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Faith Toward God (10)


We continue from where we stopped in our last broadcast, on the essence of having a full conviction that what is written in the bible about Who the Lord Jesus is, is true. This conviction enables us to hold on to our confidence in the Lord; and no matter what happens, we can rest assured that what the Lord Jesus has promised, He will surely accomplish. And even as the Psalmist confessed his conviction that God will perfect, or complete, what concerns him in Psalm 138:8, so also, you ought to daily confess your conviction that God will complete all that concerns you. Such confession, must arise from your conviction about the Person and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it establishes your confidence, or faith toward God, which is a sure cure for unbelief!

When the Lord Jesus told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe, He was telling Jairus not to let go of the confidence he had toward Him (Jesus), when Jairus came to call Him to come and heal his sick daughter. Indeed, your confidence should be in the Lord; and not in the fact that the Lord can solve a particular problem. This is because, if you pin the Lord Jesus down to only being able to solve a particular problem, like healing only; you will be limiting yourself to believing that Jesus cannot do more than just healing. So, regardless of the issue in life, if your confidence is in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can rest assured that whatever an issue is, or becomes, it will be resolved. Sadly, many Christians let go of their confidence in Christ Jesus, once a matter overwhelms them. Somehow, they seem to think that since they are overwhelmed and perplexed by a matter, the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself, also overwhelmed and perplexed. A particular incident in the bible comes to mind at this point: in John 6:1-13, there were some five thousand men (not counting women and children), who had gathered to hear the Lord Jesus speak in the wilderness, far from the nearest town, and they had been with Him for some time. So, after a while, Jesus disciples urged Him to send the multitude away, so that they (the multitude) could go into the nearby towns to find food to eat. But the Lord challenged the disciples to give the multitude something to eat. Now, Jesus disciples were overwhelmed and perplexed by this challenge, because they could not imagine how they would be able to feed five thousand men, not to talk of the women and children. However, the bible records in v.6 of John Chapter 6, that this he (the Lord Jesus Christ) said to prove (or test) him (that is, Philip, whom He had told to go and find something for the multitude to eat): for he [the Lord Jesus] himself knew what he would do. Beloved, though a matter may overwhelm and perplex you; the Lord Jesus Christ, is unfazed, neither is He overwhelmed, nor perplexed by the matter! For, before the challenge arises, He already knows what He is going to do. Therefore, when the Lord said to Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe, He already knew what He would dothat He would raise his daughter back to life! Beloved, our faith toward God is our belief in the word of God, it is our confidence in what the Lord Jesus Christ says! Be not afraid, only believe is the Lord Jesus word to you today; and all that is required of you is to hold on to what the Lord has said. Beloved, you need to develop an unswerving, resolute, conviction in the veracity and integrity of the word of God, and lifes challenges will never again overwhelm or perplex you! Do you believe that with God nothing is impossible? Do you believe that with God all things are possible? Do you believe that if you repent of your sins and confess the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, that you will be saved? Do you believe that as long as you are walking as God wants you to walk, you will not miss heaven? If you say Yes to all or any of these questions, then we must ask: When things are not going the way you expect, why then do you turn to men and not to God? Why then do you seek alternatives, and not God?

In the Gospel of John Chapter 11, we read the story of Lazarus, a dearly beloved friend of the Lord Jesus. Lazarus was ill, and so, his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent urgently to the Lord to come and heal him. But instead of the Lord racing to their home to heal Lazarus, He remained where He was for another three days. By the time the Lord Jesus finally arrived four days later, Lazarus had died and been buried. When Martha, one of Lazarus sisters, heard that the Lord was around, she went out to meet Him, and remarked that she knew that if He (Jesus) had come when He was sent for, her brother, Lazarus, would not have died. In other words, Because you (Jesus) did not come at the time we asked you to come, it is now too late for my brotherhes been dead and buried, four days now. Just like the case of Jairus daughter, Jairus would have thought to himself, If only this woman (that is, the woman with the issue of blood) did not interrupt our journey, my daughter may at least have been healed before death could strike. For Jairus, his daughters death was a finality, because, scientifically, medically, traditionally, and historically, once a person is dead, all hope is goneall is finished; it is a closed case! But before Jairus could absorb that piece of information, agree with the postulations, and give up hope, the Lord immediately interjected and told him, Be not afraid, only believe. Friend, there are statements that you hear and thoughts in your mind that you agree with, which reinforces unbelief; and there are statements you hear and thoughts that you agree with, which deals a death blow to unbelief. Statements and thoughts that are contrary to the word of God always reinforce unbelief, whereas, the word of God builds faith, and at the same time deals a death blow to unbelief. Hence, whenever you find yourself wanting to disbelieve God, you should turn to the word of God in faith and receive with confidence, all that God tells you therein. The bible says in Romans 10:17, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. What this verse of scripture is saying is that your faith toward God is only truly faith, when you believe the message of Christ, or when you are convinced that what the Lord Jesus has said is true, and would surely happen! Put differently, true belief is believing that what the Lord Jesus has said would happen, will undoubtedly happen, regardless of what you may be seeing to the contrary. In other words, dont bother to think about scientific possibilities and impossibilities, because the Lord Jesus is greater than science; dont bother about medical probabilities or improbabilities, because the Lord Jesus is the Great Physician, Who created you; dont depend on what is acceptable or unacceptable traditionally, because the Lord Jesus has existed long before your tradition or culture; dont ask about historical antecedence or precedence, because the Lord Jesus is the history makerHe does what will become history every time. This is the reason why, when you find yourself in a tight spot and you are wondering what to do, you will hear the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Himself, speaking to you, saying as it is written in Isaiah 30:21, as the Good News Bible puts it, If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, "Here is the road. Follow it." And, brethren, when you walk accordingly, you will never stumble; you will never be disappointed; and, you will never miss your way in life! When the Lord told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe He was telling him, Listen and follow what I am telling you; not what others are telling youyour daughter is not dead, but asleep!

But many of us have missed our way in life and have begot unbelief, not just due to ignorance, but mostly due to arrogance. Every time you are going in the wrong direction, or are about to take a wrong decision, and you hear the word of God telling you what to do; do you listen and follow? Many of us think that we know what is best for us, because we have the capacity to think things through; because we are intellectually sound; or because we are intelligent people. Many of us rely on our lecture notes, our years of research and experience, our sense of reasoning and logic, and then we say to the Lord, You seem to be overlooking the fact that such and such a thing is not possible scientifically, medically, traditionally, politically, economically, physically, and so on. And by so doing we remain in unbelief. Let us look at a story recorded in the bible in Luke 5:1-11: And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

This is the story of an exchange between Simon Peter, a fisherman at the time, and the Lord Jesus. The Lord had entered into Simons boat to preach to the people who were on land. When He was done preaching, He turned to Simon, and told him to push out into the sea and cast his nets so that he could catch some fish. Now, Simon, who was at this time a fisherman, turned on his professional cap, and raised his objections thus: Sir, we toiled all night, last night, in this same waters and caught nothing he may have thought to himself, What has possibly changed that will make us catch fish now; when it is day time and he has been preaching aloud and has scared away any fish that could have dared to come to the surface? Besides, I am a fisherman, and he is not. There are things he does not know about fishing which I know. For instance, he doesnt seem to know that nobody goes fishing in the day timeyou only fish at night, when everywhere is calm and quiet, and the fish feel secure enough to come to the surface, and then we catch them. Besides, he doesnt know that when we cast a net in the day time, it is usually to set it for fish that will come up later at night. Had Simon Peter been speaking to any other person, he probably would have had a point, and indeed, most people, especially, fishermen would agree with him on every point. But he was dealing with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, which includes the seas and the fish; he was dealing with the One Who gave man the authority to catch fish; he was dealing with the One Who says a thing, and it comes to pass, regardless of what may be happening to the contrary! One thing though, Simon Peter was willing, albeit reluctantly, to give it a try, for he said, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Simon may have thought to himself, If I dont do what this preacher is saying, he may not leave this boat and may start preaching at me; and man, I need to get home in time for a rest; so, let me just do it or Let me humour this preacher, so that in future, he will stick to preaching, and leave the business of fishing to the professionals! So, even though the Lord told Simon to let down his nets [plural], Simon said, I will let down the net. [singular]. Now, when Simon finally let down his net, which was really a half-hearted attempt, he and his colleagues in the fishing business, were stunned beyond measure, because they just made the catch of a lifetime, in one haul. Now, being a religious man, though not necessarily a spiritual man, Simon must have attributed what had happened to the holiness and righteousness of the Lord Jesus, because Simon went down on his knees before the Lord, and asked the Lord to depart from him, because he considered himself an unworthy sinner. Instead, the Lord took on Simon and his colleagues who were with him at the time, as his disciples; and from then on, Simon Peter walked with the Lord. Friend, when the Lord Jesus speaks, it is as good as done. His word is not dependent on anything that is happening or not happening. His word is Law. He spoke and the world as we know it was formed (Psalm 33:9). Hebrews 1:3 tells us that the Universe is upheld or supported by the word of Christ, which is so powerful, nothing can contravene it. Friend, the word of God does not depend on science, medicine, tradition, human intelligence, and so on. Our refusal to act on the Lord Jesus word is not just an act of disobedience, but it is unbelief; whereas, to accept the word of God, and act on it, is true faith. Please note that faith does not always make sense, it does not always agree with common sense, and is not based on intellectualism or science. If you are someone to whom the word of God must make sense before you act on it, you will never be able to receive anything from God, and you will never be able to exhibit faith toward God. Friend, Be not afraid, only believe! It is the Lord Jesus speaking to you; and He is saying, Dont reason, dont be logical, dont be scientific, only believe!

Let us pray!