Posted in

The Power of Faith

             I ministered for over a decade in a Christian subculture which emphasized that the greatest faith was the one that could work miracles here and now. Although I do not want to deny the kind of faith like Elijah’s whose fervent prayer stopped the rain for over three years (James 5:17-18), I saw a more powerful faith in church last Sunday.

            The singing opens with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”  Standing in front of me is a tall man with a head completely bald because of the cancer treatment he is undergoing.  As they sing, the wife begins to weep.  He puts his arm around her and smiles down at her.  She rests her head on his shoulder and they continue to sing of their friend Jesus to whom they can take their sorrows in prayer. 

            The pastor preaches on prayer.  At the end he asks us what we do when God does not answer our prayers as we hope.  We sing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”  The drummer accompanying the worship team is a man who is going blind.  The couple in front of me arm and arm sings in the face of death that God is faithful.  Did I mention that the pastor had been diagnosed with kidney cancer that week?

            We are all going to die, if the Lord does not return first.  What is the power of faith against death?  Athanasius of Alexandria, who as a young man had seen the last great persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, proclaimed, “This is the faith that conquered the world; not that they did not die, but that they did not fear death.”

            The Christian faith does not promise miracles on demand.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).  For this reason we confess, “I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”  This Christmas let us rejoice, “that since the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

            The babe born in the manger grew up to be the man who conquered death on the cross.  He is now risen and so shall we.  Merry Christmas!

2 thoughts on “The Power of Faith

  1. Amen,Brother Bill. I have several long term requests that I bring to our
    Father regularly. He has not answered-yet. I believe He will.It’s because I know He loves me that I can continue to hope and believe. That ,I take it, is what Jesus meant by His story of the persistant widow. His love for me calls for me to trust ,obey and faith-fully ask.
    Good stuff you’re passing on to us.
    Terry M

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *