Opening an umbrella indoors is like wishing for rain to come on you. If a black cat crosses your path it will bring you bad luck. Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. Most of us will believe these things as superstitions, but if we weren't told this, would we believe them as truth?
Often we are told what to believe, without actually having any idea of how to or knowing the truth ourselves. Recently I have been pondering the concept of faith.
What is faith?
As Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1 tells us, "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Verse 3 goes on to say "by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." By having faith we believe for things we can't see.
As Christians it can be simple for us to believe that God created the world, since we are taught this from when we are little. However, when we really think about this, it isn't a simple idea. This is because our developed brains are trying to make sense of everything. We want to be able to logically understand how life around us works.
Faith comes more easily when we hold on to that childlikeness and believe it. After all, the Bible says its truth. If this is faith, why do we overcomplicate other things that God is calling us to have faith for?
Why didn't I get that job I applied for? Do heaven and hell exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? Variations of these and more are just some of the many questions we all want to find an answer to.
To us, a lot of the time things don't make sense. When Jesus found out that Lazarus was sick, he didn't go immediately to see him and heal him. He was not denying helping them but was delaying it because He knew this would bring greater glory to God.
This didn't make sense to his friends and family, especially since it was becoming known that Jesus had the power to heal people. But of course Jesus' heart was broken. Of course Jesus didn't want him to suffer and be in pain. Through waiting, more glory would be given to God. After two days Jesus went to him and prayed for healing and he rose from the dead. This would have increased the faith in people around Him.
Just think would you have more faith if Jesus healed a sickness from your friend's body, or if he raised them from the dead? I'm not saying this is the reason why Jesus waited, but I'm sure it certainly increased the faith levels of those around him. After all, people can get better and we hope they do, but it takes a lot more believing to see someone who was dead, live again.
Their faith could be increased by just Jesus healing him and him not dying, but God knew more glory would be given to Him as their belief would go deeper.
Stepping out of our comfort zone
The lady spoken about in Luke chapter 8 verse 43 was subject to bleeding for 12 years. Scripture says that nobody was able to help her but as Jesus walked past her in a crowd she grabbed out to reach His clock. Immediately He knew that some of His power had been taken, as she was healed.
How amazing is it that as we walk in His will, He gives us authority. Power was given to her as she reached out to the one who is all powerful. He blessed the lady for her faith and said she was healed. This also demonstrates relationship. As He walks among us He wants us to reach out and grab a hold of things, and we will be blessed for doing so.
So how can we live by faith?
How do we not question what goes on around us?
Firstly, I believe we need to just live simply, like a child does. Yes life can be stressful, unfair and complicated. But after a child scratches their knee, they cry then pick themselves up. If you tell them they are okay and feel better, they will believe you. If we try and see life as a child does, we can live more simply.
Secondly, I believe it is by living how the passage of the bleeding lady lived. Was it her desperation that gave her that much faith to touch Jesus? Whatever our situation, as we desire and long for more, we are stepping out into what we know as reality and into what God wants us to be reality.
What are we reaching out for? What good things are being seen in our lives? As Jesus waited to go and heal Lazarus, He had faith to know that more glory would be given to His Father.
Rebecca Bowie is a young Christian who is intentionally seeking after Gods heart and striving to love people with everything. Now living in Brisbane Australia, was formerly living in London, England. She's a full-time volunteer at Youth with a Mission.
Rebecca Bowie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/becki-bowie.html