About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Faith Appears To Fail
My dad walked me to an
altar for healing every chance he had when I was young.
The results were always the same.
I'd return to the pew as legally blind as I ever was.
After coming of age in the Lord in 1970 I continued walking the
path in search of my healing. Although
I don't believe in Biblical formulas for healing, I tried anything that
looked Biblical, except for one. I've
never had anyone, at least not yet, spit into dirt and rub a muddy mixture
into my eyes. I've jumped over
pews just to get closer to Katherine Kuhlman.
I've stood in countless healing lines, been prophesied over, had
demons cast out of me, and was told of visions and dreams predicting my
healing. I've named it,
claimed it, and stood on my so-called Biblical rights as a King's kid.
I've tolerated well meaning folk of faith who enthusiastically laid
hands on me to claim my instantaneous healing.
I've been told that I don't have the faith to be healed by those
wearing glasses. So what
really is faith anyway?
The Greek word
"pistis" is translated as "faith" in the English New
Testament while the Greek word "pisteuo" is translated as
"to believe". These
words mean trust, as in, I trust Jesus with my life.
Faith is trust. It's
Trust is a passive
action. It's not an aggressive
action. When you plop yourself
down on your couch to watch television, you don't muster up trust from
deep within in the hope that your couch won't collapse to the floor when
you sit on it. You trust your
couch as you plop yourself down and relax.
This is what Hebrews 4:3 means when it says that those who believe
(trust) have "entered into rest".
Faith is trust and trust is rest.
That's why faith is passive, although with active implications.
When the Bible says
"whosoever believes will be saved" it isn't saying
"whosoever can muster up sufficient faith will be saved."
It's saying "whosoever trusts his life with Jesus will be
saved." Faith as it
applies to Jesus is resting in His ability to save you.
It's not an aggressive process of digging up faith from deep
within. It's not a mental
gymnastics mind game that attempts to trick your mind into believing you
are healed when you're not. I'm
legally blind. I don't cross a
street believing I see oncoming cars when in fact I don't. I
don't claim a traffic light to be green by faith.
I do, however, trust my life with Jesus as I cross a street.
Daniel 3:17 and 18 is my
foundation to faith and healing. The
Babylonian king decreed that everyone must worship his golden statue,
something three Jewish men refused to do.
"If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the
furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the
king. But even if He does not
rescue us we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods and
worship the gold statue you have set up (HCSB)."
These men exhibited faith in God.
They trusted their lives with Him whether He rescued them from the
fire or whether He allowed them to be burned alive.
The words "but even
if He doesn't …" suggests doubt to some, but it shouldn't.
These words actually express a genuine faith in God that death
can't destroy. The martyred
saints of Revelation 12:11 had the same trust in Jesus.
"They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death
My mother named me
Stephen after the martyred Stephen found in Acts 7.
My life certainly does not compare with that Stephen, but I do
admire his faith. As the
stones were being hurled at him he trusted his life with Jesus.
Unlike the three Jewish men in Daniel who God rescued from the
fire, Jesus did not rescue Stephen from the stones.
His faith in Jesus led him to his death, but he did not die alone. "Look,
I see Heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God
(Acts 7:55 - 56 NIV)." Stephen
possessed genuine faith. He
trusted Jesus whether Jesus rescued him from the stones or allowed the
stones to smash his life away.
The Apostle Peter
associated faith with grief
Besides all of the above,
we as humans have no capacity to trust our lives with Jesus as we should.
The Apostle Paul said that God "distributes" (NIV) faith
to each of us (Romans 12:6). In
other words, our ability to trust Jesus comes from Him, not us.
Faith is not a natural resource we can dig up from deep within.
How do I deal with an
apparent failure of faith? I
don't call it a failure. I
trust Jesus despite the apparent failure, although it is a struggle at
times. I understand that faith
is not a commodity I can get more of.
Faith is relying on Jesus to help me trust him more than I
presently do. I know Jesus can
heal me but if He chooses not to I will still trust Him and rest in His
For clarity sake, even though Jesus has not healed me of my poor vision, He has provided many other miracles to compensate for the lack of healing to date. That's the way He has helped me throughout my 64 years of my life so far. For example, on 2 particular occasions He has miraculously, and I'm not exaggerating, stepped into my life and saved me from serious injury or possible death when crossing a street. Ninety percent plus of visually impaired and blind people in Canada do not own a home of their own due to lack of employment and finances. Again, without going into details, I've had a number of real miracles that have enabled me to own my own home for 32 years. These are just 2 examples of how Jesus has looked after me. There are more examples but I'll leave those for another day. Suffice to say that Jesus will look after those in whatever way He sees fit who trust their lives with Him. It's important to know that being a Christian is more than trusting Jesus for salvation. It's a matter of trusting Jesus with all of who you are. That's Biblical faith.