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It's Always about Faith

January 09, 2018 :: Jim Piper, Jr.
It's Always about Faith

It's always about faith. No matter what "it" is, it's always about faith. Being strong enough to do the right thing no matter the consequences is about faith. Believing God is about faith. Agreeing with God is about faith. Accepting disappointment and failure is about faith. Asking is about faith. Accepting the answer is about faith. Participating is about faith. Here's another story illustrating how faith connects us to God and frees us from the bondage of man-made religion: Mark 1:40-42

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,”he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

There are a number of lessons in this short story. In fact, let me just list them:

1. You can go directly to Jesus about your problems. Notice this man in trouble did not go to the religious institution. Notice he did not go to the doctor. He probably already did on both accounts and nothing happened. And it is certainly wise to go to the church and ask for prayers and to go to the doctor and ask for help. But that's not the point. When you're in need, run to God!

2. Faith believes that God "can" even if we don't know that he will. Look again at the leper's words: "If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean". He does not doubt the power of Jesus while at the same time acknowledging that his will is his own. There is much distraught about this issue of God's will. We don't understand how it reconciles with the happenings on this earth. In fact, if we let it, we can become people who see God as uncaring and out of touch, which then leads to an agnostic stance and then to an athiestic posture. What amazes me most about this man is that he seems to know the difference between what he can and cannot control. He seems to do everything he can within his control (get to Jesus and beg for his life) while recognizing what he cannot control (God's final decision). This my friends is faith at the highest level. I wonder if that's at least one reason he was healed?

3. God can be moved. If you've read my book, The Four Essentials of Christian Living, you might remember this is an area of confession for me. This text challenges my most common view of God - the immovable one. The thought that he would care for me and express it in some supernatural way has been something I've sought yet quick to rationalize when there is what looks like evidence of God working in my life. From my studies, my temperament seems to be much like Thomas. You know him. The disciple who was tagged with the nickname "Doubting". But let me clarify. If you remember, his doubts were mostly against the testimony of his brethren about the resurrection. But when he saw Jesus alive he was changed forever. I've got some work to do in this area because if Jesus is the exact representation of God himself as Paul and John taught us, then God is moved with compassion and for the needs of his people.

4. God can change things in a moment. We see in this account that Jesus was not only willing to heal, he healed instantly. This is encouraging and sometimes discouraging for us in the 21st century. Here we are carried back to the first century and rejoice along with the witnesses but then we wake up from that short day dream and look to our left and look to our right realizing that for most of us this is an experience we have not encountered. But be encouraged by the title of this blog: It's always about faith. Let me explain...

God can and does heal today. But it is also true by our study of history that God seems to move in certain ways and at certain times in manners we do not always recognize. But here is what you need to embrace: Having faith in the God of the Bible is always the issue regardless of the season in which you live on this planet. It takes just as much faith to live for God in the 21st century than it did in the first. No matter the century in which you live, without faith it is impossible to please God. Let's be careful to trust in God no matter how he is working, what he is working on, and why he is doing it. It's still about faith. Can you see him working today?

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