If You Just Had Enough Faith…

When I was a young believer I had a troubling introduction to charismatics.  I attended a Bible study in college that was led by charismatics.  It was a great group, lots of fun, with reasonably good Bible study.  Even then, I wondered about some of the applications, but I have found that to be true in almost all small group studies.  By and large, it was good to be a part of a dynamic gathering of believers.

Until that one evening when the leader decided it was time to heal the blind lady.  This lady had attended several meetings without event but that night she was singled out for healing.  I remember the leader asking her if she wanted to be healed and she responded that she would.  Then he began to pray.  He laid his hand on her eyes and prayed fervently.  We all prayed.  It was a serious moment.  When he stopped, he asked her to open her eyes.  She was still blind.  Up to that point, I was okay with what happened.  I knew even then that sometimes God says “no” or “wait.”

But the leader could not accept that the healing didn’t happen.  He began to berate the poor lady, telling her that it was her fault.  She needed more faith.  If she really had enough faith, she would be healed.  He told her this over and over and she was crying loudly—it was terrible.  I wanted nothing to do with charismatics after that.

Now, before you write to correct me, let me say that I have since come to understand that this does not represent most charismatics.  I have attended a charismatic church and I have many charismatic friends with whom I pray.  I have never seen anything like this since.  But I know that it happens, and it happens even outside of the charismatic teaching.

If you just had enough faith…

You could overcome those financial problems.  You could end the sickness in your life.  You could heal your child.  You could mend that relationship.  You could sleep at night.  You could be rich.  And on, and on, and on.  You and I see it on television all the time.  Just have faith and the orphanage will be built.  Just have faith and your candidate will win.  Just have faith and you will be blessed in the way you want.

Jesus did say that we should pray for more faith, but why?  Should we pray for more faith so that we can get what we want?  Or should we pray for faith to trust Him more?  What if the Lord knows that the blessing will be greater in your life if you don’t get what you want?  Can you trust Him?  What if not getting what you want is a blessing from Him?

You see, I think it takes more faith to trust Him to provide what is best than it does to demand that He gives you what you want.  Do I believe that God could let me win the lottery?  Of course!  (He would have to send me a ticket somehow because I know too much about math to play.)  He could do that.  Could He heal people in my church after I pray?  Of course!  My God can do anything!  But I want to trust Him as much when He withholds what I want as when He gives it.  I want to rejoice as much for prayer that receives a “no” as for a prayer that receives a “yes.”

There is nothing wrong with asking for healing or deliverance or provision.  In fact, I think He wants us to ask.  He wants us to look to Him and understand that He is our hope.  It is good for us to pray fervently for each other and to take our concerns to Him.  He does love us and many times He gives us what we desire.  But great faith allows us to trust His love.

So let’s change that sentence.  If you just had enough faith, you would know that the Lord loves you whatever your circumstances and you could ask Him for what you want and trust whatever answer He gives.

Your thoughts?


Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism

6 responses to “If You Just Had Enough Faith…

  1. You wrote: “You see, I think it takes more faith to trust Him to provide what is best than it does to demand that He gives you what you want.”
    My comment: I want life* from Jesus, not mere answers to my current issues. My soul needs the right kind of life (feeding my new mind with His thoughts, shaping my choices with His understanding & finally blessing my emotions that all phases of His life are working well in me(us) to give my soul what it finds nowhere else on earth). When I have a fullness of life, my ‘so called’ pressing issue seems insignificant and small. By contrast, I try to take life from my flesh which is quick to advise me exactly what my soul needs to find life or rest. Of course this is a never ending merry-go-round of one more thing after another to find a solution which will not work.
    *Life: nourishment of thought, choice, emotion to my soul. Only one type of life satisfies the believer.

    • “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Only from Him do we receive life. Not from our eyes or legs or abilities, or understanding. Whatever He wants for me, that’s what I want. Because I know He loves me!

  2. @”He began to berate the poor lady, telling her that it was her fault.
    She needed more faith.”
    Faith does not heal. Faith does not save.
    (please dont stone me yet)

    Jesus heals. no. Jesus is healing himself.
    Jesus saves. no. Jesus is Yeshuah, salvation himself.
    Jesus gives life. no. Jesus is Life himself.
    Jesus gives grace. no. Jesus is grace himself.

    the paralytic didn’t have faith. the friends who lowered the paralytic
    from the roof toward Jesus were the ones who had faith.

    Maybe that charismatic leader who prayed didn’t have the faith? just thinking out loud.

    In truth, I listed all those healed by Jesus.
    guess what. none said “I must have faith”
    rather, they say, “If I can only touch the hem of his garment”
    rather, they say,”if I can only reach the pool”

    the real definition of faith is this.

    Faith is “seeing Jesus”.
    people should seek the Healer (Jesus) and not healing

    more that 7 respected leaders have prayed for my disease in
    the past 25 yrs, none made me well.
    but as I took off my eyes on healing, and simply focus on Jesus.
    I was transformed!

    “because as Jesus is so also are we in this world.” – 1 John 3:17

    is Jesus sick in heaven?

    checkout Peter. He walk the water when he focused on Jesus. He was transformed like Jesus.

    long comment…

    – grace and peace

    • YES! YES! YES! +97 = a hundred times YES!

      Even if she had great faith, it would not be the faith that would bring the healing. Faith is not something that stands alone. Faith is a connection to something else. For believers, our faith is in Jesus. He is the object of our faith. Jesus heals. Jesus saves.

      There are those who have eyes but do not see. There are those who have no eyes, but see so clearly. There are those who have legs but never dance. There are those who have no legs and can’t stop dancing!

  3. I have so come to love your blog. I even sent a link to your blog one time to my friend Steve Brown. I just wanted you to know that you’ve been a huge blessing to me. Keep trucking. You really ought to think about compiling these into a book at some point – they’re really that good. Thanks man.

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