A victim of your circumstances? Yes, some things about our situation we can’t change. But we can change how we think about and react to that problem. We can have a victim mentality or we can have winner thinking. What do I mean by that?
In Luke 4:24-25 when Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man lying on the mat and told him to get up, the man had to choose to obey. He could have chosen not to believe Jesus and stayed lying there and been bedridden the rest of his life. But he chose the winner’s way. Jesus put mud on a man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:6-7). The man made a choice. He could have said, “Here’s water that’s closer, I’ll just wash in it,” but he wouldn’t have been able to see because he didn’t obey Jesus’ word to him. Again, faith required a decision.
Our salvation occurs the same way. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we must make that choice. If we don’t believe He can change us from our sinful way, nothing happens. If we don’t believe we’ll go to heaven when we die because Jesus’ death paid for our sin, we won’t. We must choose to believe. Faith always requires our decision. It’s a matter of the will.
In both the Old and New Testaments God says to forgive others and He will forgive us (see Psalm 66:18 and Matthew 6:14-15). Sometimes we don’t feel like we can forgive someone because the hurt continues long after the poison occurred. But does that hurt them? No; they may not even know of our pain. But we still suffer. Perhaps we feel we don’t know how to forgive because we hurt so deeply. In this case, we must make a choice to forgive – even if we don’t feel any different. We can pray, “God, I’m willing to forgive, but I can’t on my own. Please enable me to forgive this person who crushed my heart.” God will honor that honest prayer because He commands us to forgive and knows our deep-set need for healing from this guilt.
The life of faith means simply choosing to do what the Bible says whether it makes sense or we feel like it. Because faith is substance and evidence (Hebrews 11:1*), it is real, not a fantasy. But having that faith requires a choice of the will. Never will it happen on its own. Faith comes from a decision, and we’re the only ones who can make that decision.
What kind of faith decision do we need to make today? Is it for salvation, to forgive someone, for healing, a job or other problem? Whatever the need, God is able to supply it if we make the decision of faith.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) reminds us, My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Yes, God’s supply remains unlimited. But you and I must make that decision of faith to receive our needs.
* See my previous meditation titled “Faith Versus Hope.”