By Dr Cecil Stewart OBE
Recently we were coming through a very difficult season when it looked like we were being overwhelmed.
One morning, as I was waiting on the Lord, I felt a very strong impression to say out loud ‘I choose to believe!’ that was a key turning point in the battle.
It meant I chose to believe the best and not the worst. I chose to believe that the Lord was with us and helping us through this storm.
And so we can all get through our struggles when we choose to believe what God says rather than what the enemy says or even our circumstances and other people.
In our lives we have learnt that there are true and real benefits of believing. The benefits that are waiting to come to you are amazing and it’s all because God really does love you.
Benefits of Believing
In Psalm 27 v 13–14 David said ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. v14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the Lord.’
It makes all the difference what you believe. When we are going through storms and struggles we tend to think they will never end. But as one who has faced major struggles and storms I can assure you that our troubles have an end and only the will of God is permanent. All else is temporary.
Both Evelyn and I have faced bad news; ‘you have cancer!’ We have discovered with every bad report, there is a good report and we all have a choice which report to believe.
The power of faith and vision is life changing. We found that focusing on God’s good report and refusing satan’s bad report brought us on through the valley into a new day of life, health and purpose. As David said ‘I would have given up hope unless I had believed to see better days.’ Now the bad report has lost its power and what Jesus did on the cross has become a reality in our lives.
Study: 1 Peter 2 v 24, Isaiah 53 v 6, 3 John 2 and Philippians 4 v 4-8
Saturate your heart and mind with God’s good report and you will walk through your valley into the sunlight of a brand new day as you cast your cares upon the Lord.
Study: 1 Peter 5 v 7 – 8
Remember the battle is against our minds and satan will do his utmost to pull us back into the bad report. So cut off the voice of the enemy and all who seek to speak negativity into your life. Then you can do like Joshua as he made his way prosperous and had good success. Read Joshua 1 v 8 - these life changing insights will transform your life as your mind is renewed.
Study: Romans 12 v 3, Proverbs 23 v 7 and Isaiah 26 v 3
What Do You Believe?
Many of God’s people are missing the benefits God has for them because they believe the wrong thing. In John 11 Martha and Mary were struggling with the loss of their brother. They couldn’t understand why Jesus did not come when they called him and now they thought it was too late.
Jesus said in John 11 v 25-26 ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’
They believed Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection. They believed that if Jesus had come earlier their brother would not have died. But that meant nothing could be done in the present. Jesus wanted to get their minds off the past and the future and realise that He was there at that moment to raise Lazarus from the dead. Most of us have struggled with this mindset of unbelief. We focus on past and future but forget Jesus is the I am and wants to manifest His resurrection life now.
Faith is not based on feelings or circumstances but on the Word of God. Hebrews 11 v 1 reminds us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Faith perceives as real fact that which is not yet revealed to the senses. That’s why it is so important to keep our minds and hearts open to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God daily.
Proverbs 4 v 23 “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.”
Life flows to us and through us as we maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord. But we must keep unbelief and fear out of our hearts and minds if we are to enjoy the benefits of believing. You may ask ‘how can I do this?’ The answer is by making a wholehearted commitment to meditate in the Word daily so that we are believing the right thing.
Yes it takes discipline and determination but the benefits are enormous.
Remember it’s not our strength or ability that gives us victory. It’s the power of the Word and of the Holy Spirit through us that changes everything.
1 John 5 v 4 says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.”
When we were born again we became overcomers. But if we don’t believe this we will live below our benefits and life will reign over us instead of us reigning over life. Read Romans 5 v 17
I find that believing the right thing deals with wrong believing just like light dispels darkness. Remember you have the God kind of faith
Romans 12 v 3 “…God has dealt to each one the measure of faith.”
So you’re not depending on yourself but God’s ability in you as a believer so speak it out, use your authority, tell the enemy to get his hands off your life and off your family. Don’t keep silent. Say what God says. Say so and you will enjoy the benefits Jesus died to give to you.
Study: Luke 10 v 19 and Psalms 107 v 2
Remember we overcome negative and depressing thoughts by speaking out loud what God’s Word says about us - see Romans 8 v 37 and Hebrews 10 v 35
When Paul was in a life threatening storm with many others he said, “be of good cheer for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told to me.”
Acts 27 v 21 – 25
Paul heard from God and chose to believe it regardless of the overwhelming storm and the benefit of believing saved their lives. We too must stand up and speak out what God says at all times but especially when there is an attack on our health, home, finances or family. See Proverbs 18 v 21, Joshua 24 v 15 and Deuteronomy 3 v 19
The Joy of Believing
Romans 15 v 13 Shows us the joy of believing – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I have heard people say ‘Don’t get your hopes up!’ but if your hope is based on the promises and provision of God you have every right to get your hopes up. Notice this verse shows that God is a God of hope. So when men say there is no hope we know there is always hope with God.
According to this verse we are to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. So the more time we spend in the presence of the Holy Spirit and speaking the Word over our circumstances, the more our hope will abound.
On the other hand if we spend our time focusing on and talking about our hopeless situation we will shut the door on the benefits of believing and limit ourselves to what man can do. It is, therefore, vital to be filled with joy and peace in believing so that we are expecting a manifestation of favour and blessing according to his word.
Study: Philippians 1v 19 - 20
Here Paul is in a hopeless situation but he says, “I know that this will turn to my deliverance through your prayers and supply of the spirit according to myearnest expectation and hope.”
What Is Your Expectation And Hope?
You can experience the benefits of believing as you develop your hope by saying what God says and refusing to say what the enemy says.
Study: Mark 4 v 24 and Mark 11 v 22 - 26
There are enormous benefits in believing the promises of God and the good future he has planned for us. Hebrews 4 v 3 reminds us that those who believe enter into rest. This means that we don’t have to struggle and strive on our own any longer but we can cast all our cares on him and believe that he is working everything out for our good. See Romans 8 v 28 and 1 Peter 5 v 7
Galatians 3 v 9 reminds us that we who believe are blessed with faithful Abraham. It is so important that we decide to believe the best and not the worst in every situation, because we are blessed and it cannot be reversed. See Numbers 23 v 20 and Ephesians 1 v 3
Luke 12 v 29 Exhorts us not to be of a doubtful mind. James 1 v 8 shows how a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Just as doubt and suspicion brings anxiety and strife so believing brings peace and progress.
My Father who was not a believer in his early life struggled with fear of the worst. I remember when my older brothers travelled to England he would express his anxiety that the boat might sink or they would have some tragedy. He also talked a lot about his fears of poor harvest from the farm and poor prices for the cattle and livestock.
I now realise that this was an attack of the enemy on his mind to rob him and his family of hope, faith and joy. This attitude made him negative and caused him to complain about almost everything so his words were most discouraging and at times destructive.
I thank the Lord he came to salvation in later life and even during all those dark days my mother kept her faith alive and sowed God’s word into the hearts of all nine of her children, resulting in salvation for all of them and then they each received the baptism of the Holy Spirit which has transformed our entire family.
The power of believing is seen in the life of a young child who suffered torment with an evil spirit until Jesus took authority over the demon and cast it out. The father cried out for help and Jesus said ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Mark 9 v 23
This revelation opens up a whole new world of miracles to us who are willing to develop our faith and believe what God says rather than our seeming impossible circumstances. Now incurable diseases are no longer incurable and life controlling addictions can be broken. No matter what kind of chain is holding you or your family captive it can be cast to the ground as we speak to them in the name of Jesus. So it is time to stop crying and start commanding! We, as believers, have been given authority to use that all powerful name of Jesus.
Study: Mark 16 v 15 - 20, Luke 10 v 19, Luke 9 v 1 and John 14 v 12
And this is not just physical healing but in every area of our lives where there is strife and the works of the enemy. So instead of magnifying the problem in our lives start magnifying the promises! Instead of talking about our strife that is tearing our families apart lets speak to strife and command it to go! Then call peace and love into our relationships. See Mark 11 v 22 - 26, James 3
v 16 and Romans 4 v 17
We can either speak about the problem and make it worse or talk to it and put a stop to it. But remember we must be consistent and relentless in our fight of faith. See Hebrews 10 v 35, 1 Timothy 6 v 12 and Hebrews 10 v 23
This is how Jesus brought life and healing when he walked this earth. Read Matthew 4 v 23, 1 John 3 v 8 and Acts 10 v 38. Today we can experience the same power in us if we will only believe and refuse fear, doubt and unbelief any place in our lives. When we act on what we believe there is a manifestation of power. This is what we see in the life and ministry of the early church as well as in the ministry of Jesus.
It is evident that there is a great need to see far more manifestations of healing power in our world today as we look at the overwhelming need in this generation. People are suffering not only physical disorders and diseases but mental and emotional depression, anxiety and offence.
But the hurts and brokenness in those who have suffered injustice and offence can be healed. I’m now convinced that this is the time to prepare for a mighty overflow of healing and restoration power in the lives of our communities, ourselves and our families that will restore health and wholeness. This preparation involves united prayer, repentance, faith and forgiveness.
It is time to believe and reap the harvest! Over recent years we have received testimonies from many people including a mother of a baby who told Evelyn and me face to face of her miracle. She had asked for prayer before the baby was born when she had been told it would be born abnormal. She was full of joy when we met in Modena, Italy and told us the baby was born totally perfectly well! God intervened when we prayed in faith.
Another testimony was given after Evelyn shared her healing testimony also in Italy. She had told how the lump in her throat had disappeared overnight when she was prayed for. A young woman who heard this testimony was struggling with anxiety because of a growth in her breast, she was in the balcony of this auditorium and as she heard Evelyn’s testimony her faith developed and she began to say within herself “If God can do that for this lady he can do it for me.”
At the end when we prayed a prayer of faith over her and many others she believed she was healed,then we received a testimony that she went and checked for the growth after the meeting and could not find it! All praise to Jesus.
In Romania where we conducted major crusades we received testimonies of miracles. At the end of one meeting a young boy ran onto the platform with his mother who told us that he had received a miracle during the prayer of faith after not been able to walk all his life.
Another older man in his eighties who had lost his hearing told how he received hearing during the prayer of faith time. There are many others who have received benefits of believing and I do believe that if we prepare ourselves and expect miracles we will receive the promises of God to restore us and give us victory over all the things that have robbed us of abundant life. Please read John 10 v 10
Jesus said in John 6 v 63 ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit and life.” We also have power to choose our words and speak life everyday.
A verse that has been a powerful help to me over the years is:
1 Peter 3 v 10 ‘For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.’
Believe You Are Blessed
When we live in the awareness that every area of our lives has already been blessed it creates a whole new vision for our future. Proverbs 10 v 22 says, “The Blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow with it.”
Not only are we blessed with eternal life, health and good relationships but when we honour God with our finances His Word promises a good harvest from seeds sown. It is important to remember that we are blessed to be a blessing - see Genesis 12 v 2
Study: Luke 6 v 38, Proverbs 11 v 25, Matthew 6 v 33 and 2 Corinthians 9 v 6–8
When I think about the major missions we have been able to hold in different nations including; Africa, Italy and Romania over many, many years, it encourages me to inspire others to have a vision for extending the Kingdom of God. Millions have been impacted over the years through power of the Gospel and thousands have responded to receive salvation and healing through this ministry. Thousands more have been equipped to serve the Lord and are making a difference in their community.
In these days of financial uncertainty is more important than ever to keep our faith alive by looking to the source of all blessing; the Lord Jesus Christ and continuing to sow even when we are tempted to reduce our giving. Look at Proverbs 3 v 9 – 10, Proverbs 11 v 24, Philippians 4 v 19 and Galatians 6 v 9.
Young people that have been reached and changed over the past two years through the Dream Centre Team on the streets of Belfast would not have been reached without the finance to look after the Team and cover the costs of follow up.
Here are the stories of just a few of the many teenagers whose lives have been impacted by the Dream Centre Team on the streets of Belfast:
(Names have been changed to protect identity)
At 16 years-old Sarah had no life ambitions. She could often be found drinking on the streets of Belfast. When she was first approached by the Dream Centre Team and offered a hot-chocolate Sarah swore at the team and, to put it politely, told them to clear off. Sarah’s heart has since softened and she is in regular contact with the Dream Centre Team who have shown her persistence and continued support. Sarah no longer drinks on the streets, she is focusing on her studies and pursuing her dreams of drama and teaching. She also volunteers in the Summer with a local Youth group.
Mark experienced the loss of his brother through suicide at a very young age. This left him depressed and without hope but in the time that the Dream Centre Team have known him they’ve seen such a difference in Mark. He opens up a lot more and is always asking questions.
Hope is clearly starting to arise in Mark again!
Holly used to self-harm and was always very depressed. But by being listened too and through the unconditional love shown to her by the Dream Centre Team, Holly’s life has been transformed. The team have noticed a huge change in Holly and it's nice to see her smile again.
So much more can be done to reach lost and broken people not only on the streets of Belfast and the ministry at Jordanstown Christian Centre but through the crusades and leadership events as well as TV and Radio.
Here is a short report from Romolo:
I am receiving many calls, at every hour of the day, from people across Italy who praise the Lord for Dr Stewart’s teachings which are broadcast daily on Italian TV.
A lady from Latina (near Rome) rang me and told me that Dr Stewart’s teachings have changed her life so much that, even though she has financial difficulties, she wanted to be part of the ministry and so donated €100!!! The first of many I believe!!!!
Another lady from Barletta (Bari) rang telling me that last night she switched the TV on and, by chance, she heard Dr Stewart’s message on the family. She rang and said, "Where is this man? I want to go and thank him and hug him for his message! I will never leave that channel any more and every evening at 9:30pm I will be glued to the screen!"
Another one person from Naples rang and said, "the world needs more men like Cecil, so deep so simple so sweet....”
And there are many more stories like these..
The best way to draw attention to the cross is to live in the good of its provision:
“Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits.”
Psalms 103 v 2
We receive the benefits of salvation through believing:
John 3 v 16 and Romans 10 v 9
We receive the benefits of healing through believing:
Matthew 8 v 17, Acts 10 v 38, Acts 8 v 6 and John 4 v 50 - 54
We receive the benefits of peace through believing:
“Don’t let your heart be troubled.” John 14 v 1
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you.” John 14 v 27
“let the Word dwell in you richly and let the peace of God rule in your heart in abundance.” Colossians 3 v 15 - 16
When we do this our mind is renewed, our faith comes alive, we are lifted to a whole new level and we begin to live in the benefits of right believing and everything changes for the good.
May you be inspired to choose life, to believe God and to enjoy the benefits. We would value your prayers and response.
God bless you richly.
Dr Cecil Stewart OBE