Faith

A woman who had suffered for twelve years with a bleeding condition approached Jesus in a crowd.  She thought that if she could just touch his clothes she would be healed.  She touched his cloak and immediately the bleeding stopped. Knowing that power had gone out from him, Jesus wanted to know who had touched his clothes.  The woman fell at his feet and told Jesus the truth.  “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’” (Mark 5:34)

Not everyone had the faith of this woman.  When Jesus returned to Nazareth he was limited in ministry. People recognized Jesus as a carpenter, as the son of Mary.  Because of their familiarity with the Lord’s family they were offended by his ministry. “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:5)

One of the ways we understand faith is to know that it pleases God.  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)  The word “earnestly” (ekzētousin) emphasizes the personal intent of the seeker.  It is intensely desired.  Circumstances do not dissuade us.  Chuck Swindoll once observed: “From this side of glory we see the tapestry from underneath, and it is full of knots and twisted threads and frayed ends that lack meaning and beauty.  From God’s perspective it is all under control.”  Faith recognizes that God is in control and He is making something beautiful out of my challenging life.

When Jesus blessed the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, he told her to go in peace.  The word, “peace,”(eirēnēn) implied a condition of wellness.  The word was used to describe tying something together to make it whole.  She was once frayed, but now she is whole.  Jesus used this very word at the time He promised the Holy Spirit to the disciples.  “‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.  I do not give you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’” (John 14:27)  The peace that Jesus gives is totally different than any other form of peace.

Therefore, peace is a by-product of faith. Oswald Chambers once wrote, “The peace that Jesus gives is never engineered by circumstances on the outside.”  While I’m waiting on healing, a mended relationship, or a new job, God is still in control. Through faith I can be at peace.  I may never receive the thing I want, the thing I am praying for.  Ravi Zacharias once observed, “Faith is confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in his power, so that even when his power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who he is.”

Remembering the words of Hebrews 11:6 will help us.  We earnestly seek God by praying often.  We earnestly seek God be recognizing His power to change our lives.  We earnestly seek God by inviting others to pray with us.  We earnestly seek God by praying the words of scripture.  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)  What a great passage to pray!

Let’s pray in faith to our God who can do more that we imagine!

Pastor Ken Atchison

 

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.