Faith is not an optional extra for genuine Christ followers. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exist and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Did you notice the words ‘impossible’ and ‘must?’
The Apostle Peter was one of the early adopters of the newfound faith. His brother Andrew brought him to Jesus and the rest is history. We track Peter’s faith and lack of it through the four gospel accounts. We marvel at his confession of faith, gasp at his being an instrument of Satan almost immediately thereafter (Read Matthew 16 if you’ve forgotten the details. We hear him deny any relationship with his Master and listen carefully to the gracious words of Jesus by the seashore as He presses Peter to acknowledge a new ‘love’ in the process of restoration.
As Peter continues his explanation of how the lame beggar has been healed, he centres in on the subject faith. It is FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE that has brought about this miracle. Listen with fresh wonder as he speaks –
“By FAITH in the name of JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is JESUS’ name and the FAITH that comes through HIM that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” (Acts 3:16)
The watching crowd had seen and known this man. For many years they had passed his crippled body as he pled with them for alms by the temple gate. They could see he was now strong. They were witnesses of a miracle, but how had it happened?
Jesus had and has the power–the power to forgive, the power to change lives, the power to heal. Peter knew this from firsthand experience. Hadn’t his mother-in-law been restored to health along with a multitude of others of all ages?
Peter knew he had no power–Peter couldn’t forgive, he couldn’t change lives, he couldn’t heal.
But when faithless Peter trusted the faithful JESUS, miracles happened.
Can God heal? Absolutely. Does He always choose to heal? No.
May we ask Him to heal and following James 5 call the elders of a local assembly and anoint with oil? Absolutely. There are no time restrictions placed on this biblical model.
So why don’t we see more miracles? Are we hesitant to ask? Have we been jaded in our praying because of all the ‘fake’ healers who pass off their ‘snake oil’ as God’s genuine power?
Let’s not back into our position on this issue, out of fear, out of abuse by those who may prove to be false teachers. Praise God we may ask. Praise God He still heals. He calls us in this and all areas of our lives to be people of FAITH!