Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Full of Doubt or Full of Faith?

By Allen White

While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region.
Matthew 9:18-26

On His way to a house filled with doubt, Jesus encountered a woman full of faith. The people in the house had accepted the inevitable – the child had died. The noisy crowd was already memorializing her life. But, her father, a synagogue leader, knowing she was dead believed that there was more.

En route to the house, Jesus felt someone touch him. Her chronic health problem drove her to Jesus. Seeing Jesus, she took the opportunity by letting Jesus intersect with her need. She had faith and was healed.

At the father’s prompting, Jesus arrived at the house. He announced that the girl was only “asleep.” The mourners laughed at Him. They laughed in Jesus’ face.

Simply taking the girl by the hand, Jesus brought her back to life. The key to this miracle is one small phrase, “after the crowd had been put outside.” The crowd lacked faith. The crowd accepted things as they were. The crowd laughed at the hope Jesus offered. The crowd had to go.

Most of us don’t celebrate the newfound problems in our lives. In fact, most of us are prone to mourn our loss. Whether we’re facing inconvenience or impossibility, we usually don’t embrace the problem with open arms. We’d rather duck than pucker up.

But, who is this a problem for? “Well, it’s a problem for me.” Of course, it is. But, it’s not a problem for God. God knows the resolution of this problem. God knows where He wants to take us. We just don’t know where we’re going, yet.

Why is it a problem? It interrupted our plans. It’s not what we expected. We thought that we’d be better off than we are at this point in our lives. Maybe we didn’t see it coming. Maybe we did.

In every problem, we have a choice: faith or mourning. We can cling to what might have been – coulda, shoulda, woulda – or we can trust God for what’s next. Now, don’t get the idea that my life is problem-free and that I am averse to mourning. There is no such thing as problem-free, and I’m preaching to the preacher here.

Once we decide to follow God in faith believing, we need to look at our crowd. What are they saying? Are they building us up or tearing us down?

Who is the crowd? The crowd represents whatever inputs we are allowing in our lives. Are their messages positive or negative? Are they inspiring hope or mourning?

Some of us need to distance ourselves from negative friends or family. Others need to turn off cable (bad) news. Get the facts, and then allow God to provide the commentary. Are we reading things that bring hope? What are we telling ourselves?

The truth about us is not necessarily our track record. God says that we are forgiven and redeemed (Titus 2:14). God says that we have a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). God says that we have a mission to fulfill (Matthew 28:18-20).

If you find yourself a little hope-less today, then surround yourself with thoughts and people who are hope-full. This isn’t wishful thinking. This is truthful thinking.

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