Ray Berryhill pastors
the thriving congregation of Evangel Assembly of God in Chicago.
He recently spoke with Editor in Chief Hal Donaldson about the impact
of faith on his life and ministry.
PE: How has faith
Over the past 30 years I have found God to be true to His Word,
to be who He said He would be, to do what He said He would do. His
faithfulness has been my foundation for everything Ive wanted
and everything I need.
As just one example,
in 1974 during the recession, I was told to accept a demotion at
the corporation where I worked. With a wife and one young child,
I couldnt afford to take a demotion. I told my boss what I
believed God could do. He said if I didnt accept the lower
position I wouldnt have a job. I told the Lord, "I spoke
out for You. Now You need to move in my behalf." That same
day another supervisor in the corporation offered me a new position
with an increase in pay. The man who told me I wouldnt have
a job was fired shortly thereafter.
In October of 1992, our
church took out a loan for $30,000 that I believed God would help
us pay back before Christmas. I started a 6 a.m. prayer meeting
(which is still going on today). A week before Christmas I received
a phone call. One of our members had passed away and left some money
to the church. Two days before Christmas we received $30,000. The
same members will left us additional monies. In all, through
praying and seeking God, we received $158,000. That miracle started
a revival were still living on.
PE: Why does God require
us to live by faith?
11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith
is complete, absolute, uncompromising trust in God and His Word.
God requires us to live by faith because faith is the only thing
that is going to cause us to act on His Word. Faith in Gods
Word and faith in Gods power causes God to respond to us in
unimaginable ways. But we have to be walking, talking and communing
with Him all the time.
PE: Does unanswered
prayer mean that we lack faith?
necessarily. Our motives could be wrong. James talks about praying
and asking for the wrong things. It could be wrong timing. In Habakkuk
2 and 3 it says the vision is yet for an appointed time; wait for
it and it will surely come to pass. God may want to do something
greater to reveal His glory in our lives. When Lazarus was sick,
Jesus didnt go right away. He went later on to do something
for His glory.
PE: Is it possible
to misdirect faith?
has to be the object of our faith. It cant be faith in our
faith. It cant be faith in what somebody else said. Gods
Word has to be the object, His covenant has to be the object, and
His commandments have to be the object. Genuine faith comes by hearing
the Word and then acting on the Word that we hear.
PE: Any other principles
times we look at situations and we look at our inabilities and we
come to a place of hopelessness. That is not Gods will. Im
learning how to get the pressure off of me and put the pressure
on God. He can handle it; I cant. Its about His will,
His purpose, His people, His timing.