Welcome to the year 2024! I declare that right from the outset of the year, JESUS IS LORD over every moment and every event — all the way to the end of 2024!
As we begin this new year, I want to start by saying THANK YOU for being a partner and friend with our ministry. Just minutes ago, Denise and I prayed for you — and for all our partners and friends — as we do every day, often multiple times per day. Today I am going to be sharing more deeply about what the Holy Spirit has told me about 2024, but first, I simply want to express my thanksgiving to God for you!
After multiple occasions of the Philippian believers sending financial offerings to help Paul with his ministry, he told them, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Many Christians today claim and confess this verse over their lives, but it is important to understand that Paul wrote it as part of a letter to his partners — it actually applies to those who are ministry partners.
Therefore, Philippians 4:19 applies to you, too, because of your partnership with RENNER Ministries! And just as Paul said to his partners, I am saying to you that based on this verse — and because of what you do to help take the Gospel and the trusted teaching of the Bible to people all over the world — I know my God shall supply all YOUR need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The Renner Interpretive Version (RIV) of Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God will supply your needs so completely that He will eliminate all your deficiencies. He will meet all your physical and tangible needs until you are so full that you have no more capacity to hold anything else. He will supply all your needs until you are totally filled, packed full, and overflowing to the point of bursting at the seams and spilling over!”
Wow! It is amazing to see what God does when we make getting the Word of God to people a priority! I encourage you to reach out by faith and declare Philippians 4:19 for yourself and your household in 2024. Denise and I want you to know that we are praying for mighty blessings to be released in every realm of your life, and I want to say again how thankful we are for everything you do to join hands with us in fulfilling our God-given assignment!
In last month’s letter, I wrote to you about the word the Holy Spirit gave to me for our partners for the year 2024. Here it is again.
The year 2024 will be visited with turbulent episodes across the entire globe, especially in the realms of finances and politics and in the nations. These episodes will be of a sort that they will potentially cause those who are not rooted in God’s Word to be deeply disturbed. But for those who stay in faith…stay in peace…stay in love…stay in fellowship…and keep sowing seed for the sake of eternity — they will experience a supernatural power that will cause them to be unmoved, unshaken, well provided for, and to walk in a much-needed divine assurance, divine peace, divine power, and divine and supernatural victory. Yes, those who stay in faith, in peace, in love, in fellowship, and keep sowing seed for the sake of eternity will be blessed, empowered, joy-filled, and sustained, and they will miraculously thrive even if the world around them is tossed with a tempest.
In this month’s letter, I want to elaborate on this word from the Lord so we’ll know how to embrace it, cooperate with it, and enjoy the fullness of His provision for us despite what’s going on around us.
The Holy Spirit specifically said that those who:
- Stay in faith…
- Stay in peace…
- Stay in love…
- Stay in fellowship…
- Keep sowing seed for the sake of eternity…
- Well provided for…
- Divine assurance…
- Divine peace…
- Divine power…
- Divine and supernatural victory.
One of the purposes of prophecy is to wage a good warfare using the sure words of God that you receive from Him. Paul told Timothy, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18). So as Paul told Timothy, we need to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit has prophetically spoken to us and wage a good warfare with it.
In this month’s teaching letter and in upcoming letters, I want to expound from Scripture about what it means to stay in faith…stay in peace…stay in love…stay in fellowship…and keep sowing seed for the sake of eternity. But today we will begin with what it means to stay in faith.
The King James Version of Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
To be honest, for years this verse seemed very abstract to me and hard to understand. So I dived into the Greek New Testament to search for a more accurate rendering of it, and this is where I want to begin sharing with you today. We will look at four key words found in Hebrews 11:1 that give a better understanding of what this verse really says.
First, the word “faith” in Hebrews 11:1 is translated from the Greek word pistis, a well-known word that comes from a root that means to persuade, to trust, or to believe. It also pictures a “divine spark” given by God that enables you to believe. In ancient times, the word pistis referred to a guarantee or warranty of something that was sure.
Importantly, the Greek word pistis also depicts something moving forward, like a force that is propelled forward and is moving toward a goal. Faith is like a bullet shot from a gun — once it has been released, it moves forward and never stops until it reaches its goal. To be clear, that means real faith is never in retreat. So if you are in retreat, you are not moving in faith!
Second, let’s look at the word “substance” in Hebrews 11:1 — a word that is derived from the Greek word hupostasis, a compound of hupo and histimi. The word hupo means by, and the word histimi means to stand. Literally, it means to stand by something. It refers to the attitude and actions of one who has determined to stand by something promised and refuses to budge from it. It pictures a fixed decision that one has made to be unmoving and to stay or stand by the promise that he is believing will come to pass.
You might say the meaning of the word “substance” is a lot like a bulldog that has found the bone of its dreams and has locked its jaws around it, refusing to let go. It doesn’t matter how hard anyone pulls on the bone or tries to retrieve it, that dog is not going to let it loose. In the same way, when you’re in faith, you relentlessly stand by what God has said in His Word, and like a bulldog clutching its bone, you continue to tenaciously hold on to His promises until they become a reality in your life.
As an example, let’s say you have been standing by God’s promises for healing and have chosen you’ll never let go until your healing is manifested. Or let’s say you’ve been standing by God’s promise for financial provision or the restoration of your relationships. And just like a bulldog who refused to let go of his bone, you are holding on to and standing by God’s promise! In other words, you have decided that you will NEVER let go of that promise until it is manifested in your life! THAT, my friend, is an example of what the word “substance” means in Hebrews 11:1.
Third, let’s look at the words “hoped for” in Hebrews 11:1. These words are translated from a form of the Greek word elpidzo, which DOES NOT picture a “hope-so” kind of hope, but rather pictures a confident expectation of something. In other words, it does not mean, “I hope this will happen,” but, instead, it means, “I confidently expect this to happen!” Although it has not happened yet, there is an active expectation that it will take place. The tense of the word elpidzo here is continuous. Hence, it is something continuously being hoped for, even if the manifestation has not come yet.
Fourth, let’s look at the word “evidence,” which is translated from a form of the Greek word elegchos, a term regularly used in a court of law. When used in a positive sense, it means to convince someone of something. Thus, when you are in faith, you have a very strong conviction that what God has promised is undoubtedly going to happen.
If you consider all four of these Greek words in Hebrews 11:1, it tells us that:
- FAITH is a “divine spark” from God to believe.
- FAITH is a force that propels us forward toward a goal and it is never in retreat.
- FAITH stands by and never lets go of what it is believing God for.
- FAITH is a strong conviction that what God has promised is going to happen.
If you put all this together, it means Hebrews 11:1 carries this idea: “Faith belligerently stands by what it is believing for; it continuously confidently expects it to come to pass; and it is convinced what it is believing will happen!”
Then Hebrews 11:6 goes on to say, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Most people think the words “without faith” describe an absence of faith, but the word “without” is translated from the Greek word choris, and it means without, as being outside of a specific place. For example, you can be inside your house or outside your house, or you can be in the city or out of the city — but you can’t be in both places at the same time. This word choris — translated here as “without” — describes faith as a location that you can be in or out of. That means faith is a place, and you can be in faith or out of faith.
So what does it mean for you to be in faith or to “stay in a place of faith?” It means to continuously stand by and stay with the calling or promise that God made to you. That calling or promise is your assignment — it is the location where you need to be. You can stay in it, or you can move out of it, but to “stay in faith” means you have made the decision to be unmoving and that you will not budge from the calling or promise God made. It means you are going to belligerently stand by it until you see its manifestation!
To be “without faith” means to be outside of faith — to move out of or to leave your assignment or promise — and Hebrews 11:6 says when one abandons the assignment or promise of God, it is impossible for him or her to please Him in that place.
To stay in faith means to stick with the assignment, calling, or promise God gave you — it is your place of faith! If you want to bring pleasure to God, you have to stay in that place. That means you have to stay in alignment with what God has called you to do or stick with what He has promised you. You must be determined to stay there until you have received or fulfilled what God has said. And Hebrews 11:6 says that when you stay in faith in this way, you please God!
But then Hebrews 11:6 goes on to say that God is a “rewarder” of them that diligently seek Him. The word “rewarder” is the Greek word misthapodotes, a word that describes money, salary, or a payment that is due. It can also describe a recompense, reimbursement, settlement, or reparation. It depicts being reimbursed for an expense a person has paid out of his own pocket in order to get his job done; a full and complete recompense. In this verse, it denotes the one who pays, rewards, or gives what one has coming to him or a paymaster.
This lets us know that when you get into agreement with the promise God has given you, and you choose to “stay in faith” — which includes staying in the place He has assigned you to be or sticking with the promise God made to you — a moment will finally come when God, the Great Paymaster, will richly reward you with His rewards. And He will fully recompense and richly reimburse you for everything you have invested along the way — as you stayed in your place of faith!
Wow! The full message of Hebrews 11:1 and 6 is the following:
- You must believe what God has said…
- You must stand by it, stick with it, and never budge from it…
- You must know that a payday is coming when God will reward you for staying in faith!
What is the assignment or calling that God has given you? What is the promise of God’s Word that you have been standing on? If you will “stay in faith” and refuse to move away from what God has told you or promised you, His power and promise will be released! In spite of anything going on around you, this will cause you to be unmoved, unshaken, and well provided for. And this kind of bulldogged faith will produce divine assurance, divine peace, divine power, and divine and supernatural victory!
Today I’ve written to you about what it means to stay in faith, and next month, I’m going to write about what it means to stay in peace. It’s going to be encouraging so be sure to watch for my teaching letter next month!
If you say, “Rick, staying in faith can be hard,” I promise that I understand. Denise and I, our sons, and our whole ministry team have given our all to stay in faith for many years as we have done the will of God. And just as God has promised, we have experienced His rewards for sticking with the assignment, calling, and promises He has given us. I assure you that even if it feels difficult at the moment, when payday comes, you’ll be so thankful you never surrendered and moved out of faith!
We understand exactly what it means and what it takes to stay in faith, so if you need someone to pray with you who truly understands, we would be honored to pray with you! When you reach out to let us know how to pray for whatever it is you are believing for — or about whatever you are facing — we will stand in faith and believe with you for God to move mightily in your life. Never forget that we are here for you and that you can call us any weekday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT at 1-800-742-5593 or send us your prayer need at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter today! I pray it has encouraged you. Please remember to pray for RENNER Ministries as we press forward to stay in faith with what God has asked us to do too!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel Renner and our entire ministry team