Day 19: A faith that works – Part 7a

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Bible References (NIV)

Devotional

Have you ever been a sceptic of something that you then tried, and it caused you to change your mind? There is a big difference between knowing about something — and experiencing it. I’d heard snowboarding down a steep slope could be exhilarating, but the experience was better. I’d heard that coral reefs and fish were stunning to see in person, but then I was taken snorkelling, and the experience was better. The Christian faith is like this. For everything stated so far in this series, the experience is better!

While it is important to know that the Christian faith makes rational sense, it’s also important that it is experientially real. Because there is so much to the experience of this faith it will be the topic of our final six devotions in the concluding of this series.

For a first area of experience, we have noted that if a God exists then miracles are possible. Jesus performed many amazing miracles. The Old Testament is also full of miracles. The period of the Exodus, where God’s people walked through desert areas depending on God’s supernatural provision and protection stands out. The Christian faith is one of miracles. Take the miracles out and not a lot is left.

Miraculous healings still happen today and this is evidence pointing toward the truth of this faith.

It is notable, however, that miracles resulting from a prayer in Jesus’ name seem rare in some parts of the world. They are rare in the West, for example. Many suspect this is because we’ve become a very sceptical culture. This undermines something of our faith.

However, even if I don’t experience physical healing myself, someone else might.

A ministry that has encouraged me is that of Reinhard Bonnke, who was a German evangelist to Africa. As noted in a prior devotion, I’ve seen videos of people who were prayed for in Jesus’ name, with blind people then seeing for the first time, deaf hearing, mute speaking and lame walking. Jesus continues to heal in the very same ways you read in your Bible readings today. Even if physical miracles are rare, they do still happen and it’s evidence.

I recall a friend who had a sporting accident resulting in what an X-ray showed to be a fractured ankle while a snapping sound indicated possible additional torn tendons. A while later, following prayer, all pain left. At the next scan, nothing was found that was wrong and the ankle brace was removed. The Doctor put it down to a faulty first X-ray — and this is understandable. However, my friend experienced the change at the moment of prayer and knew the resulting difference!

While miraculous healings do seem rare they do happen, and they are evidence!

Jesus said his followers would lay their hands on the sick (to pray) and they would recover (Mark 16:17-18). It takes courage to pray for the sick. It can be disappointing when they are not healed. But sometimes they are!

Video clip: A faith that works – Part 7a — 3mins

Reflection questions

  • How important is the experiential evidence of this faith as compared to the rational evidence, and why?
  • What miracles have you seen, whether with your own eyes or on video?
  • In the examples cited, miracles happened specifically after a prayer in Jesus’ name — not any other name. What spiritual truth or reality does this suggest?

For prayer

“Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the miracles you performed when on earth, and also for the way you still sometimes miraculously heal sick people today. While we wish this happened more, we thank you for the evidence this remains. It is generous of you. Thank you.”

related topics

coming up in our next devotion

Day 20: A faith that works – Part 7b

If something is logically true it should also be experientially real. Otherwise, it’s just a theory. This is true of the Christian faith in the profoundest of ways. It is not without reason that it is globally known as the faith of good works, love and charity. When it is applied, it works!

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