“A Persistent Faith”

Categories: In the Bulletin

Over the last five Sundays we have talked about faith in action, as seen in the majority of the miracles in Matthew 8-9. In fact, all of the healings in Matthew 9 are characterized by the persistence of those approaching Jesus. The paralytic and his four friends cut a hole in a roof to get him in front of Christ. They remained engaged, didn’t give up when difficulty came, and found a way. In Matthew 9.18, Jairus implored Jesus, even after his daughter died. He was asking Jesus to do the impossible. The woman with the issue of blood ignored the crowds and as she pushed through to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment she kept saying to herself if I only touch his garment, I will be made well, 9.21.

In today’s lesson the theme of persistence continues with the two blind men who followed Jesus on the way back to his house after the raising of Jairus’ daughter. 9.28 says they literally followed Jesus inside. Now, that’s determination! Would we go that far?

Something that will allow us to go beyond all we think we can do is dependency on Jesus. I believe this is something especially challenging in a culture where self-determination is seen as a  virtue. While I’m not suggesting we throw away personal responsibility and the hard work that often comes with it, I do believe we waste a good amount of energy trying to handle things only on our own. You will fail every time if you rely just on yourself. Life is hard and to navigate it successfully, we have to rely on a power greater than ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to our spiritual needs.

When adversity comes, will you demonstrate the tenacity to keep going? You may personally run out of strength, but you serve a God with unlimited power, insight, and resources, who is willing to work for your success. Paul experienced this, and so can you. Paul struggled with many things, but he did it with all His energy that He powerfully works within me, Colossians 1.29. Remember Ephesians 3.20-21 where it is said that the power within us enables us to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.

The key to a faith in action is persistence. Even if you feel like giving up or walking away, dig deep, surrender to God in prayer, and keep going. God will be with you. Remember what is in the definition of faith: without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11.6.

— Matthew Allen