Are You Expecting Good Things?
Prayer is a big part of most people's faith. What we may not realize is, our words and our thoughts are always our prayers. God’s not only listening when we bow our heads and fold our hands in deliberate prayer. Ever think about that? We are creative beings, just like our creator Mother-Father God. The words we speak over our lives, what we believe and affirm for ourselves is the way God works…through us. We often don’t want to examine, much less take responsibility for what we’re really "putting our Faith in."
I was reading a book recently called How to Develop the Faith that Heals by Fenwicke Holmes, and he defines faith in a very simple way. He says faith is: a confident expectancy of GOOD. So often we think of faith in big, vague terms…Our faith in God, our faith in Jesus, Christian belief, or belief in any particular faith tradition. Our belief in ritual, ceremony, our belief in the church as an institution, etc. but … faith is really just our belief in general. Our belief in anything! Our belief about ourselves, about other people, about how the world works. What we believe about relationships, money, love, work. Faith and belief is what we think, period. It’s what we expect will happen.
Jesus told us, “According to your faith, be it done to you.” And one of my other favorites is: “When you pray, believe you have received it, and you shall receive.” These words of Jesus are true whether we apply them positively or negatively. We can walk around believing bad things will happen and thinking our life is a hot mess, and we end up receiving exactly what we believe. It is always worth exploring and examining what we are truly believing about our lives because it’s very powerful.
So, when Fenwicke Holmes tells us that faith is a confident expectancy of Good, it begs the question, are we expecting Good? Are we expecting Good things to come into our lives? Do we expect Good things to happen? Sometimes we do, and sometimes, we don’t. But the best part is, we can always change our thoughts and beliefs and reevaluate what we’re putting our faith in.
I definitely don’t mean to gloss over how challenging this can be. Let’s be honest, sometimes in life we experience things that aren’t so great—hardships, illness, loss! So what do you do then? You have to remember the difference between FACTS and TRUTH. They’re two different things. Think of FACTS as… the conditions of our life. Outward appearances. TRUTH (capital T-Truth) is a Divine Reality, it’s what God, Spirit, the Universe intends for us.
So for example, A FACT might be symptoms you’re experiencing, or a diagnosis of a disease, but the TRUTH is the perfect health, wholeness, and balance that God created you with and intends for you. A fact might be that you’re fighting with your spouse and not getting along… but the Truth is that you both have within you God’s radical, unconditional love that you receive and express freely. See the difference? Divine Truth is what we know deep down to be Real…Even when we can’t quite see it. Which one do you want to focus on? Which one do you want to put your FAITH in? Focusing on a negative fact, on a condition that can change, is NOT having an expectancy of Good.
Jesus saw beyond conditions all the time. He denied them and saw and claimed what was perfect and True. It’s how he performed miracles. You all know it’s not blasphemous to emulate the master, right? He was sent to teach us about our inherent connection to God’s goodness. It’s our birthright because we’re all God’s children. Sometimes we have to take away our belief in the negative things going on in our lives, and regardless of appearances, trust and believe completely in that goodness of God.
I’ll close with this. Fenwicke’s brother Ernest Holmes, wrote in his book, The Science of Mind, “Let us seek the good and the true and believe in them with our whole heart, even though every man we meet may be filled with suffering, and limitation appears at all sides. We cannot afford to believe in imperfection for a single second, to do so is to doubt God.”
So, let's not doubt the goodness of God. I ask you, what are you putting your faith in today? Do you have an expectancy of good?
Rev. Cynthia McCarthy