There are many Hebrew and Greek words in the Scriptures that express the nuances, depth, and meaning of God’s commitment and “resolution” toward us, and of our vows and decisions before him. A definition of the concept of “resolution” in the Old and New Testaments is: “A divine decree; a human hope; a proclamation of true intention and firm will; a challenge to be answered; a heart and will commitment; a decision that will make the moment; a new era; the beginning or the end of a period or set of behavior; a public or personal declaration or proclamation reflecting true commitment and a profound desire.”
“Faith with a resolution” is the meeting of an honest human decision with divine power that provokes and changes us. It is the Holy Spirit’s intervention and transformation in our history. It is the hand of God holding ours. Listen to this promise Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and that God himself is writing to you:
“This is why we always pray for you that our God may fulfill by his power all of his plans of goodness and grace toward you by the working of your faith that by his power he would allow you and make you capable to fufill, giving life to your faith by his grace.”
It is of utmost importance that we realize that God alone, by his grace and Spirit, can make us capable of keeping any resolution. Paul reminds the Philippians of their only source of power: “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). This is a spiritual principle, a kingdom law — that moment when God answers in response to the heart that completely recognizes its inadequacy and absolute inability to please Him by its own strength or volition. It is the death of self-will, self-resolve, self-dependency and self-confidence that brings us to resurrection power. It is the divine connection and moment when all of heaven’s potential, omnipotence and capacity comes in to make possible your human resolution.
It is only by his power that we can fulfill and accomplish the resolution that he writes in our hearts by his Spirit.
Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.
“Hezekiah … did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21).
In so many words, Scripture is saying that Hezekiah was the greatest king Israel ever had. We are told that his heart was so set on the Lord that no king before or after him was like him. Then consider the very next verse: “After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities thinking to win them over to himself” (32:1).
Note the opening phrase: “After these deeds of faithfulness …” This refers to all the good that Hezekiah had done: his walk of truth and holiness; his seeking of God; his cleaving to the Lord; his fight against sin and compromise; his deep prayer and trust; the national revival he led. In the wake of these blessed things, Scripture says, then the devil came in. Principalities and powers of darkness surrounded the righteous king and God’s people, waging an all-out war to bring them down and destroy their faith.
Yes, this all came about after the establishment of Hezekiah’s many ministries, which were stable, mature, well-grounded. Satan wasn’t wasting his powers on a weak, inexperienced, wavering child of God; he was aiming his most intense weapons at a spiritual giant. This godly man wasn’t living in sin or rebellion; he was one of God’s most faithful servants. And yet, virtually overnight, Hezekiah found himself in an impossible situation. And the Lord did not explain why this terrible siege had befallen him.
In Hezekiah, we see a clear illustration of the devil’s plan against every devoted servant of God. In our own times of trial and temptation, Satan comes to us bringing lies: “You’re a failure, otherwise you wouldn’t be going through this. There’s something wrong with you and God is displeased.” The Bible tells us that God supernaturally delivered Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 19:35). And ever since the cross of Christ, God’s people have had even better promises than Hezekiah had.
Remember, pray, even in silence, and refuse to fear Satan’s attacks. God himself will deal with your enemy, and he will work his plan to deliver you!
The healings Christ performed were instantaneous, visible to those who were present. “He said to the paralytic, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ And he arose and departed to his house” (Matthew 9:6-7). The crippled man with the gnarled body lying by the pool of Bethesda suddenly had an outward, physical change so that he could run and leap (see John 5:5-8). This was a miracle that had to astonish and move all who saw it. Another instantaneous miracle!
The feedings that Christ did were progressive. He offered up a simple prayer of blessing, then broke the bread and the dried fish, never giving a sign or a sound that a miracle was taking place. Yet, to feed that many people, there had to be thousands of breakings of that bread and those fish, all throughout the day. And every single piece of bread and fish was a part of the miracle.
This is just how Jesus performs many of his miracles in people’s lives today. We pray for instantaneous, visible wonders, but often our Lord is quietly at work, performing a miracle piece by piece, bit by bit. We may not be able to hear it or touch it, but he is at work, shaping our deliverance beyond what we can see.
You may be in the middle of a miracle right now and simply not be seeing it. You’re discouraged because you don’t see any evidence of God’s supernatural work on your behalf. David said, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears” (Psalm 18:6).
Think of one difficulty you are facing right now, your greatest need, your most troubling problem. You’ve prayed about it for so long. Do you really believe the Lord can and will work it out in ways you can’t conceive? That kind of faith commands the heart to quit fretting or asking questions. It tells you to rest in the Father’s care, trusting him to do it all in his way and time.
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by circumstances that you cried out to God, “Lord, help me! I don’t know how to pray just now, so hear the cry of my heart. Deliver me from this situation!”
At times we can only stand still and know that the Lord is our Deliverer. I believe this is exactly what David went through when he was captured by the Philistines. The psalmist wrote: “My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad” (Psalm 34:2).
David is saying here, in essence, “I have something to tell all of God’s humble people on earth, now and in ages to come. As long as this world exists, the Lord will deliver everyone who calls out to him and trusts him. In his incredible mercy and love, he delivered me, even though I made a very foolish move.”
God will send an angel, if he chooses, or even a host of them, to surround you and keep you from danger. Even if you acted foolishly or had a terrible failure of faith, you only need to get back to calling on your Deliverer. He is faithful to hear your cry and to act.
We see many accounts of miracle throughout the Bible. God miraculously delivered Noah, Lot, David, Hezekiah, Daniel, the three Hebrew children, Moses, Joshua, Israel, Joseph and multitudes more. As for God’s people today, Christ’s blood has delivered us from sin, destruction and much more: “[He] gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4).
Ever since the cross, God’s people have had even better promises than any of those listed above. Believers today stand not just on a promise but also on the shed blood of Jesus Christ. And in that blood we have victory over every sin, temptation and battle we will ever face.
Do you believe God has the foreknowledge to anticipate your every trial? Your every foolish move? Your every doubt and fear? If so, you have the example of David before you, who prayed, “This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him” (Psalm 34:6).
Don’t hesitate to cry out to your loving heavenly Father at any time. He longs to hear from you and meet your need.
Imagine that you have witnessed healing after healing, miracle after miracle, one incredible wonder after another. You would be on your knees praising God, wouldn’t you? You would probably say to yourself, “I’ll never again doubt the healing and miracle-working power of Christ. From now on, I’m going to practice unwavering faith in my life, no matter what comes.”
The disciples had witnessed Jesus feed five thousand men, plus women and children, by multiplying five loaves and two fish. As they participated in the distribution of the food and witnessed the supply continuing to increase, one would think their faith would increase, as well. But in truth, Jesus had been reading their thoughts and he knew they were not understanding what was happening. The message of the miracles had not yet registered in their hearts and minds, and doubts still plagued them.
Later, after the day’s remarkable event, we see Jesus “constraining” his disciples to quietly get into a boat. “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away” (Matthew 14:22, KJV).
The Greek word for “constrained” here means “to compel by entreaty, force or persuasion.” Jesus was urging his disciples in the strongest terms, “Brethren, just get in the boat. Go now.” Jesus was going to stay to dismiss the multitudes and meet the disciples later.
As they pushed off from shore, I wonder if Jesus shook his head in amazement, wounded by their wavering faith after all they had seen. At that moment, Jesus must have considered what he would have to do to bring his disciples into unshakable faith. What he did was dramatic. He walked on the sea toward them in the middle of a storm. When they saw him, “they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost.’ And they cried out for fear” (Matthew 14:26). But Jesus said, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (14:27).
The disciples didn’t doubt that Jesus could heal multitudes with a touch or a word. But when they got away from the crowds, they grew worried about their own needs and those of their families. But when Jesus stepped into the boat, a semblance of faith began to rise up in their hearts. “They … worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (14:33). Finally, they were beginning to get it, and a foundation of faith was being built in them.