By Joel Osteen
Foreword by Joel Osteen
Commentaries by Joel Osteen
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For the moments of struggle and temptation that every man faces, and the times in life when he feels surrounded and under attack, John’s message is profoundly simple-those moments are precisely the time for an unwavering faith. In this book, John schools today’s believers in seven qualities of unwavering faith:
1. It hears and sees what the world cannot see or hear.
2. It prays earnestly even though it has already heard the answer.
3. It is strong when there is no evidence of the answer.
4. It always says, “Go Again!”
5. It goes on when there’s just a little evidence.
6. It believes for the big when it sees the little.
7. It begins with nothing but ends up doing mighty things for God.
Osteen also provides principles for those times when faith doesn’t seem to be working. Becoming a Man of Understanding Faith is a guidebook to stronger faith, from a man who spent a lifetime testing its limits.
Table of Contents
EVERY MAN FACES STRUGGLES and temptations. There are moments when every man feels surrounded by trouble on every side. Overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, many men become convinced that their destiny is to suffer pain, disease, troubles, anxieties, and defeat. Some resign themselves to the position that nothing can be done about their situation.
The Bible says, "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33). The time will come, if it hasn't already, when you're going to have to believe God for something significant—for your marriage, your finances, your children, your spiritual growth, your health. You need to know how to come to Him in unwavering faith and how to stand on the Word of God.
My own personal journey to becoming a man of faith began as a boy on a cotton farm with five siblings during the Great Depression. As a child, I thought about God many times, but I grew up into my teens having gone to church very little. My best friend, Sam Martin, constantly told me about the love of God, but I wouldn't listen to him and chose to leave Jesus out of my life.
At the age of seventeen, I found myself without peace in my heart. One night while walking home alone from a nightclub in Ft. Worth, Texas, at two o'clock in the morning, I began to think about time… eternity… heaven. Where would I spend eternity? When I got home, I pulled out our old family Bible and came upon a beautiful picture of Jesus standing at a door knocking. Under the picture were the words: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). I could understand opening the door of my life and letting Jesus in, so early the next morning I called Sam, and he invited me to go to church with him.
That Sunday morning, I beat Sam to the church! Although I didn't understand the sermon that morning, I had come to give my heart to Jesus, and that was what I was waiting to do. However, when the pastor invited anyone who wanted to receive salvation to come to the front of the church and the invitation song began, it felt as though my shoes were nailed to the floor. I couldn't get the courage to move. Finally, Sam slipped his arm around my shoulder and whispered he'd come with me.
When I got to the front of the church, the pastor asked me if I wanted to receive Jesus in my heart, and I said, "I don't know. I've been real wicked." He shook my hand real hard and said, "I didn't ask you that. Will you receive Jesus as your Savior?" I balked and said, "I don't know. I work in the wrong kind of place." He nearly shook my hand off as he said, "I didn't ask you that. Will you accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior?" It was then that I surrendered all to Jesus and said courageously, "Absolutely!" With that word, I passed from death into life, became a new creature in Christ Jesus, and took my first step to becoming a man of faith.
From that day, things were different. My grades in high school went from Cs and Ds to As and Bs. That first year I began preaching anywhere I was welcomed—Bible study groups, nursing homes, and missions. Eventually, I worked my way through college and seminary and became a pastor.
For nineteen years, I ministered in all the knowledge I had and was the pastor of a successful, growing church. But I knew that I had not experienced and was not enjoying the things the believers did in the New Testament, and deep within me I felt God had more for me. One day, with God's help and the prayers of others, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and experienced the power of God, which revolutionized me and my ministry.
On Mother's Day 1959, we founded Lakewood Church with ninety members. Over the years, the church grew, and we built an 8,200-seat sanctuary in the middle of the recession in 1988 a few weeks before Christmas—debt free. By 1999, we had 10,000 members. During my ministry, I had the privilege of traveling extensively throughout the world, taking the message of God's love and power to people of all nations, which included making over forty mission trips to India. For sixteen years I hosted my own weekly television program, reaching millions in the U.S. and in many other countries with the Gospel. My books, cassettes, and videotaped messages went all over the world.
The principles of faith in God and His Word set forth in this book have been tried in the crucible of my life. I remember when the doctor told us that our baby daughter Lisa had brain damage and would never be normal. She had no sucking reflexes, no muscle tone, and symptoms similar to cerebral palsy. It was the miracle of her healing that opened my eyes to the miracle-working power of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
I remember the time when my nervous system collapsed, and I lost all sense of purpose, direction, and initiative. I felt that life held no hope of reality. I came under a dark hole of fear that God was no longer with me, and I could not sleep. When day came, I wished for night. When night came, I wished for day. God graciously delivered me from that condition, not instantly, but through trusting His Word the victory came.
Some years later, I went through months of agonizing pain in my back and legs and faced back surgery and visions of being paralyzed and unable to walk. Another battle came in 1986 when I was in Methodist Hospital, awaiting open heart surgery. In both situations, Jesus brought me through to victory, permeating my whole being with faith and assurance as I read and believed His Word!
It was in the midst of the great challenges of my life that I learned how to exercise my faith. The Lord Jesus worked in my life and my family through all these conflicts and many more. Through His grace and strength, the fields of battle became my greatest victory ground. Now when fear knocks at my door, faith answers. I learned the power of faith to help me stand and overcome.
So what makes the difference between living a life of victory and faith or living one of defeat and unbelief? What are the qualities of a man of genuine faith? I believe they are exemplified by the lives of the great men of faith in the Bible, particularly Jabez and Elijah and others on whom I will focus in this book.
We are privileged to live in a generation when God is pouring out His Spirit in a mighty way. The gentle rain of the precious Holy Spirit is falling upon the dry religious ground of our day to give sweet refreshing to weary-hearted men of God. He can do it for you… today.
The Lord said in the Book of Joel, "I will restore…" He is restoring to His Church the power and love of God, and His will is that we become men of faith who bring His presence into the lives of our families and the world around us.
To become a man of unwavering faith, you must first find out what the Word of God says about it, and then do what the Word says to do to obtain it. As you read through the pages of this book, meditate on the biblical truths and crown Jesus as Lord of your life. Trust the Holy Spirit to be your Teacher as you read.
Please do not give up! God's Word works. Jesus loves you! If you heed the message of this book, God will give you light on how to be the man of faith He desires you to be.
THE PRINCIPLES OF FAITH IN GOD…
have been tried in the crucible of his life.
A Man of Faith
In the Old Testament is a somewhat obscure man who overcame what appeared to be a destiny that included pain, disease, and defeat by becoming a man of faith. His name was Jabez, and most men in his position would have given up and resigned themselves to the position that nothing could be done about their situation.
If you have been tempted to believe that there is no hope for you to become a man of faith, I invite you to come into the light of God's Word and discover that by daring to believe the promises of God you can revolutionize your life.
It worked for Jabez, and it will work for you as well.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, 'Because I bore him in pain.' And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested" (1 Chronicles 4:9–10).
Do you recognize the miracle in the brief account of the man Jabez? It may be a bit obscure until you realize that his name, Jabez, means "sorrow, pain, and trouble." His name tells of the condition of his life, and now that is understood, you'll see that he chose to change his destiny.
Names in the Bible have significant meaning, and in many instances they are meant to communicate a message. A person's name in the Bible often conveyed the type of person he or she would become, or what he or she was to do for God.
For instance, the name Jacob means "deceiver," and he became just that. Deception defined Jacob's life. When God met with Jacob and changed his life, He also changed his name to fit his new life. His new name was Israel, meaning "a prince" (Genesis 32:28).
Abram meant "high father," but God changed his name to fit his destiny. He called him Abraham, which means "father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5).
Moses' name told of his life, as it means "draws out" (Exodus 2:10). Every time his name was spoken, it reminded Moses that his life had been preserved when Pharaoh's daughter drew him out of the water as a baby.
Joshua means "savior." On a daily basis, Joshua was reminded by his name that he was a savior of his people. This is precisely what he became as he led Israel into the Promised Land.
It was the same with Jabez. His mother bore him in sorrow. How so? Was he crippled or afflicted with some weakness or disease from birth? Was he simply born in an atmosphere of sorrow, trouble, and heartache? Whatever the case, every time his name was called, it cried out to him, "You are pain! Trouble! Sorrow!"
In my imagination, I picture Jabez as a young man becoming convinced that his destiny would always be confined and limited to weakness, sickness, and pain, for his very name spelled it out. Who can tell the negative effects of that message in his mind and spirit? There must have been a constant struggle before he gave in to the lie that there was no hope for him.
FAITH AND THE WORD OF GOD
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), and in my mind's eye I see the day when Jabez heard a prophet of God proclaim the unlimited power of the God of Israel. I can almost hear the prophet declare how God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt with signs and miracles.
He tells of God's manifest presence in the wilderness through the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day (Exodus 13)!
He tells of God's miracle manna and miracle meat in the desert (Exodus 16)!
He tells of God's miracle water that came forth out of the rock (Exodus 17)!
He tells of miracle shoes and clothes that did not wear out through forty years of wandering the desert (Deuteronomy 29:5)!
He tells how God miraculously healed two million sick, weak, and downtrodden slaves as they came out of Egypt. "And there was none feeble among His tribes" (Psalm 105:37).
Then I hear the prophet cry out with Jeremiah, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You" (Jeremiah 32:17).
I hear this man declare the promise of God: "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3).
I can imagine that when Jabez heard these words of faith, hope began to rise up within him. He realized that with God all things are possible.
WHEN FAITH RISES
When Jabez saw God's truth, he rebelled against the devil's lie!
When he saw God's light, he rebelled against the darkness!
When he saw God's life, he rebelled against disease and death!
When he saw God's liberty, he rebelled against bondage!
He turned his eyes to the… great Jehovah God who had declared, "I am the Lord who heals you."
The faith of Jabez began to rise and caused him to cry out to God. He became angry at his so-called destiny. He rebelled against the unbelief and doubts, and he became a man of faith!
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested" (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Jabez wanted God to bless him, but he wanted more. He wanted to be loosed and freed. "Enlarge my territory!" he cried. "Deliver me from the confining walls of fear, disease, defeat, and pain! Enlarge my territory! Raise me up from this life of pain! Open these doors! Break down these iron gates! Enlarge my territory!"
He also asked something very important in his prayer. He prayed that God would keep him from evil. He was saying, in effect, that he wanted to be healed and delivered in order to serve the living God. He would not use his freedom from fear, sickness, and trouble to serve Satan. Jabez wanted to live a life pleasing to God.
The Bible says, "God granted him what he requested." Jabez was free! He would not believe it was his destiny to go through life with pain and sorrow. He turned his eyes away from his name to the name of the great Jehovah God who had declared, "I am the LORD who heals you" (Exodus 15:26).
JABEZ CHANGED HIS DESTINY, AND SO CAN YOU!
You can change the whole course of your life by looking at the promises of God and daring to believe them. Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
The first step to freedom and healing and miracles is to come to grips with God's truth in the Bible.
A woman who had been very sick told me one day how she was finally healed by the miracle-working power of God. She said, "Pastor Osteen, I read the promises of God over and over and over until I suddenly saw that God wanted to heal me." When she believed that God really wanted to heal her, it was easy to have faith. Today, she is perfectly healthy.
God does not want you sick or to suffer in pain. Your trouble and sorrow did not come from your loving heavenly Father. God is Jehovah-Rapha, "the LORD your healer" (Exodus 15:26).
Jesus said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). It is the devil who tries to steal your health, kill your hopes with discouragement, and destroy your life.
Jesus came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. This is your hour to enjoy abundant life. The will of God is that you might be victorious in the trials of life and not suffer defeat!
Jesus came all the way from heaven to bring you deliverance. When He came, He came for you. When He died, He died for you.
"Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains… and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole" (Isaiah 53:4–5 AMP).
"Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17). "Who heals all your diseases" (Psalm 103:3).
- On Sale
- Aug 10, 2011
- Page Count
- 224 pages