“We are never defeated unless we give up on God.” Ronald Reagan

Faith is a miraculous thing. Highly prized by the one in whom the faith is placed, yet undervalued by everyone else. Perhaps it is because faith is intangible. And perhaps because it is so intangible, there is very little accountability, one to another, when placing it. But beloved, to our Father, and to Jesus, faith is powerful. Faith is the currency on which Heaven’s economy is run and the key to unlocking our Father’s blessings, provision and protection.

“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Matthew 8:5-10

Two things we need to notice about this episode. Firstly, Jesus was not kidding when He said,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

Notice how the centurion just had to ask and Jesus said ‘I will come and heal him’? When we come before our Father, we often think that our Father qualifies us first, checks His list to see who has been naughty and nice, before He answers prayers. No beloved, Jesus did no such thing. The centurion was not even a Jew, in fact, he was part of the Roman army who were supposedly oppressing and subjugating the Jews at that time, yet Jesus went when asked. Indeed beloved, ask, and you shall receive. This is faith.

The second thing we need to notice is that the more faith we have, the more Jesus marvels at our faith. The centurion was really not making it easy for Jesus. Usually one would allow a touch or at least close proximity, for healing to take place. But the centurion was essentially asking Jesus to do some proper distance healing. Granted the centurion did that out of humility and really was not out to test Jesus. But is not his faith marvelous? He trusted that mere words uttered can achieve that desired effect. But have we paused to examine why that is? How is it that this gentile could have so much faith in a God not of his own people?

Actually, he himself tells us that it is because he himself wields such power, so he knows exactly what such power can do. And if Jesus was even half as powerful as those around him made Him out to be, this centurion knew that Jesus could do exactly what he could do and more.

Now beloved, do you realize that you too hold that same power? Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

The centurion’s authority was given to him by his employer, in much the same way that your authority as a leader of your industry is given to you by your station in life. But our authority over the things of this world is not given by man. Our authority over the things of the world is given by our Father. What higher authority can there be? And for us to claim this authority, to exercise its rights, we just have to ask in Jesus’ name, and He will do it, it will happen.

Now, there will be some of you who will have a problem with this, because the name of Jesus seems so ephemeral, intangible; makes it a little difficult to believe. Well, my friend that is where faith comes in. If you do not believe, then there is no faith. But before I leave you, would you consider this; when you were a child, did you trust your parents to put dinner on the table every evening? Did you trust that your parents will be there to protect you? If you did, why? Is it really just because you could see, touch and hear them? Or if you never did, why? Has our Father ever let you down the same way you were disappointed as a child? Did you really come out of a situation worse than you were when you entered it? Beloved, do not be too quick to dismiss the power of faith in our Father, of faith in Jesus. Because when you have faith in Him, these things happen.

“Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.” Luke 8:43-44

For as miraculous as the physical healing already was, what was more important for the woman was what this healing meant to her.

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse.” Numbers 5:1-2

This law meant that for 12 years, the woman lived in shame. She lived on the fringes of society, never accepted as one of them. For that society was not an inclusive one as we can see from the disciples’ response to this other blind man;

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”” John 9:1-2

So imagine what that woman’s neighbors must have been saying about her? Stopping her flow of blood was not only a restoration of her body; it was a restoration of her dignity, her place in society. And see what Jesus attributes to her healing,

“But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” Matthew 9:22

Her faith.

Beloved, faith is also not like some privilege cards, where the benefits are non-transferable. The benefits of faith are transferable.

“Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” Matthew 9:2

Actually, it was rather more complicated than that, the crowd had grown so large, they had to lower the man and his bed down from the roof. Now, that is faith. And notice that Jesus healed the man on account of the faith of those who brought him, not his own? But he was not healed, you say, only forgiven. Well, there’s more to this story.

“But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.” Matthew 9:4-7

What is longer lasting, with greater eternal impact? Being made right with our Father, or being able to walk on this earth? So in this episode, not only does Jesus heal the man, He also shows us what it means to have our priorities in the right place. For as Jesus reminds us,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Even healing in this body is nearly not as important as being right with our Father.

But to unlock such power, there must be a lot of faith, mustn’t there? Well beloved, Jesus Himself tells us,

“for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

For when your faith fails you in the face of life’s storms, Jesus will be there with you, just as He was with Peter,

“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him,” Matthew 14:30-31

Beloved, think about it, the most valuable thing, though intangible as it may be, that can be exchanged between a parent and child, is faith; faith that the parent will always be there for the child. So that is why our Father values our faith in Him so much.

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:8-10 [AMPC]

Beloved, big or small, much or little, Jesus only asks that you have faith. He only asks that when He asks you,

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

You are able to say to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

Then He will say, “According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matthew 9:28-29) And your eyes will be opened to His power, His goodness and His love for you.

Have faith in Jesus, for that faith, however little you think it is, has already made all things well in your life.

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