Devotional

“Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.”  – C.S. Lewis. 

On a November night in 1873, a ship was struck by another and sunk within minutes. Some 232 people perished in that disaster. Among the dead were the four young daughters of Chicago lawyer Horatio Spafford. The crew managed to rescue a few fortunate souls, including a young woman draped over some floating wreckage, alive, but unconscious. When the crew finally succeeded in reviving her – Horatio Spafford’s wife, Anna – she cried out for her children–four girls, one just a baby, torn violently from her arms by the roiling sea.  Once ashore, Anna Spafford sent her husband a brief but poignant telegraph: “Saved alone.” It is a story that has been used over the years to illustrate a strong faith in God during difficult times.

There are many examples of such faith in the Bible. One of them is the Roman Centurion. The Roman Centurion had a servant that was gravely ill. Jesus is asked to heal the slave. “The servant is beloved. “ …they pleaded with Him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” (Luke 7:4-5 ) Jesus agrees and states that He will come to the Centurion’s home. 

Luke 7: 6-8 says, “When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Basically, he is saying that he is not worthy of the visit and Jesus has the capacity to heal the servant by His command. Jesus marvels at the faith of the Gentile Centurion and grants his request. The Centurion recognizes Jesus’ power and authority; he sees Jesus for who He is. The question is do we have the faith to see Jesus as who He is? 

My prayer this Easter season is that we will see Jesus more clearly. We will know Him more intimately. Sometimes this can make us nervous. We begin to wonder, “Do I have enough faith?”  Certainly, we can always improve. But if you look back over the last days, weeks, or even years of your life, you’ll likely see a time when you dared to live as if God is real instead of reacting to what seemed real at the moment. Maybe you followed God’s calling to a church or job when that choice seemed counterintuitive. Maybe you dared to love an unlovable person. Maybe you gave your all to a task that others did not want to do: half-heartedly, if at all. Maybe you stepped out in faith and invited people to church not knowing how they would react. These successes teach and remind you that God gave you the grace to act faithfully then, and He can help you live with deep and vibrant faith today. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is your faith built on if and how God answers your prayers or on who He is? 
  2. What steps can you take this week to reflect on who God is rather than what He does?