As a little girl the one thing I never questioned nor wondered about was the fact that my parents would take care of me. My faith in them was strong. I never questioned that they would not take care of me. I realize today….what a blessing that gift has been in my life. I had the reassurance and security of knowing I was loved, protected and cared for by two loving parents as I watched them diligently seek Jesus and put their faith into action in their daily lives. Some do not grow up with such an example/model.
Those are the glasses through which I have “seen the world and life”. Today….the older I get the more grateful I am for them. They modeled a great faith and trust in Jesus. Their lives encouraged me to seek my own personal faith. To own it and put it into play from watching their lives of faith….even in the hardest of times. I saw miracles! It grew my faith.
When I read the Bible, I find there were people who had eyewitness accounts and personal interaction with Jesus. They saw Him perform many miracles…..and still did not believe. The pharisees watched Jesus perform many miracles ….even healing a man, considered deformed because of his shriveled hand, on the sabbath. They found fault and took offense with the “good,” the “supernatural,” that Jesus did. They even plotted to kill Jesus.
It is puzzling to read the Bible today and wonder….how could they not believe…when they saw? But many did not. Jesus even had a hard time in His hometown with those who knew Him well having a lack of faith. It is told in Matthew chapter 13, in verse 58, “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
What does the Bible teach faith is? Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT seen.” [emphasis mine]
How important is faith to God? Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.” [emphasis mine]
Is it good enough just to believe…..faith as a noun? NO…..faith….has to be put into “play” …..a verb…action. James 2:17, “Thus also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead.”
I read over and over and over again in the Bible, just in the book of Matthew, about faith. Allow me to point out just a few verses of Jesus’ words after He performed many miracles…something that is worth reading over and over again and applying to our own life.
Matthew 8:11, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” This was what Jesus said about the Centurion who came to Jesus on behalf of his servant who was paralyzed and suffering. His servant was healed.
Matthew 9:2, “When Jesus SAW their faith, he said to the man, take heart son, your sins of forgiven.” [emphasis mine] The man on the mat who was paralyzed was healed.
Matthew 9:22, “Jesus turned and SAW her, ‘Take heart daughter, he said, Your FAITH has healed you.'” [emphasis mine] This was the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.
I love the next account and interaction of the two blind men with Jesus. Matthew 9:28-30, “When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him and he asked them, ‘Do YOU believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘YES, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to YOUR FAITH let it be done to you.’ And their sight was restored…” [emphasis mine]
I don’t know about you…where you are with YOUR faith…YOUR belief in Jesus…and His power for YOUR life….but…
He is the same God today as He was then.
FAITH is not just a belief….it is an action…that is required from all of us…a PERSONAL…INDIVIDUAL FAITH. Jesus clearly pointed out the individual faith of everyone He healed. No one can have faith for you. I/you/we have to have it personally. WE have to OWN it and PUT IT INTO Play.
I encourage you today….don’t rely on the faith of others. Build your own FAITH….by DILIGENTLY SEEKING HIM.
Scripture promises that Jesus is a rewarder of those who do. I know personally that as I have taken bolder steps of faith, it has increased my faith. Why? Because as I step, as I put my “foot in the water,” it is only then that I see Jesus and the supernatural, “the water parts”.
It is when I put myself in situations that require….HIS help…where my ability is weak…and the impossible happens.
I step and “drop my hands” all the while expecting His hands to “show up and show out”. And guess what? I haven’t been disappointed one time. In fact, sometimes it is hard to sleep at night….because I have chosen to live in such a way….that my steps can’t be made in my own strength. I see God daily. The awe of Him makes it hard to sleep.
Seek to take steps today…so that if you are living with a “shriveled hand,” it may be extended before your very eyes. Not only will your FAITH BE STRENGTHENED but your reach will Grow.