Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms (James 5:13).
Imagine that someone got the news that a kind person left him an estate worth a hundred million dollars; how do you think he’d receive the news? I’m most certain he won’t receive it with a listless “Thank you.” He’ll express much joy for what he received. Likewise, when you pray about a situation, maybe a health condition, and you believe God answered you, act like it. Express joy!
One day many years ago, I was leading the church service and had invited everyone to come forward for prayer. They all came around the altar and prayed. After the prayer, they returned to their seats as though they had just been whipped, and the Lord said to me, “They didn’t receive answers to their prayer.” He didn’t say, “I didn’t answer them,” because He always answers when we pray. But they didn’t receive because they didn’t act like people who had received answers to what they prayed about.
There have been people who received healing or other miracles in a meeting, and just as they turned to leave the venue, everything returned to what it was before. They lost the healing. Their healing was a sign; God had given them attention, and got their attention, but expected them to further act their faith. He wanted them to rejoice, testify, and be glad about what already happened, and thus keep their miracle, but they didn’t.
Many people don’t know that their expressions are a message. Faith is expressed in words and in actions. If your words and actions don’t demonstrate your faith, then there’s no faith. Every time people received something from the Lord in the Bible, they demonstrated it in their joy, and their blessing was sustained. Some actually received more as a result of their joyful testimonies and gratitude; an example is the leper in Luke 17:11-19.
The Bible says faith without works—corresponding action—is dead. If you accept what God has said about you, you’ve got to act like it.