but also taking it to be your very own. (James 1:21) By simply hoping that the Word will become true sometime, is to passively lie quiet, even rejoicing in it, but not seeing the manifestation of it. Jesus tells us, "He who believes has..." (John 3:36, 6:47) He also tells us, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:24) Therefore, if you believe, you have and the Father is glorified. (John 14:13) Remember, to believe is to act.
So, let us always remember that God's throne backs His Word and His integrity is involved in it. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John tells us, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) PTL...