Saturday, August 24, 2013

Faith Builder Series 2: Recall What God has Done for Others

building blocks spelling "faith"*

There are several passage in the Bible that list what God did for the Israelites as He set them free from their bondage in Egypt. These recitations aren’t limited to the Old Testament. Throughout the Bible, God uses the Israelites as an example. And the people of God encourage themselves in their faith by remembering God’s miracles. 

I just read such an account this morning in 1 Corinthians 10 in The Message. A great passage that likens their experience of walking away from bondage into freedom to ours. That they lived a physical experience and we (generally speaking) live a symbolic one as we are forgiven and receive salvation. 

Just how do you baptize an entire nation all at once, without risk of drowning? You pull back the water and have them pass through the sea on dry land. What a picture! 

But I digress…

Last time we discussed encouraging our faith by recalling how God had worked in our own lives. Another way to encourage our faith is by reciting how God has worked on someone else’s behalf.

Like Abram/Abraham. God promised him, in Genesis, that he’d be the father of many nations. But he was nearing one hundred years of age and still childless. Still, Romans 4 says he “hoped beyond hope” and “believed that the one who promised was able.” And then, the miraculous happened! 

The beauty of reciting God’s miraculous works in others is that He is no respecter of persons. What He’s done for others, He can and may just do for us. He doesn’t limit His miracles to a certain generation. He still raises people from the dead and heals people today.

Somewhere in Jerusalem, after Jesus’s death and resurrection, the disciples sat around in despair. Suddenly the two who’d seen Him on the road to Emmaus come back to recite how He had visited them, talked with them, and broken bread with them. Their joy is contagious and the listeners extend cautious hope. As they’re celebrating and beginning to believe maybe this was possible, as they’re talking about Jesus and all He’s done and each of their hearts are stirred by their witness, what happens? All this testifying has stirred Jesus. The disciples’ faith is stirred. Hope rises. And Jesus appears! He was already in the room in Spirit, but now He manifests Himself miraculously. He appears in a locked room.

One person’s miracle and testimony led to increased faith which led to another miracle. 

So, the next time you’re in need of a miracle, recall to mind how God has moved in others’ lives. Watch what He’ll do for you! 

*Photo credit: Faith blocks by Stewart Miles