Recently we had someone send a message to our ministry partners, Kubamba Krew, asking if God was an angry Father, an absent Father, and a Father who plays favourites? This question was asked concerning some struggles that they were going through. The questioner, like many of us, probably had passed through many challenges. It could have been dealing with finances, health, and school performance. Most likely, there were lots of tearful prayers offered up decreeing and declaring success in finances, health, or school. We know that whatever is behind this person’s question is asked with a heavy heart. They were most likely going through a crisis of faith, wondering if everything they had been told about God was a lie?
It’s common to hear lots of very passionate, bold, and tearful prayers on the streets and near marketplaces through loudspeakers. These prayers are saying things like “I declare this to happen,” and “I am speaking this into existence,” or “I cancel this” negative thing in my life. Many times we will even hear pastors and evangelist on TV and radio decreeing and prophesying big things like COVID19 will end, that you will never struggle again and that you are blessed in any way you can imagine. How many of you have frequently heard such statements?
Why am I struggling when I have faith?
We all have heard fellow Christians, pastors, prophets, and TV preachers speak such words. Sadly, like the person who sent in the question to Kubamba Krew, many people want to understand why they still struggle even though they have received prophecies in faith, decreed and declared blessing in prayer, and spoke positive words over their lives? Either they lack faith, what they have been told is false, or God is an angry, absent, and favourites playing Father. Which is it?
Sadly what they have been told is not biblical, therefore it is false. You cannot decree and declare whatever you want to pass. You cannot speak anything into existence because only God can do that (Romans 4:17, Genesis 1:1). Your faith is not a force that can destroy any challenge, anytime, and in any way that you desire. There are times that through faith, you can overcome challenges, but many times no amount of faith will overcome the will of God.
Faith Does Not Always Equal Breakthrough
Consider that Joseph got sold into slavery, yet he was a man of faith (Genesis 37:18-36). David had king Saul try to kill him multiple times, yet he was a man of faith (1 Samuel 18:10-11), 1 Samuel 18:25, 1 Samuel 19:9-10, 1 Samuel 19:15). The Apostle Paul was stoned, left for dead, and beaten with rods, yet he was a man of faith (2 Corinthians 11:25-28). Paul also had a thorn in his side that he pleaded with God in prayer to remove yet it was the will of God to leave that thorn there (2 Corinthians 12:7-11). Do you think that your faith is greater than that of Joseph, David, or Paul? If they passed through challenges and even pleaded with God to remove them, then it seems that decreeing and declaring in prayers of faith doesn’t guarantee results.
Your faith in God and prayers does not guarantee that you will get whatever you desire. Often it is God’s will for you to pass through challenges which will help you grow in your faith, experience his peace, and enable you to persevere more (2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:9-10). Many of you reading this will think that I lack faith for even writing such statements, but let me explain a little bit more.
Believing that you can speak, decree, declare something into existence with enough faith, is based upon a theology named “Word of Faith.” Word of Faith theology is founded upon the belief that health and wealth are guaranteed to Christians through the death of Jesus on the cross. Health and wealth are received through the channels of faith and giving of finances (tithes, offerings, or sacrifices). One of the ways that faith is exercised to receive the desired health and wealth is through speech. Someone will decree, declare, and even command what is desired to manifest itself. For example “I prophecy over my life that I will never face poverty again.” A pastor might say “today I am declaring you will never struggle again in Jesus’ name.”
Word of Faith Theology
Word of Faith theology believes strongly that since man is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that God created the world with spoken word (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26), then man can speak things into existence since they are made in his image. Sadly many of us buy into this theology, and it lets us down. If it did not let us down, then the question asked to Kubamba would not exist. Word of Faith theology will let you down in your life because it is not biblical. If it were true, then there would be no need for hospitals, there would be no poverty, and there would be no need for social justice in our world. We would only have all of humanity visit a Christian who had great faith and see all diagnosis’, bank accounts, and realities change in an instant.
Many who believe in Word of Faith theology will challenge this belief and say that according to Mark 11:23-24 that faith exercised in prayer can throw a mountain into the sea. However, a more in-depth look at the context of this verse will tell you that Jesus is illustrating that to bear fruit for God, one must be willing to remove whatever is hindering fruitfulness. It may seem like an impossible task to remove certain things from your life that are hindering fruitfulness, but have faith in God and ask in prayer, and God’s power can altogether remove it. God is serious about helping his followers bear fruit for him.
In conclusion, I would like to tell you and tell the person who asked the question if God is an angry Father, an absent Father, and a Father who plays favourites that it is possible that your crisis of faith could be present because you have been listening to too many Word of Faith theology believers. One way to overcome your crisis of faith is not to press deeper into Word of Faith theology, but to remind yourself who God has revealed himself to be. Remember that God is excellent (Isaiah 25:1), never changing (Psalm 33:11), sovereign (Daniel 4:35), faithful (Isaiah 49:7), glorious (Deuteronomy 28:58), great (Nehemiah 9:35), holy (Psalm 22:3), just (Isaiah 45:21), patient (Isaiah 30:18), loving (2 Corinthians 13:11), merciful (Exodus 35:6-7), powerful (Psalm 62:11), protects believers (Psalm 37:28, Psalm 91:3-4, Psalm 140:7), righteous (Psalm 7:9), truthful (Isaiah 65:16), and wise (1 Samuel 2:3, Job 9:4). Remember these truths about God, preach these truths to yourself, and have faith in these attributes of God whenever you’re going through a crisis of faith (Psalm 103:1-5). You may not understand why you’re passing through such difficult circumstances, but remember who God reveals himself to be and trust that his plan is amazing. As you trust in his plan remember how amazing he is. Whenever you do that, then you will see God be true to his character, and you will see him as the prize as opposed to what you desire at the moment.