#2. God often meets us at the point of our faith, not at the point of our need. (Matthew 8:5-13; 9:2; Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 14:34-36; 15:21-28; 9:27-31; John 4:46-53; Mark 7:31-37)
The Roman Soldier and The Paralytic Man
Anytime a challenge faces you, you can choose to trust God completely, like the people in the passages above. In reality, this is not a very easy task, however, it is a very possible one. In Matt. 8:5-13, Jesus seemed to indicate that He was searching for such kind of totally dependent faith in the world. He revealed this through His amazement at the faith of the Roman Centurion, ‘I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.’ The Roman soldier, being a gentile (a sinner), and not even a jew, had such a great faith that was not found elsewhere, even amongst the Jews who had been anticipating and praying for the arrival of the Messiah. The paralytic man was healed because of the faith of his friends (Luke 5:18-20). This teaches us that we can stand ‘in the gap’, in prayer before God, on behalf of our friends and loved ones, believing Him for their healing, deliverance, salvation or any other good thing. God can come through for them, because of our faith.
The Woman with the Issue of Blood
Another story is the one about the woman who had what some might refer to as a crazy faith. She didn’t think herself worthy to approach Jesus face-to-face because she was declared by the law to be defiled, and so banned from mingling with people, so as not to defile them. But, she thought within herself, “If only I can touch, ever so slightly, the helm of His garment, I know I’ll be healed.” Now, imagine this, this woman had been suffering from an infection for 12 long years.
“This woman’s constant hemorrhage was a disaster (Luke 8:43-48). It left her anemic, weak, breathless and hardly able to walk. Because she had no money she was no longer able to eat nourishing food to compensate for her loss of strength. Also, she was ceremonially unclean, and because of her illness, everything and everybody she touched would be considered unclean (Lev. 15:19-30).” – Reinhard Bonnke
Even though this woman had probably been a wealthy woman prior to her illness, by the time she encountered Jesus, she had lost all hope in getting healed by medical means, having spent all her wealth on many famous specialist doctors of her time, reputed to be experts in that field, I suppose. She grew worse and no better (Mark 5:25-26).
Continuing from Bonnke’s attempt to put forth a vivid description of this event, “Jesus made systematic circuits through the villages and she knew He would be coming. When He did, she struggled through the crowd and touched the fringe of His robe and was instantly healed. She felt it. So did Jesus. Now comes the real point of the story.
“He asked who touched Him. Well, dozens had. Then the woman came trembling and afraid. Why? Because she had touched Him and she knew her defilement had defiled Jesus. (Likewise, our defilement of sin defiled Him – He was made sin for us on the Cross (2 Cor. 5:21). All eyes were upon her. The whole crowd was quiet, everybody straining to see who had brought the party to a screeching halt. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was entirely focused on one outcast, a little scrap of unknown humanity. Her loneliness and illness had put all heaven in a rage, and God sent His Son for her alone at this moment.
“Then came Christ’s verdict. The same One who will one day judge the nations and pronounce His verdict on mighty empires, the Lord, and Maker of heaven and earth, paused for a moment and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48). This same Jesus is now knocking at your door today. Anybody sick or in bondage? Seize your opportunity! Jesus has come for you.” – Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, 2012
Gennesaret and the Deaf-Mute
Another story is that of the people of the land of Gennesaret (Matt. 14:34-36). It was only the edge or fringe of Jesus’ garment that they touched, but because of their much faith, they were all healed, perfectly. We also see a man “who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him” – Mark 7:31-37. They expressed their faith in the ability of Jesus to heal the man. Jesus could have easily healed the man there based on the faith of his relatives/friends, just like he did in the case of the paralytic in Luke 5:18-20. However, it seemed to me that, in this case, Jesus required the man’s faith also in order to be able to heal him. He took the man aside in order to establish a connection with the man and meet him at the point of that connection.
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith and that of the Royal Official
Yet another beautiful story is the one we read about the Canaanite woman who came to plead with Christ to heal her ‘severely demon-possessed’ daughter (as the King James Version puts it) – Matthew 15:21-28. Now Jesus ignored her at first because it wasn’t time for Him to reveal Himself to the Gentiles; but also because He wanted to test her resolve. She proved to have more faith than some of the people from Jesus’ own hometown (See Mark 6:1-6). We also read about Jesus’ miraculous healing of the official’s son (John 4:46-53). Notice what Jesus first tells him when the man implored Him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48, BSB). Jesus was looking for the man’s faith, not for his need.
A man of God once said, “God meets us at the point of our faith, and not at the point of our needs.” I believe that too.
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I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.
Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!