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From the Heart

Faith or Fear - Pt 1

Posted by Russ Snyder
Russ Snyder
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on Thursday, 28 May 2015 in Uncategorized

Choosing faith or fear is a daily part of our lives. There is constant pressure within us to choose fear over faith. It can be blamed on the media or even the pulpit where fear may be used as a tool used to get our attention. It can also be found in how we are raised from childhood. There are so many possible places fear originates, but where ever the pressure is from the result of fear is always a choice we make.

Jesus gives us several examples within Mark 5 of how He personally encourages people to choose faith over fear, of how people respond, and what happens because of Jesus’ words and actions impacting the lives of each person.

Never mind the towns people who become frightened because one of their own has been delivered by Jesus of a legion of demons in the first twenty verses. They come and see him sitting with Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. The choosing of fear in this instance brought them to the place of imploring Jesus to leave their area. Fear is a powerful emotion that can be used to turn us away from what God does to point us to His love for us.

When a synagogue ruler whose name is Jairus falls at Jesus’ feet begging Him to come and heal His little daughter before she dies, Jesus immediately goes with Jairus. Jairus is afraid for his daughter’s life. He chooses faith by coming to Jesus for help. If he doesn’t believe a little in God’s miraculous power, he isn’t going to come to Jesus. But faith compels him. When someone is compelled by faith or by fear they are driven forcibly to do something. If it’s fear sometimes we can be frozen in place. If it’s faith, we must believe and at times take action. Being compelled means “to be driven forcibly”.

At this point in the story so many people are following Jesus they are even pressing in on Him. There’s a woman who has had a hemorrhage for twelve years who is compelled by faith to touch Jesus. Do you remember the story? She’s been enduring so much at the hands of physicians and she’s spent all her money in the process, yet she’s only gotten worse. When the doctors who she gives all of her money to can’t help, her fear has to increase.

She hears about Jesus and by choosing faith recognizes Him as her only hope. She says: “If I just touch Him, then I’ll get healed.”

That is faith. She believes she will be healed. Pushing her way through a crowd to touch Jesus’ clothes from behind Him shows she has faith. Yet you can almost hear fear screaming “Don’t do it! It won’t help! Even if it works you will get caught and lose your healing!”

But she doesn’t listen to fear. Because as someone said; 'Fear does not stop death, it stops life'. She works her way through the crowd and touches his clothes. Jesus feels the power go out of Him. (That whole thing of feeling power go out of Him, that’s another blog)

Her faith reminds me of the saying: “Believe God for something so impossible that unless He is in it, it’s doomed for failure.” Huge faith on her part. Everything else, everyone else has failed her. Yet she has the faith to go to Jesus. What a gutsy move. To touch Him from behind, pressing in through the middle of the crowd, she has the faith to pursue Him.

Knowing something or believing it to be true is the first step in faith. Knowing or believing doesn’t always make something happen in our lives. We often are called upon to take some form of action. It may mean waiting for God instead of making something happen or it may mean doing what God’s Spirit tells us to do. In the woman’s case she needs to reach out and touch Jesus clothes.

Then comes the reward of her faith. “Immediately” the flow of her blood is dried up; and she feels in her body that she is healed of her affliction. There are great rewards for stepping out in faith. As long as it is the steps God wants for our faith to be coupled with action.

In the midst of her celebration of healing Jesus turns around and wants to know who’s touched Him. Fear raises it’s head again screaming “I told you that you’d get in trouble! Now you’re going to lose your healing!” Even though the disciples who were closest to Jesus didn’t have a clue what was going on (another blog for another time), the woman knows she has to speak up. Jesus looks at her. Fearing and trembling, aware of what has happened to her, she comes and falls down before Him and tells him everything. Did you catch the fearing and trembling? Such a common reaction for people.

Jesus says to her, “Your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed.” He acknowledges she has chosen faith. Jesus blesses her with peace.

In the battle between faith and fear, and it is a continuing battle in our lives, Jesus acknowledges our faith, and blesses us for stepping out and trusting Him.

I want to be like Jesus. So I’d like to ask do we affirm people or doubt them when they choose faith? Do we encourage people and bless them and their faith? Or do we feel the pressure of fear to try to prepare them for the possibility of their faith failing, just in case?

If we give into fear instead of having faith to encourage others, is it possible our own faith diminishes?”

Let’s not be afraid to believe God for something so impossible if He’s not in it then it’s doomed to fail. And let’s be people who believe by faith our God is able to do abundantly beyond all we think or ask so as a result we are becoming the encouragers of faith instead of the supplanters with fear.

I choose faith. Help me Lord to choose it in all the areas of my life knowing I trust you.

(Like the little trailer at the end of the movie credits: “There’s more to come”)

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