St. Mark Lutheran Church, Worth, Illinois

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Dear friends,

I found this reading on faith in the Trinity School of Ministry Lenten devotions. It was written by John Bryant and based on the story of the woman with the flow of blood found in Mark 5:21-43. I hope you find it encouraging.

"The pastor preaching on this story this past Sunday said we should have more faith...as if you can make more faith inside yourself, gathering a kind of interior momentum and stock piling faith in your bad heart, driving away fear. As if you can have more faith by wanting more faith.

But faith is not an amount. Faith is a direction.  Faith is not what you feel, but rather   the one you look towards. The woman in the story looked toward Christ, she reached for Him. Who knows what was in her heart and mind?  We know only where she looked.  What a relief it is to know that God is not asking for an interior amount. He's not asking for your feelings of faith, for your interior exactness or your fullness of heart.   He is only asking for you to turn your head. Because the one who made you is the one that changes you. You are not required to have assurance; you are required to look to the one who gives assurance.  You have faith by looking to the one who gives it.  Relax, have doubt, and look.

God doesn't limit his blessing based on how you feel about Him today. He's not impressed with your interior exactness; he just wants you to look at Him. So he can tell you that you don't have to feel his promises to be in his promises.  When you turn in faith and pray you are not hoping, half heartedly for the resurrection, you are in the resurrection, whether you feel it or not.  There is no way out."

                                          Your brother in Christ,

 

                                                    Pastor Jay

"You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you." MARTIN LUTHER

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