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Strength of Faith

She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. Remember, we are focusing on our Strength of Faith.

Today we experience two examples of strength of faith, that of Jarius whose daughter was at the point of death, and the woman afflicted with hemorrhages over many years.

Notice in these two examples, Jesus was not the first one either of these people turned to. 

The Gospel recounts that the woman had suffered for years and suffered even further under the hands of many doctors, even spending all she had looking for a cure. Jarius’ daughter certainly grew sicker and sicker, and it wasn’t until she was a death’s door that her father pled with Jesus.

These examples are instructive for us at two levels. The first is that we tend to search for our own solutions. Money can solve it. Experts and consultants can get the job done. If only I do this or that. Then we reach the end of all our efforts and finally turn to Jesus. Perhaps we even fear turning to Him and must sneak up on Him for that which we need. We need to change that. The second instruction, even though these people waited and tried relying on themselves, once they approached Jesus in faith, Jesus answered them. He did not rebuke or turn them away.

The overriding lesson, why wait? Why delay? As Jesus asked the disciples in the boat last week, Where’s your faith.

As we focus our efforts on our strength of faith, let us practice turning to Jesus first. Before we ring the alarm bell, before we invite the consultants and spend the dollars, let us place faith and trust in Him. He will see us through our troubles and struggles, He will guide the hands of the doctors, He will break the chains and snares of the evil one who seeks our destruction. Faith indeed works tremendous miracles.

Also notice Jesus Himself acts in strength of faith.

People came and said: “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” In great faith what did Jesus do? He disregarded the message that was reported. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”  Once they arrived, they found commotion, weeping, and wailing. Jesus responded by speaking truth and received nothing but ridicule. Yet, He proceeded in strength of faith.

As we work on growing in our strength of faith, as we live out our Christian lives, let us also disregard ridicule, naysayers, and those who wail in panic searching for answers. Living the gospel faith, relying on Jesus, we will overcome all things in the strength that is eternally ours.