faith

Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus – Jesus rebukes them and acknowledges his true brothers. (Matthew 12:38 – 12:50)

Some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law told Jesus, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Jesus answered, “A wicked generation asks for a sign! But none will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Just like Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends

Jesus demonstrates his authority over nature by calming a furious storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23 – 8:27)

To escape the crowd and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and his disciples boarded a boat. As they travelled across the lake, a furious storm erupted. The wind was so great, waves swept over the boat. Jesus however, calmly slept through the squall. The disciples woke Jesus shouting, “Lord, save us! We are going to drown!” Jesus replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then Jesus rose and rebuked the winds and waves. The sea became completely calm. The disciples were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” What the story means to us today Fear shows lack of faith – and lack of faith promotes fear Jesus continues to prove his authority

Faith tested – What if Jesus’ spectacular walking on water miracle was a trick?

The scriptures tell us, after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus instructed the disciples to get into a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus then dismissed the crowd of five thousand and went to a mountainside to pray by himself. Shortly before dawn, the disciples’ boat encountered a storm some considerable distance from land (John tells us they were about 3-4 miles from land). The disciples were afraid when they saw what they presumed was some sort of spirit approaching them on the stormy water. It was Jesus who was “walking on the lake”. The story is attested by Matthew, Mark, and John. Non-believers will typically proffer the only possible earthly explanation for the event – that Jesus

Faith is a way of viewing all experiences through Christian eyes.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1 Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  It's a conviction of certainty about what cannot be seen.  Faith serves as a filter through which Christians view their life experiences.  The opposite of faith – doubt – binds and restricts our ability to experience the startling results Christianity offers us.  When in doubt, don't.

The faith of a centurion amazes Jesus (Matthew 8:5 – 8:13)

When Jesus was at Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help. He said, “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healed. I myself am a man under authority with soldiers serving under me. When I tell this one “Go”, he goes and when I tell that one “Come”, he comes and when I say to my servant “Do this” and he does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at the man’s faith. Jesus told his followers, “Truly I tell you, I have found no one in Israel with such great faith.

It is by grace that you have been saved.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. - Ephesians 2:8 Salvation is given to us through faith and is a gift from God (not by works) that must be freely accepted. We must remember that God intervened and revived mankind through Jesus' teachings.  This was an act of grace alone.

Stop worrying – pray and trust God!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6 There is a difference between concern and worry.  To be concerned about something is fine, but to worry causes unnecessary stress on our bodies.  To alleviated worry, we should approach God (prayer), present our need (petition) with an inherent attitude of thanksgiving (a joyful state of the heart), then put aside worry, and trust that in the end, things will work out according to God's will.