Day Na Break [weekly] Devotional (January 29 - February 4)
FAITH: The Gateway to our RESTORATION [John 14:12; Matthew 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24]
We have declared that this is our Year of RESTORATION. What we need to now understand is that the gateway to our RESTORATION is FAITH. We learned last week that all we need to do is believe. We are pushing this further. Faith is the gateway to all of this.
Now, what is faith? Hebrews did a good job at defining faith for us in chapter 11 and verse 1. Faith is when we believe that something is possible even when we have not seen any sign that that thing is possible. When we believe in what we have not seen yet. It's like when we go to the hospital with a certain problem and the doctor tells us that something called Galvus Metformin or Hydrochlorothiazide can solve our problems, for instance. Even though we may have no idea what those things are, neither can we even pronounce the names of those things, we take them with the believe that our problems will be solved. That is the kind of faith we need to put in God, the Almighty, for our total RESTORATION in this life. In fact, more than just that kind of faith because sometimes issues concerning medication ends up as trial and error. Faith in God is sure.
See, with faith, we can receive and do ANYTHING. With faith, we can do exploits. Many people received their healing from Jesus based on their faith. This week, we are going to reflect on stories of some people who received their RESTORATION based on their FAITH.
Faith for RESTORATION
Restoration has to do with regaining things we once had but lost for some reason. In order to be RESTORED, we must have faith that it is possible. Jesus healed [RESTORED] many people when he was on earth. However, most of those people received total RESTORATION based on their faith.
The story is told of a woman who suffered some kind of bleeding problem for about 12 years [Mark 5:25-34]. She did all she could to get well, but to no avail. She went from one great doctor to another. She only got worst, according to the story. Then she heard about Jesus Christ, the great Physician. She purposed in her heart that she would meet this man. Without even seeing the man, she already had faith that she could receive her healing from Jesus. Upon arriving at the place where Jesus was, she met a huge obstacle. The crowd was just so much!! There were so many people after Jesus for so many different things. Being that she arrived a bit late, she had no way of getting to meet Him. Some would get discouraged right away and turn back or decide, 'You know what? I'll do this another day.' Not this woman, tho. This obstacle only increased her faith. She went like, 'ok, so there is so huge a crowd that I may not be able to meet Jesus? Well, I do not have to meet Him...He doesn't have to speak to me or even touch me. I will do the touching. What I will do is that I will fight to just touch Him.' Then the crowd again. How can she get close to Him to touch Him with all these people? Her faith increased again one more notch. She went like, 'ok, so I may not be able to touch His body. Not to worry. If I can even touch the hem of His garment, I know I will be made whole.' That was the barest minimum. Her faith pushed her into accepting even the barest minimum for her total RESTORATION. Never allow obstacles to diminish your faith. If anything, let the obstacle serve as a ladder your faith can use to climb higher.
Just a touch of the tip of Jesus' clothes, she thought to herself, and I will be made whole! So she kept pressing on until she was able to stretch her hand and touched the hem [tip] of Jesus' garment. The Bible says, IMMEDIATELY!!! Yes, immediately her bleeding stopped [Mark 5:29]. Abba Father is King!! Amen!
The story goes on that at that very moment, Jesus noticed that power had left Him. Though there were many people touching Jesus, Jesus recognized and singled out that one 'touch' from that woman. He asked, 'who touched me?' Not that Jesus didn't know who touched Him, but that woman's faith needed to be publicly recognized so that all those around would hear of it and so that we who were not around then can hear and even be able to write about it. There was something about how she got whole that connected her to that question. So she came forth and presented herself. Another beautiful part about this story is that she who was so far away from meeting Jesus, she who was unable to reach close to Jesus, she who was struggling only to touch the hem of Jesus' garment, was now lying at His feet and having a face-to-face conversation with the Master. Amen! Jesus called her Daughter and set her free from her suffering: "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." [Mark 5:34]. Faith for total RESTORATION is what this woman exhibited.
Before Jesus healed the two men who cried out to Him, he asked them, "Do you believe I can do this?" When they answered in the affirmative, Jesus touched their eyes and said to them, may it be done to you according to your faith. If they didn't have faith, of course, they wouldn't have received their RESTORATION. In this instance, those two blind men got healed because of their faith. [Matthew 9:27-30]
Faith for RESTORATION: A Canaanite woman went crying to Jesus to rescue her daughter who was demon-possessed. Now follow this [Matthew 15:22-28]:
Canaanite Woman: Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.
Jesus at first didn't answer her. However, she kept crying behind them that Jesus' disciples asked Him to send her away because she was very persistent. Jesus then responded:
Jesus: I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
At this point, the woman came and knelt down before Jesus:
Canaanite Woman: Lord, help me!
Jesus: It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.
Canaanite Woman: Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumps that fall from their masters' table.
This kind of faith moved Jesus to the point where He could no longer hesitate. He had to give her what she asked for immediately!
Jesus: Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.
That Canaanite woman's daughter was healed instantly!
At another point in time, Jesus was preaching at home in Capernaum. So many people gathered in the house and the place was over crowded. Some people brought a paralytic for Jesus to heal. The house was so jammed that even the door way has jammed with people. There was no way to pass through the door. The people had so much faith that Jesus could heal their relative and nothing was going to stand in their way. They then went over the building and made an opening through the roof of the house and lowered the sick man down so that he could receive his healing. The Bible says in Mark 2:5 that Jesus saw their faith..."and Jesus saw their faith, he healed the man!" Amen!! Faith for total RESTORATION.
When Jesus was leaving Jericho, a blind man called Bartimaeus cried out for help. When Jesus gave him audience, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" Blind Bartimaeus replied, "Rabbi, let me recover my sight." Jesus didn't even touch the man. He rather said to him, "Go your way, your faith has made you well." Immediately Bartimaeus recovered his sight! [Mark 2:46-52].
Now, we make reference to the story we shared last week when Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead. That process was based on faith. Jesus said to Lazaru's sister, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"[John 11:40]
Jesus got to Judea four days AFTER Lazarus had died and was buried. Four days in the grave!! When Jesus got there, Martha, one of the sisters of Lazarus, went to meet Jesus on the way. The conversation that ensued between them both was very interesting [John 11:21-27]:
Martha: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." [She was quick to add] "But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask."
Jesus: "Your brother will rise again."
Martha: "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who BELIEVES in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never did. Do you BELIEVE this?"
Martha: "Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the world." FAITH for total RESTORATION!
That was all Jesus needed. Jesus then moved towards the grave of Lazarus. He ordered that the stone be rolled away from the grave. This same Martha came in with an interjection..."But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Jesus said these words, very important. Jesus said: "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"[John 11:40] Then Jesus commanded the four days old dead, rotten body of Lazarus [John 11"43b]: "Lazarus, come out!" Now, that was a COMMAND!!! And the dead obeyed and came out of the grave!!! Praise the Lord!! FAITH for total RESTORATION!!!
One may say that all these things were possible because Jesus Himself was on the earth and involved with the RESTORATION process. True! However, Jesus left that power here on earth with us. Jesus said that anyone, not some people, but ANYONE who has FAITH in Him will do what He did on this earth...and "He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" [John 14:12], and we know that Jesus has already assured us that as long as He is with the Father, we can receive anything we ask the Father for in the name of Jesus.
We know this is true because after Jesus left, Peter healed the lame man at the Gate of Beautiful. Peter said to him that he did not have silver or gold to satisfy his begging, but what he had he would give him..."In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" [Acts 3:6]. That was it. The man was healed. We have the power to do all what Jesus did. Peter said that was made possible by FAITH in the name of Jesus [Acts 3:16]. Peter also raised the dead, according to Acts 9:36-43. Peter was in Lydda, a place that was not far from Joppa, where a certain disciple named Dorcas had died. The other believers sent for Peter from Lydda. When he got there, the people told him how good Dorcas was and they wanted her back on earth with them. Peter was taken upstairs, where the dead body was. After praying to God, through the name of Jesus, of course, Peter raised Dorcas from the dead and gave her back to her people!! We can do the same today. FAITH for RESTORATION!
All we need to have is FAITH, even as tiny as a benniseed [mustard seed]. We can cast out any mountain standing in the way of our RESTORATION [Matthew 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24]. With FAITH, we can speak life back into any situation. With FAITH, we can be RESTORED fully, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!!
God bless you.