Life is easy when things are going our way. Bills are being paid. Spouse is being nice. Kids are listening to your instructions. No one you know is sick. You got a job promotion at work. Life is good.
But what do you do when things are not good? Do you pack it in and forget about God, or is this the time to keep going? Is this the time to keep trusting God no matter what?
In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas were in a city called Lystra and they preached the word of God. While they were preaching, there was a man who was lame from the time he was born. He never walked. As Paul was preaching, he saw the lame man’s faith to be healed and told him to “Stand up on your feet”. This is exactly what happened. This man had faith and was healed!
This man had a hard life from the time he was born. He was lame and could not walk. He could have said to himself, why me? Why was I born this way? How come I have to be different?
Maybe you have been feeling that way too about life. Things are just not the way you expected or planned. But what is so key in this story is that when he heard the word of God, he had faith to be healed.
That is all that is necessary if we want to see change in our lives too. Just coming to Jesus with a simple faith. Faith that he can heal, change the heart of someone you are praying for, get you a job, pay your bills, shift your community, change your government and how they make decisions, and change your world.
With faith the heart of God can be moved. Think about faith this way it’s the spiritual currency in life. When it is present great things can happen, when it’s low expect little to happen in your life. Don’t believe me? Just look at Mark 6 – Jesus did less miracles there because of their lack of faith. All this to say that faith matters. It matters when life gets hard.
In the story, the people of Lystra thought Paul and Barnabas were the gods of Zeus and Hermes. The people wanted to offer sacrifices to them. They told them no, we are not gods, and pointed them to Jesus. They told them Jesus is the reason that the lame man was healed.
Yet, the Jews that came to see what was going on in Lystra did not like Paul and Barnabas. They stoned Paul to the point where he was unconscious. Seems wrong that God had used Paul in such a powerful way and now he was suffering for Jesus.
But that is the whole point, faith doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Faith means you will have high points in life, like the man who was healed and Paul explaining to the people about Jesus Christ, but faith also means you have to suffer for God. Paul was stoned.
We too will face sufferings in life. We might lose family, friends, a job, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a connection just because we choose to do what is right and follow God. In some cases, you can lose your life.
Yet, the Bible says that disciples gathered Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas went to the next city, Derbe, and they preached the word of God and many came to faith!
Score! This is what we are talking about. Paul and Barnabas could have said, “Forget it. Following God is too hard”. In particular Paul almost died. But real faith means you believe when things are good and when things are not good. You keep going. You keep believing. You keep trusting. You keep moving forward.
Because of the faith of the lame man, he was healed. Because of the faith of Paul and Barnabas people came to Christ.
Ponder on this, what blessings will you lose if you choose to stop and no longer have faith?
Perhaps the greatest blessing in your life is around the corner and all you need to do is have faith and believe.
Prayer: Father thank you for your Son Jesus Christ who gives us all things – hope, love, and blessings. Help me to have faith that you are good and are working in my situation. I choose to believe in you and your power. May you continue to help me through seasons of doubt and pain. I believe that you will work out my situation for your honor and glory. Amen.
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