Pamela Myers Palmer
Faith in Action
"There was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 'Unless you people see signs and wonders,' Jesus told him, 'you will never believe.' The royal official said, 'Sir, come down before my child dies.' 'Go,' Jesus replied, 'your son will live.' The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living."
You have lived long enough to know the troubles will come, the trials will persist, and you will experience hardships. They will feel burdensome, scary, and frustrating. Some will cripple your emotions and threaten to chip away at your faith. But what if it's those moments in life that we are actually supposed to stand firm in our faith and not be worn out by the storm?
In the passage above, the royal official had run out of options for his dying son. There was nothing that anyone or anything within his power could do to make his son well and whole again. But this man had heard of Jesus and the miracles He performed. Miracles that made people well--physically, emotionally and spiritually. This man took a chance by putting his faith in Jesus' divine ability to heal. He pursued Jesus and boldly asked of Him to do what no one else could do. Save his son. Heal him once and for all.
Imagine for a moment (or perhaps you've lived through it yourself) having a sick child. Not much else can leave a parent feeling incredibly helpless, vulnerable, and even hopeless. We can put ourselves in the shoes of this royal official to understand his desperation. Maybe it hasn't been a sick child, but you have felt similar desperation. You have endured circumstances that have left you helpless, vulnerable, and full of fear and anxiety.
My family has been living through a devastating financial crisis for over a year now. We almost lost our home, we could have lost our cars, and we have had to receive a lot of help. Not knowing how the bills would get paid, or how we'd fill up the gas tank, or if we'd have enough to buy groceries has put us face to face with some fearful situations. But we have not lived in fear this past year. We have not had our joy stolen. We have not lost our faith in the God who remembers us and takes care of us. How?
We put our faith into action! It was time. Just like the royal official, we pursued Jesus and asked boldly what we have needed, and we took Jesus at His word that He would be with us every step of the way and take care of us. Early on in this crisis, it dawned on me how fortunate my husband and I are to have grown up in the church and to have lived for God our whole lives. We haven't been loving God and serving God all these years and we haven't been learning His word and deepening our faith just to have it all cut down by this trial. On the contrary, our lives lived for God and our rooted faith have been preparing us just for this season. We didn't have to suffer through months of anxiety, fear, and unknown. Instead, we have lived through these months with grace, miracles, and provision. We have seen God's hand time and time again working through people who have helped us, prayed for us, and lifted us up as we have been in need. Jesus has given us peace and hope even in the darkest moments.
You see, when we face the trials, or when we are journeying the unknown path, we can cower in fear and turn from God, or we can put our faith into action. We can live out and lean on the promises of God. We can pray and declare His promises over our life. We can thank Him already for His provision and restoration. We can praise Him for meeting our every need. The hardships don't have to cripple you, or cause you to lose faith. Rather you can stand boldly before the throne of God and praise Him in the storm, trusting Him. Remember, fear is not from God, it's a ploy from the enemy to bring you down and away. My family is still in the middle of the storm, but we are standing strong because of Christ in us. Trust that He will carry you through your hardships and over your mountains when you put your faith into action and trust Him at every unknown turn.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this?
4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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