From these verses, we can learn how powerful the word of God is. When He spoke at creation: “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen 1:3), we also learned that the word of God is creative. Once we discover the creative power of God’s word, we can then begin to exercise faith by claiming His promises.
The exercising of faith can be illustrated in the following story.
“Now, when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marvelled and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.” (Matt 8:5-13).
The centurion also recognised the creative power of Christ, and that was what he depended on for the healing of his servant. Jesus – speak the word, and my servant will be healed. On hearing this, Jesus said, that was great faith!
Today, we can also exercise great faith. When we are in a crisis, we can lay hold of the promises of God and believe that the word will bring to pass what it says. For example, when we fall into sin, we can claim the promise in God’s word: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Even if we don’t feel forgiven, we should believe that God has forgiven us simply because He says so in His word.
Financial crisis? In need of extra funds? The word of God says: “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deut 8:18). Wisdom to navigate life’s challenges? The word of God says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering….” (Jam 1:8,9).
We can still live by and exercise faith in these challenging days.
Dr Emmanuel Osei is the president of the South England Conference