July 27, 2017

Mark 5:24-34 ~ Jesus’ Words on Faith

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.} 

…And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, for she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?  And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

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This week here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog, our sisters have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…  Oh! So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman.  She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came to give us an abundant, overflowing life, why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?  I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith
(your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her…He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choiceof the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us?

  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us?

  • How much time do we have for God?

  • Do we believe He can do it?

  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering?!?”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

Worry versus Thankfulness

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT

Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
Amplified Version

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God does expect us to care about our lives (and about the lives of others).  But when that caring becomes filled with anxiety and fear, it is counterproductive and wrong.  Life presents us with many things to worry about—family, friends, relationships, jobs, finances…and on and on.  There’s no end to this list if we let ourselves go there.  However, God’s Word tells us to do something very different about all those things.  He tells us not to worry, not to be anxious about anything. That’s a tall order, but it is possible.  How?  God says, “Pray.”

I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

These Scriptures in Philippians and 1 Timothy tell us to pray about everything-–every circumstance, every situation, every person in our life.  We are to tell God about everything we need (and even the things we perceive we need.)  Why? Because He cares about you (each of us.)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—
whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.
Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25

When we pray, our focus is more on God and His mercy, grace, and provision. The more we pray, the more our mind is filled with Him.  It leaves less room for worry.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

How often do you start your prayers with “Thank You, God….”?  I know I do pretty often.  In spite of my needs at the moment, I have so much to thank God for that I can’t pray without saying, “Thank You.”  He gave me the gift of salvation many, many years ago.  God has protected my family and me over the years.  He has seen me through many trials, and supplied for my needs.  Because of His faithfulness in the past, I can trust Him to care for me now and in the future.  Even as I write this, I am compelled to stop and say “Thank You, Lord!”

During this Thanksgiving season, make it a point to “thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6) for all He is doing, and for all that He will be doing in your life.  Then make it a way of life to thank Him daily.  When caring starts to turn into worry…stop and pray with thanksgiving…reminding yourself how much He has done for you, and how much He cares for you.  Prayer, petition, and thanksgiving will bring you closer to God and farther away from anxiety and worry.  That’s what we all want, right?

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Dear Lord God, as humans we are presented with things to worry about almost daily.  But You said, “Don’t!”  Instead of worrying, You said, “Pray!” And pray “…about everything!”  Lord, we need our hearts and our minds open to Your Holy Spirit to help us to pray without worry, and to pray with thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, and when we take time to be thankful our trust level goes up, and worry is pushed back.  That’s what we want, Lord.  Thank You for caring for us even beyond our comprehension.  May we grow in our trust that You will see us through the hard times.  You have done and are doing so much for us, thank You, thank You!  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Truth We Can Depend On

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Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.
Proverbs 30:5  NLT

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 And The Message version reads,

Every promise of God proves true;
He protects everyone who runs to Him for help.

Does it boggle your mind to try to understand that every (all possible) word of God proves (shows beyond doubt) that it is true (accurate, faithful)?  In our human experience, with ourselves and with those around us, we know that kind of perfection and faithfulness doesn’t exist 100% of the time.

Thankfully, it is true for God’s Word.  In the Amplified, it says His words are “…tested and refined like silver.”  And Psalm 12:6 states, “The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.”  That leaves absolutely no imperfections.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
that is why I love them so much.
Psalm 119:140

Because of this purity, God’s Word is sure and we can trust it.  God is one with His Word.  God promises to protect all who come to Him, and we can be sure He will.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 AMP

In the midst of life’s conflicts and disappointments, God is our Shield. Shields come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are tall to cover the warrior from head to toe. Some other shapes are made to protect the most vital organs, and to deflect the enemy’s weapons from harming the warrior. Spiritually speaking, God does exactly that.  When we come (run) to Him, He is there to protect us from the “fiery darts” of the enemy.  In Ephesians 6:16, God says, “…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith.”  God is there for us, but in faith we must come to Him and accept (take up) His protection.

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will know God’s Word:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14

  •  The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father:

I and the Father are one.
John 10:30

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father’s Truth:

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

 

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will be sanctified and protected by God’s Truth.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.
John 17:17

If we will study Jesus—His life, His words, His relationships with others, and His relationship with God the Father—we will know that God’s Word is truth and we can trust it.  We will have the assurance that we can run to God and find the protection we need.  We will walk in faith, and be shielded by Him.

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Dear God, we are so grateful that we have Your Word to turn to.  Life is not easy, and, we need Your protection even when we don’t realize it.  Help us, Lord, not to just “pick up” Your shield in times of imminent danger…but to live our lives getting to know Jesus, Your Word, so we can be in Your protection at all times.  Thank You for the promise that “Every word of God proves true.”  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

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My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

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We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!

Give Me Faith

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I need You
To soften my heart and break me apart
I need You
To open my eyes, to see that You’re shaping my life

All I am, I surrender

Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good and Your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give You my life

And I may be weak but Your Spirit’s strong in me
My flesh may fail, but my God, You never will

Elevation Worship
Matt Brook, Chris Brown, London Gatch, Wade Joye

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He said to them, “…For truly, I say to you,
if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’
and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20 ESV

When things are going really well, it is so easy to have faith.  When there’s money in the bank and food in the pantry,  it is easy to believe that God is with you.  But what if things are not so easy?  Jesus tells us that as long as we have faith like a mustard seed then we can tell a mountain to move and it will!  Do you know how small a mustard seed really is?

Sometimes God allows us to go through things so that we can help someone else who is going through the same thing.  In this song it says “…soften my heart, break me apart.”  I wonder if we really mean this…when the only way for this to happen is for us to go through trials of our own!  In those trials, I hear myself saying this,”I need You..to pierce through the dark and cleanse every part of me…all I am…I surrender.”

When we are at our weakest, He is strongest.  When we fail, He never will. We need Him in so many ways and we need to have the faith to believe that He is who He says He is.  That God is great and God is good.  And most of all, He is crazy in love with YOU!

What are you believing Him for today?  Or are you in a place of just trying to find Him and believe Him for something that seems impossible?  Nothing is impossible with God.  Nothing.  Believe in Him and know that He is on your side.  I leave you with one more verse.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

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Dear Lord, You are amazing and awesome.  You promise us that when we call, You will answer.  That no matter how big the problem, Your answer is enough.  Lord, I pray that You comfort those who are hurting today and having a hard time finding You.  Reveal Yourself to them today in special ways that only You can.  And when it is hard, I pray that we remember the words to this song, and pray it to You as a prayer… “Give me faith to trust what You say…You are good and Your love is great. I give You my life.”  In Jesus’ name, amen.

I’m Gonna Lay It Down

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I’ve been lookin’ till my eyes are tired of lookin’
Listenin’ till my ears are numb from listenin’
Prayin’ till my knees are sore from kneelin’ on the bedroom floor
I know that You know that my heart is achin’
I’m running out of tears and my will is breakin’
I don’t think that I can carry the burden of it anymore
All of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are slowly slippin’ through my folded hands

So I’m gonna lay it down
I’m gonna learn to trust You now
What else can I do
‘Cause everything I am depends on You
And if the sun don’t come back up
I know Your love will be enough
I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go,
I’m gonna lay it down

I’ve been walkin’ through this world like I’m barely livin’
Buried in the doubt of this hole I’ve been diggin’
But You’re pullin’ me out
I’m finally breathin’ in the open air
This room may be dark but I’m finally seein’
There’s a new ray of hope, and now I’m believin’
That the past is past, and the future’s beginning to look brighter now
Oh, cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands

Jaci Velasquez
songwriters: Jay Jenkins, Miquel Scott, Lee Dixon, Jacoby White, Jasper Cameron

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This song reveals the brokenness of my heart every single time I hear it…and for that I am oh-so-very thankful!  Each of us has burdens and cares and concerns…some days it seems they are more than we can bear.  To think that they will not happen and that one can walk through this life without them is to deny the Truth.  However, they are not ours to carry or bear on our own.  Throughout the Scriptures, we are told that the Lord will bear them for us.

Blessed be the Lord,
Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah
Psalm 68:19

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me,
because I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

The burdens, the concerns, the cares of this life can turn into worries, doubts, fears if we do not bring them to our Lord letting Him take care of them.  We are to humbly recognize our great need for Jesus, and all that He has already done and promised to do for us, because He cares for us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6 and 7

Listen to Jesus’ admonition and promises in Matthew chapter 6;  as you read along, put your own name wherever there is a , ok?

Therefore I tell you, , stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on.  ,  is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you, , not worth much more than they?
And, , who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
And why should you, ,  be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
Yet I tell you,, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, , which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry and be anxious,, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you, ,  need them all.
But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness, , and then all these things will be given you besides.
So do not worry, , or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own.  Sufficient for each day, , is its own trouble. (emphasis added)

Jesus’ words are full of action for us to take, true…but not the action of taking care of ourselves. Rather, He tells us to

  • stop being perpetually uneasy
  • look at (and consider) the birds of the air
  • consider the lilies of the field
  • do not worry and be anxious
  • seek first of all His kingdom
  • <and again> do not worry or be anxious

This is not always easy to do…but it is what we are to do in obedience.  It is a moment-by-moment choice.  Will we stop…look…consider…not worry or be anxious…and seek His kingdom OR will we have worry, doubt, fear, be anxious, and try to bear our own burdens, concerns, and cares?

I pray for you that TODAY you will choose to trust and say,
I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go, I’m gonna lay it down
in Jesus’ powerful name, amen.”
(Will you, please, pray that for me, too?)

In You Alone

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Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation,
my Fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my Refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our Refuge.
Psalms 62:5-8

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I read David’s writings daily.  Who can’t relate to an awesome king that loved God…yet was extremely human and sought forgiveness when he was wrong.  There is so much hope and healing in his writings and I find myself praying his words back to God.

David was a spiritual man and an extremely emotional one, too.  Many times he wrote these psalms out of his own feelings—feelings of amazement, fear, love, anger, and pain.  And this particular psalm was written in a time of disappointment, a time that David had been let down over and over.  If you have lived into adulthood, then you know how this feels.  It’s even harder when the person who disappoints you is a man or woman of God.  It can shake us off our firm foundation if we let it.

The person in David’s life was Saul and David’s eyes were opened as a teenager.  He couldn’t believe that someone could really go that far off the right path and let sin take him down so far.  Later in his life, David himself would slip, too.  No one is immune to sin and no one will ever walk a perfect journey here on earth—except Jesus!  Pastors will mess up. Friends in the congregation may stop coming. But good can from this…if we don’t let bitterness and resentment in.

The theme in this psalm of David’s is God alone.  He didn’t let bitterness come from his shattered expectations.  Instead he found hope in his Father.  He realized that the only constant on this earth is God.  Good people will hurt you and they will slip and sometimes they may never come back into God’s house again.  This shouldn’t sway you either way; and, if it does, it is time to do some reconnecting with God the Father.

Read verses 1-2 and 5-8 out loud.  Put the emphasis on every repetition of the words ‘God, He, and Him’.  Can you hear it?  See, because David poured out his heart to God, and he didn’t let it fester and build up, bitterness couldn’t take hold.  He had a hope and a rest in God.  In Hebrew, the word ‘hope’ means “a cord or an attachment.”  Everyone is holding onto something, or someone, for security.  Sometimes we hold onto a knotted rope and depend on whatever is on the other end to keep us from falling.

Picture that rope in your hands…
close your eyes and look up the rope…
who do you see on the other end?

Unless God is at the end of your rope, you’re about to fall…and you’re hanging on by a thread.  God alone can hold us up.  So the next time you allow someone to disappoint you, whisper two words to yourself—“God alone“.  When you decide to let that person off the hook and let God alone hold the other end of your rope, you will attach yourself to God’s strong arm.  He can hold you up over the deep and strong waves.  You will be secure enough to let one arm go free to help the person that disappointed you along the way, until he or she gets back on their feet.  And you will be able to say that it was worth all of the hard!  For you will really have found that your strength can only be found in Him.

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Let us pray:  Dear God, You are so great and You are fully able to do anything we ask or think according to Your will.  I am in awe of You.  Thank You for loving us so much and for sending Jesus to die in our place.  Oh God, forgive us when we place people above You and expect them to fulfill us…for only You can satisfy our every need.  Let us never forget that only You are perfect.  Help us to keep our eyes on You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Two…Jesus’ Words on Faith (Mark 5:24-34)

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 …And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,
For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.
And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?
And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me?
Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.
But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

This week the daily devotions here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…

So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman. She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came
to give us an abundant, overflowing life,
why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?

I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her.  He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choice, of the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us
  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us
  • How much time do we have for God
  • Do we believe He can do it
  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

Faith That Brings Peace

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Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.
Go in peace and freed from suffering.”
Mark 5:34

Jesus went about doing good in His ministry.  Each and every time He healed the sick, He would release them with some grace.

In our Scripture reference today we see the lady being healed and at the end Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you, go in peace and freed from suffering.”  In this Scripture we see that if it wasn’t for faith this lady would not have benefitted from the presence of Jesus on earth.  You know what, sisters—we can attain all things when we have faith.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for….
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us
  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us
  • How much time do we have for God
  • Do we believe He can do it
  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering

There are times we need to fast, pray, and believe God for a miracle.  As well as have faith that whatsoever we pray for we shall have it (Mark 11:24-25).  Sometimes we just need to make bold decisions. Such as going for ‘Esther-type’ of prayer when you have husband at home whom we can’t deny matrimonial rights.  Except for the time of fasting (1 Corinthians 7:5) you excuse yourself to that.

We see also this type of faith in Mark 10:52 where Jesus healed blind Bartimeaus, who later followed Jesus. Let us follow Jesus always—we know what He is capable of doing!  Let us not doubt anything.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word at the right time.  Thank You for You made it possible for us to study these Scriptures which show us how great You are and that you operate well when we have faith.  We thank You for You stand by Your Word that without faith we can’t please You.  As You are pleased with our faith, Lord, do unto us what we need not…what we want.  We ask all this in Jesus’ name Amen.

Count Your Blessings

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When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
*Alternate text

Written by Johnson Oatman, Jr ~ Music by Edwin O. Excell ~ Sung by Ann Williamson

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Written over a hundred years ago (1897), this hymn is still sung today and is still reminding us that we have much to be thankful for.

Be thankful in all circumstances,
For this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

When I sing the first verse, I think of the disciples out on the stormy sea.  Actually, there are two accounts I want to share.

Matthew 8:23-27, tells the story of Jesus and His disciples in the boat when a fierce storm came up.  The water was swamping the boat, and the disciples were panicked! Jesus was calmly sleeping because the storm wasn’t bothering Him.  In the midst of the storm, Jesus was right there with them.  Instead of seeing Him as their example to stay calm and trust God to protect them, they cried out to Jesus for Him to use His faith to save them.  Thankfully He was there, He did intercede for them, and commanded the wind and the waves to be calm.  The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ power, and were counting it a blessing that He was with them.

In the next account (recorded in Matthew 14:22-33), Jesus sent the disciples out in the boat without Him.  Night came, and a storm developed.  The disciples were fighting the strong winds and heavy waves, but to no avail.  They hadn’t even thought to call out to God, evidenced by the fact that when Jesus came to them walking on the water, they didn’t even recognize Him.  But He came, because He loved them, and never had planned on leaving them helpless.  Peter even walked on the water—until he took his eyes off of Jesus.  When Jesus and Peter got back in the boat, the storm died and the waters calmed.  The disciples (maybe especially Peter!) were surprised and blessed that Jesus came to them and saved them.

In our lives there are times when we are ‘tempest-tossed,’ and we do become very ‘discouraged, thinking all is lost.’  As believers, we can count on Jesus to be there for us.  He’s in the boat with us.  He is our example of trust.  And even in the times when we are trying to carry our heavy cross alone, He’s walking on the water toward us.  He just wants us to call out…even to walk out to Him…and He will lift us up. What a blessing!

Proverbs 10:6, tells us that “The godly are showered with blessings.”  Do you count your land, your home, your money as blessings?  Yes, they are, but they are just to help us get by here on earth.  God has so much more for you/us. Do you count your salvation, the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, God’s love for you, your family’s love, your reward in Heaven, and other spiritual gifts as blessings?  Money can not buy any of those because they are priceless blessings from God.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is by His great mercy that we have been born again,
because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance
—an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled,
beyond the reach of change and decay.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power
until you receive this salvation,
which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
1Peter 1:3-5

“So amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be discouraged, (remind yourself) God is over all. Count your many blessings.” It will lift you up, and it just may surprise you to see what the Lord has done!

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Dear Lord, in this season of Thanksgiving we come to You with our hearts bursting with thanksgiving.  We, as Your children, have so many blessings to count!  Truly, “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3).  All day and all night, in every season, we count our many blessings and our voices lift up praises to You, the Giver of all good gifts!  Praise the Lord!  It Is So!