According to Your Faith

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. – Matthew 9:27–30

Reading about this miracle lead me into a study on all the miracles Jesus performed. Many questions came forth in the study. All throughout the gospel scriptures we read about the critical element of faith in those seeking Jesus restoration (Matthew 8:10, Matthew 9:2, Matthew 9:22, Matthew 15:28, Matthew 17:17-20, Mark 6:5-6, Luke 18:42, Mark 10:52, John 40:50-51, John 11:22-27). Another version of faith in my estimation is humility, in which faith in God’s word is required, specifically that He is God and we are not. Humbling ourselves and aligning ourselves underneath our LORD and Master in truth (Mark 1:40-41, Luke 7:13-14, Matthew 9:18, Mark 7:32, Mark 8:22, Matthew 15:22, Matthew 20:30, Luke 17:13).  Why did God choose faith as the key to unlock His mercy?

Why does Jesus tell those he healed not to talk about it (Mark 7:36, Mark 8:26, Matthew 9:30)? Why did Jesus withdraw from crowds to perform miracles (Mark 7:33, Mark 8:23)? When performing miracles, why did Jesus command the evil spirits not to reveal who He was (Mark 1:25, Mark 1:34, Mark 3:11-12, Luke 4:35, Luke 4:41)? Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell people who He was (Mark 8:29-30)? Could it be that Jesus knew that His kingdom would require a stronger faith that did not include a ‘seeing is believing’ level of faith (John 2:22-24, John 4:48, Matthew 18:1-4, John 20:29, 1Corinthians 1:22, John 9:4)? I’m not sure I can answer all these questions, but I know Who has all the answers.

What is faith? 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

Why faith?

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:7-10

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. – Hebrews 11:16

Extra Credit. For a more complete answer read all of Hebrews chapter 11 and Ephesians chapter 2. You will not regret it.

 

Originally published on BibleJournal.net

From June 29th, 2016’s reading: Joshua 1; Psalms 120–122; Isaiah 61; Matthew 9

 

Miracles

Originally published on BibleJournal.net

Today’s reading: Genesis 38; Mark 8; Job 4; Romans 8

In the past when I have gone through, what some may refer to as difficult times, I do my best to listen to the Spirit and seek out what God is trying to teach me. Wednesday night was one of these times. A time when a situation, so gripping on the soul, that a moment’s loosening can create so much hope that it will end. During one of these flash of relief I found myself, in prayer, begging God that the relief would continue through the night. When the relief ceased, I began to beg its return. But, by the grace of God, being of sound mind, the Spirit returned my thoughts to the question at hand; “what are You trying to teach me LORD?”

An answer came, “Perseverance”. Whenever answers come clear, I can not help but be overwhelmed with thankfulness that God would consider a wretch like me. I praised God from my heart for keeping His loving eye on me and it was at that moment I believe my lesson in perseverance began. Thankfulness, contagious as it is, spilled over and took hold the situation.

Instead of begging God that relief would return I began to praise Him for the relief that had come. Thanking Him for the sweetness of it. Then realizing His goodness, I began thanking Him for the next wave of relief that I knew would come. I was at this moment I felt a strong sense of the difference between hope and faith. Praying for something in hope being different than certainty of receipt thereof and thanks therein. He is good! I began to understand how trusting in God’s goodness breeds the faith in deliverance and how perseverance is rooted deep in a holding fast on certain goodness to come. Knowing that relief was coming made turned the moments grip on my soul from bearable to gone. It was already gone. I was already in the future where it was gone. Faith had mounted me up on wings like eagles; my strength had been renewed.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

Throughout Jesus’ ministry miracles are preceded by faith. From today’s reading following Jesus feeding 4,000 we have the Pharisees demanding a sign. Jesus’ response:

And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. – Mark 8:12

This word generation γενεά means: same generation; people of the same kind; descendants; age. I do not believe that generation here used means what we commonly use the term for now; baby boomers, millennials, etc. Particularly so because a miracle had just been performed, which, in my estimation, could easily have been taken as a sign from heaven. But rather meaning more: people of the same kind.

God may we be a people whose trust in You gives us faith like a child. May this faith unlock the miracles You give to Your generation. May You be glorified and may we witness to all the earth the Good News the miracle of saving grace. Amen.