God Knows…When My Faith is Shaky – Part 3
One day, Jesus was preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. A terrible shriek interrupted him. Everyone turned to see what caused the commotion. A madman, his eyes glaring with the fire of insanity, rushed forward, shouting, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34).
Jesus knew that the madman had looked for the pleasures of sin until Satan took absolute control of him. In Jesus’ presence, the man tried to ask for help. But the demon that controlled him put other words in his mouth. Christ heard his inner call for help. Speaking with authority, the Savior set the captive free: “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
Now, his eyes beaming with intelligence and overflowing with thankful tears, the man praised God for his freedom. Everyone who observed this was amazed. They exclaimed, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Jesus’ authority was something new to the people. Their religious leaders depended on the traditions and teachings of others: “So and so said that…” “It’s our custom that…” But it was obvious that when Jesus spoke, He was the absolute authority, the one who knew, the expert.
Where does faith come from? What can we be sure of? If I have only a seeding of faith, how can I help it grow?
Faith is the hand that takes hold of God’s help. The nobleman took hold of Jesus’ help for his son’s sickness and for his own selfishness. He took Jesus at His word and believed that the boy was healed before he saw the evidence. God has given each of us a measure of faith, a hand to reach upward. But the people of Nazareth held out their hands for just a moment, and then clenched their fists at the Redeemer who had so much to offer them. The faith of the madman had shrunk to almost nothing, he hadn’t used it for so long. But nobody can sink so low that God’s long and strong arm of love can’t reach down to take a shaky hand of faith.
Paul wrote: “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith is taking God at His word. So the more we learn of God’s Word, His promises, His action in the past, the more our faith will grow. God’s Word is the surest thing in the universe. In it we learn that He loves us, that He knows better than we do what is for our good. We learn that He made us and that He is present with us. In God’s Word is plenty of evidence for our faith.
If we exercise our arm of faith, nourish it with the Word of God, it will not be a flimsy, shaky arm. It will not be weakened by the disease of doubt. With this arm, we can take hold of God’s promises, His power, His love, His gift of salvation. Faith is the safety zone where we are protected from Satan.
Anyone who trusts the Word of God can stand against the whole world—“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Through faith in Christ, we will reach our full potential. “You are complete in Him” Colossians 2:10). At every step, He says, “I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand…Fear not, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).
Where to find the story: Mark 1, and Luke 4
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