Why so much talk about faith ( and so little of it?)
Devotional Thought of the Day:
Jesus turned. He saw the woman and said, “Don’t worry! You are now well because of your faith.” At that moment she was healed. Mt. 9:22 CEV
29 Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, you will be healed.” Mt. 9:29 CEV
5 Jesus could not work any miracles there, except to heal a few sick people by placing his hands on them. 6 He was surprised that the people did not have any faith. Jesus taught in all the neighboring villages. Mark 6:5-6 (CEV)
Some people meditate on Christ’s passion by venting their anger on the Jews.1 This singing and ranting about wretched Judas2 satisfies them, for they are in the habit of complaining about other people, of condemning and reproaching their adversaries. That might well be a meditation on the wickedness of Judas and the Jews, but not on the sufferings of Christ.
We are taught, by past experience, that the more simply we depend upon the grace of God in Christ, and wait upon the Holy Spirit, the more we shall bring forth fruit unto God. Oh! to trust Jesus for fruit as well as for life.
Their faith made them well.
And their lack of faith stopped Jesus from working in their midst.
We hear so much about faith, and yet we have such a vague understanding of it. We say we practice our faith, we have statements of faith, we know we are saved by faith (through grace – but what does that mean?) There are faith healers, and people who promise that you will have an ever increasing faith. SOme will say faith is a noun, something we base our lives upon, some will say it is a verb, and our life sucks because we don’t have enough of it.
WIth all these ways the word is used, it is no surprised we are confused!
Luther starts his meditation on Christ’s passion by talking about the ways people screw up meditating on Christ’s passion by meditating on everything else but the passion of Christ. I included one example above, but he will include several. In the same way, we screw up faith, talking all around it, but never engaging in it, never engaging in Christ, never depending upon Him as Spurgeon urged us to do, with our lives, with the mission and vocation God has laid on us all.
Faith is simply a description of the relationship we have with God, where we depend on Him, recognizing He is God and we are His beloved people. It is a relationship where we are confident of His presence, and confident of His work in us, and being patient to let it happen.
It is not easy to do, in fact it is impossible to do!.
It is simply a way we live, knowing His presence, taking time to remember that, and being grateful for what He did to create this relationship, to reveal Himself and His love. You can’t do states of existence, any more than you can force a relationship. But existing in it defines you in relation to the “Other”, the You to your I. Everything we are, defined by that relationship where He provides all we need.
So be still, know He is God, then move, guided by Him through life. AMEN!
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 42: Devotional Writings I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 7.
C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).