by David Sisler
The foreman of a construction company hired several additional workers. None of them had ever done any carpentry before, but they all seemed to be catching on quickly. All that is, but Jerry. Except for simple “lift and carry” jobs, Jerry was completely inept at carpentry.
Exasperated, the foreman looked at Jerry and said, “Son, we often have people who don’t know what’s going on around here. But I’m afraid you don’t even suspect anything.”
When it comes to defining “faith” many people are like Jerry.
“Faith,” said a very nervous young man, preaching his first sermon, “is a simple four-letter word.”
One skeptic defined faith as “superstition in Sunday dress.”
Another, just as skeptical said, “Faith is self-delusion bolstering personal inadequacy.”
Mention faith and many people assume it is wishful thinking, or hoping something might be so.
Bible writers are very emphatic about faith. Peter, John, Luke, James, and Paul all express it in more or less the same fashion: “Put your faith in Jesus, and you will be saved. The just shall live by faith. By grace, through faith, are you saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Christianity stands distinct among all other religions of the world. First among its precepts, is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. He is God the Son, who died for sinful humanity and raised from the grave with the promise of new life, eternal life. Second is the certainty, men are saved by faith or not at all.
Salvation by faith seems too easy. It seems irrelevant to many. To others, it even seems untrue.
Faith is a simple trust. It is not as someone callously suggested, “Call on God, but row away from the rocks.” Faith is an act of our will that puts us at another person’s disposal, even if we crash onto the rocks.
A woman with a chronic hemorrhage came to Jesus. She had spent twelve years and most of her wealth seeking healing, but ultimately she was reduced to poverty and despair. Life, for her, was a struggle, without strength, resources, usefulness or joy. When Jesus said to her, “Your faith has saved you,” faith meant, very simply, her hand outstretched to touch the hem of his garment. How much she knew about Jesus, what she understood about Jesus, what she believed about Jesus, we do not know. What that touch implied for her, we cannot guess, but it was enough. The strength of Jesus did the rest.
That little woman’s physical healing represents the healing of our souls. There is no way to meet such a need, except by faith. What strength we have is not sufficient to even lift up our heads, let alone lift up our hearts. What money we have is not sufficient to even buy one more dose of worthless medicine.
Just as this woman’s condition had deleted her personal fortune, however great or small it may have been initially – and it was probably a very great fortune, because she was able to consult with many different doctors for twelve years – spiritually, without Jesus, we are bankrupt.
Sin has robbed us of all virtue and stained us so deeply that there are no other remedies we can try, no more doctors to call, and nothing to pay them if we could find just one more.
What other resource is there?
Bankrupt and beyond hope, there is only faith. It is a faith that is not sure what will happen when we touch the hem of Jesus’ robe, but it is a faith that nevertheless reaches out. In that moment of contact, the cleansing power of God’s only Son erases all trace of sin from within our hearts, and releases us to new life.
If sin has stooped, crippled and bankrupted you, don’t try to reason it out. Everything you have tried so far has failed miserably. Reach out in faith. Jesus is waiting.
Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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