I sat in my office reflecting on God’s Word as I prepared for our Wednesday night prayer service. As I thought about the many prayer requests that we had received that week, the Holy Spirit put an image on my heart. It was an image of one of the many people in the Gospel who were healed by Jesus, the woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. In Mark 5, we read that this woman had been treated by many doctors, spending her life’s savings, but still had received no relief. In fact, as we read in Mark 5:26, she had gotten worse. So now, she crawled on her hands and knees through a crowd of people, seeking to get close enough to Jesus to touch his robe. She had faith that Jesus could heal her. As she touched Jesus’ robe, she was immediately healed, and Jesus told her that it was her faith that made her well.
As I reflected on the faith of that woman, the thought that came to my mind was that she had a faith that was driven by her desperation. The Holy Spirit then started speaking to me about faith. He reminded me of the four men who, being unable to get through the door into the home where Jesus was teaching, took their paralyzed friend to the roof, tore a hole in that roof, and lowered him down to Jesus. Jesus saw their faith and healed their friend. They had a faith driven by their compassion for their friend.
Finally, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Roman centurion, who sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal his servant, who was sick and close to death. Jesus went with the elders but, before they arrived at the centurion’s home, the centurion sent men to stop them. The centurion gave them a message to bring to Jesus (Luke 7:6-8): “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” Jesus marveled at the faith of this Roman centurion and healed the servant. That centurion had a faith that was driven by his knowledge. He had heard about Jesus. He knew what authority meant, and he knew that Jesus had authority over sickness and death, and that all Jesus needed to do was say the word to heal the servant.
What drives your faith? Is it driven by desperation that has come after you’ve tried everything but still have not seen a solution to your problem or healing from an illness? Is it driven by compassion for someone you are praying for, a friend or family member? Is it driven by knowledge? You know the authority Jesus has over sickness or other trials, you have seen Jesus come through for you before and you know that he will do it again. Whatever drives your faith in Jesus doesn’t really matter. All that really matters is that you have that faith. Faith can move mountains. Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 21:21-22:
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”