The Necessity of Prayer – Lesson XV, Prayer and Trust
James said that man shows to man his faith by his works.
So if you want to demonstrate your faith to a man you will do it by your works.
That is the only way a man may see your faith.
It is not a foolproof way but it may demonstrate real faith if you have real faith.
But God does not need to see your works in order to see your faith.
For we see in example after example how Jesus saw faith.
In some of those examples there was work demonstrated but it was not the work that Jesus saw that made him conclude that there was faith but it was trust that caused him to see their faith.
It had to do with a persons or persons fleeing to Christ for refuge.
For there was no other source of help.
Only Jesus Christ would do.
And Christ saw that they had the kind of faith that generated trust.
There was the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years and who suffered many things of many physicians and had spent all that she had and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
She had no works to offer but she had a great need.
She had come to the end of her rope.
Mark 5:25-34, And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press (Even in those days the press got in the way) behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (miraculous power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
She fled to Him as her only hope. She trusted Him to heal her.
She fled to Him for refuge and he did not refuse her.
Isn’t it interesting to note that in spite of the throng surrounding Jesus he was always at the ready to respond to the lone person who truly trusted him.
The crowds were there to see the miracles but few there were who truly trusted him.
He said who touched me but this meant who trusted me?
Who has come to me for refuge?
She had no works to demonstrate her faith but Christ saw her faith by her trust.
Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
We read in Matthew 9:27-29 that two blind men followed Him crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us, and followed Jesus into a house.
They would not take no or the crowd’s barrier as a cause to not come to Jesus.
They were fleeing to Christ for refuge.
And Christ would not turn them away without granting their request.
He said: “According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.” (Matt 9:29-30)
They also had no works but they trusted the one who would work for them.
Remember the extreme measures taken by the four friends of the paralytic man.
Four friends agreed to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus and would not let the throngs hinder their mission.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have four friends like that?
Perhaps asked each other; How are we going to do this?
Success of our mission looks dim.
Look at those crowds that hinder us.
They looked horizontally and saw the crowds in the way.
But where there is a will to do there is a way to do.
They looked up. The roof was the way to do.
Open the roof and look in and see Jesus teaching the crowd.
That is how we will get to Jesus.
Unorthodox, no doubt but God always provides a way to flee to him for those who trust in him.
God makes a path on which to flee to him for relief.
“And Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Matt 9:2)
How did Jesus see their faith? By seeing how they trusted.
By seeing how they let nothing stand in their way to get to him.
Don’t you think God is cheered by such faith.
So many run from God and for them God is no refuge.
There is no place of safety to those who flee from God.
When the poor leper fell at the feet of Jesus and cried out for relief, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,” Jesus immediately granted his request, and the man glorified Him with a loud voice.
Then Jesus said unto him, “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
The Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus with the case of her afflicted daughter, feeling the responsibility of a mother for the well being of her daughter.
She said, “Lord, help me,”
Jesus honored her faith and prayer, saying:
“O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matt 15:28)
Blind Bartimaeus sitting by the wayside, heard our Lord as He passed by, and cried out pitifully and almost despairingly,
Those were the words that Jesus always had his ears attuned to hear.
Jesus Christ came into this world to hear those words for he came to take out a people for his name and that people is a people that is composed of fleeing people, fleeing to God for refuge.
“Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.”
Jesus Christ has a special receiving frequency for those words.
For those words come from the mouth of one who is looking for refuge.
The keen ears of our Lord immediately caught the sound of prayer, and He said to the beggar:
“Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52)
So we see that God sees our faith demonstrated by our trust.
To whom do we go?
Who is our refuge and strength on a daily basis.
On whom do we lean? Is our support, God or other than God?
Do we trust in ourselves as the strength of our life or are we cultivating a daily, minute by minute reliance upon God?
That is what Jesus Christ expected as reasonable in his disciples.
That is what they were expected to do when they were commissioned to cast out devils.
Jesus Christ called them faithless and perverse because they had not trusted God for the power but had relied upon themselves for the power.
That is what not trusting in God is; faithless and perverse.
Perverse is distorting God’s word, it is misinterpreting God’s word to say other than what God intended.
It is being corrupt, It is turning away from God’s word.
It is serious business and that is why Jesus Christ’s reaction to his disciples was so strong.
How long shall I be with you, How long shall I suffer (to put up with) you.
The old nature is set in its ways.
How hard it is to be persuaded that God’s word, every word, brings life.
But in God’s mind trusting is a normal thing to do and not something that is done occasionally or in times of difficulty.
Simply trusting every day,
Trusting thru a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus that is all.
Trusting as the moments fly,
trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall;
Trusting Jesus that is all.
Trust and Obey
Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But his smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh nor a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.