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Just Have Faith

Encounter: I recall my  younger years and participating in youth group, we would perform this exercise that demonstrated faith and trust. This exercise required two people; one to fall backwards and one to catch the person falling backwards. The one who was falling backwards had to have faith and trust that the person behind them would catch them and not let them fall.

The exercise started by not letting the person fall very far. But as the exercise went farther along, people started to let people fall far enough to where the person falling thought they were going to hit the floor. As youth this was a fun exercise, and you knew it wouldn’t hurt too bad if you did hit the floor.

As we age, our life experiences begin to play into our ability to have faith and trust in people and sometimes God. Our experiences deeply root into our hearts and raise doubts. These doubts affect not just the way we trust people but raises question as to whether or not we can believe and trust God.

In our reading this week, we read in Matthew, Mark, and Luke about Jesus being greeted with a crowd of people and one of those was a synagogue leader named Jarius. His daughter was dying, and he wanted Jesus to come and heal her, because he had heard the witness accounts of what Jesus has done.

Along the way to Jarius’ house, they are met by a messenger who informed Jarius that his daughter had died. Jesus overheard the conversation and told Jarius, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

The words, “Just have faith,” can be difficult words to swallow. When we are people of faith and we believe in God and his power, doubt can creep into our thoughts and overcome our faith. This begs the question as to where our faith is rooted. Jeremiah 17:10 "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind..." The bleeding woman believed with her heart that if she touched the edge of Jesus' garment, she would be healed.

Our faith is built on more than than Biblical knowledge. Our faith is built on our relationship with God. To have the strength and the weapons to overcome the seeds of doubt that Satan loves to place in our minds, we must develop a relationship with God through our time in the scriptures, prayer, fellowship with other believers, serving one another, and practicing our spiritual disciplines.

Reflect: As you read Mark 5:35 – 43, reflect back on a time when you questioned your faith. Ask yourself this question; was my faith rooted in my mind and thoughts, or was it rooted into my heart. Satan loves to put doubts into our thoughts and make us question our faith. The only way to overcome Satan’s attacks of doubt is to grow the roots of our faith deeply into our heart.

Spiritual Practice: It is easier to place our trust and faith in something that can prove itself with solid evidence. Without evidence, we will most often doubt. The 730 Challenge opens our heart to the evidence of God and that he can do immeasurably more than what we can imagine. When you read, ask God to reveal in you something he has worked in or through you or others to increase your measure of faith. Write these experiences down. At the end of your day, reflect and look for where God was present or active and give him praise. These witness accounts will build your internal evidence of a faithful God.

Gather: As you gather this week in your small groups, share with each other an experience where God was evident in your life and strengthened your faith.

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