Believing for a “Good Report”


This is a phrase which is far more pervasive in Word of Faith circles than in others, but regardless of who uses it, this statement is at its core misleading and sometimes very dangerous.

The idea behind the phrase as I have been exposed to it is this…

If in your life you find yourself in the midst of some uncertainty, you might say, “Well, I’m just believing for a good report”. Meaning that, you are believing that whatever is uncertain will turn out for good. Now this is where things get someone subjective. What do we mean by “good”?

Let me offer an example.

You have a work review coming up and it is during these reviews when people are either promoted, corrected or let go. So as a Christian determined not to be anxious about anything, you say, “Well, I’m just believing for a good report”.

What does that mean?

If we mean that God will work whatever the report is out for our good, then we are on good ground so long as you are God’s child and are actively walking in love with Him.


“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” ~ Rom 8:28

If however, you mean you are believing for a report in keeping with your personal agenda then we have a problem.

  • What if you have not been doing an adequate job? Is God going to MAKE your job reviewer offer a good report regardless of the facts?
  • What if your employer is critical of you because you are a Christian? Is God going to MAKE them report good when they intend to report evil?

In a case like this the scriptures tell us what to do.

  • If you are a bad worker – start working with your hands what is good and do it as unto the Lord and for His Glory.
  • If your employer is harsh – “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.” ~ I Peter 2:18


What is the basis for your faith?

All genuine faith is not FOR a thing but IN God.

All faith IN God, comes from Him speaking to you.

So before saying this statement you must ask yourself, “Have I even talked to God about this?” and if so then,  “What has He said to me in response?”

Most people who use this phrase rely heavily upon God’s written Word. While reliance upon the integrity of God’s Word is imperative and commendable it is NOT the well spring from which Faith comes.

Faith comes from God speaking to YOU. There is a big difference between God telling you something and you determining to USE something God said to someone else in the Bible and superficially turn it into your own personal Rhema. The former is vulnerable and intimate, the later is controlling and manipulative.

If your faith is genuine then it is IN God not FOR a “good report”.


What the Bible says about a “good report”

The topic of a “good report” is only mentioned 10 times in scripture and they are as follows:

1Sam. 2:24  Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.”

Prov. 15:30  “The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.”

Acts 10:22  “And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.”

Acts 22:12  “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,”

2Cor. 6:8  “By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;”

Phil. 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

1Tim. 3:7  “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

Heb. 11:2  “For by it the elders obtained a good report.”

Heb. 11:39  “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:”

3Jn. 1:12  “Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.”


As you can see good reports were not believed for, they were earned. Not earned by hard work or self-effort, but by good works performed within the sphere of active relational trust in God… a.k.a. – Faith.

In every one of the above examples the good report was based upon actions and faith. The two very things which James said work side by side,

 “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” ~ James 2:20-26


A Good Report

In the end, the “good Report” mentioned in the bible is a good testimony. It is a testimony of a life lived in genuine relationship and reliance upon God – regardless of the outcome!

This is something which is almost entirely absent in most “faith” based theologies – the idea that one could be in faith and yet NOT see the fulfillment of their faith accomplished within their lifetime.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” ~ Heb. 11:13-16

The “good report” (as seen at the end of the above verse) – was that God was NOT ashamed to be called their God! As I said earlier, a “good report” so often is viewed as being a report concerning circumstances in our lives being favorable, rather than it being a testimony of our lives lived in union with God and reliance upon Him.

As this chapter is Hebrews says, it was by relational trust that the elders (forefathers like Noah, Abraham, Isaac…etc.) were recorded as having a good testimony or report. By extension this is what the book of Proverbs means by the phrase,

“The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.” ~ Prov. 10:7 

The word “memory” here is the Hebrew word zēker and means memorial. So in effect this verse is saying that the heritage or the testimony of the righteous is blessed. Their name will be remembered.

Ultimately, this all points back to God because those who live their lives in genuine relational trust in Him, though they may not see the results of their faith in their lifetimes, they have this testimony…

“…Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God…” ~ Heb. 11:16 

and the testimony of Enoch,

” By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” ~ Heb. 11:5

Now that is a Good report…that is a good testimony!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!