The Road That Just Isn’t Right: Rivers of Faith, Part 2

by | Apr 30, 2018 | Faith, Jesus, Rivers of Faith, Trust

To many, faith is an obscured word. Numerous are those who eagerly pray that their faith will be increased. Others scratch their head, for this word is a complete mystery to them.

What is faith? Is it a concept that we can even begin to understand?

The best way to approach this question is by reading Hebrews 11, the chapter renowned for its message about faith.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1 NIV)

Simply said, faith means taking God at His Word, believing firmly that what He says is true, and that anything that is contradictory to what He says is false. (See The One-Lane Bridge for more information)

Interestingly enough, the 11th chapter of Hebrews continues on by saying: “This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Heb 11:2-3 NIV)

The best way to illustrate this is by exploring those Jesus referred to as having “such great faith”. Let’s take, for example, the event that took place in Matthew 8: 5-13:

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.'” (Matt 8:5-6 NIV)

It was not considered an honour for a Jew to be approached by a Roman Centurion. On the contrary! Romans were despised! They were the invaders who dominated and oppressed Israel! But this centurion was different from the others. He wasn’t pleading for his wife, or even for his children. He was pleading for his servant, a slave probably, one who was suffering. Most Romans would have let such servants die on the spot. After all, slaves were a dime a dozen in that century and were considered expendable. But not this centurion:

“Jesus said to him, ‘I will go and heal him.'” (Matt 8:7 NIV)

Immediately moved, Jesus is eager to act upon that request, even though the one who spoke to Him was considered an enemy by his fellow countrymen.

“The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.'” (Matt 8:8-9 NIV)

The centurion seems to have a reasonable request, but Jesus looks beyond what was said. Isn’t it true that many will go to a crusade to be healed, but they will not expect a healing anywhere else? If we have enough faith to take Jesus at His Word, He will meet us wherever we are!

“When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.'” (Matt 8:10-11 NIV)

The centurion knew he could take Jesus at His word, and when He heard Jesus say: “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” (Matt 8:13 NIV), he left, without turning back, knowing fully that his “servant was healed at that very hour.” (Matt 8:13 NIV)

This is faith: believing fully as truth whatever God tells us through His written or spoken Word. Any doubt turns faith into a mockery. Can you imagine what would have happened if the centurion had doubted Jesus’ word?

Would we have reacted the same way as the centurion, or would we have dragged Jesus to where we think He could meet our need? Or worse, would we even have asked for Jesus’ help at all?

We were heading to the Parc National des Hautes-gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie (If you can say this mouthful in 2 seconds, you will be highly esteemed by those around you, even the Romans!). Strangely enough, neither our map nor our GPS indicated that there was a road leading to it. The main road, Route 138, was leading us to the town of Clermont, about 23 kilometers from the turn-off to the place with the mile-long name, but there were no roads leading to that mountain that could be found on paper, online or even in our GPS! It seemed that in order to visit this park we would have to make a 23 km hike, one-way, through the wilderness, climb 10 kilometers up and down that mouthful-named mountain, and then hike back another 23 kilometers back to the car!

As far as we could tell, we had 2 choices: We could not go there at all, or we could try and find a road that was not on our maps.

We prayed about it and through Biblical confirmation we believed our trek would not be in vain. Once we were close to the city of Clermont, we did, indeed, find a paved road leading off to our left, straight towards our destination. We passed through a quaint little town called Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs (which was, interestingly, also not on our map), and we enjoyed the numerous scarecrow displays the people of this town use as lawn decorations.

In the more-than-half-a-century that I have lived, the only One that I always trust is the One called Creator and Redeemer. Only He can tell me what is true and what is not, for He is the only One who can declare: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” NIV

Hey, what is this scarecrow doing on the back of my van?

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Rivers of Faith” devotional series, please click here.)


The Road That Just Isn’t Right: Rivers of Faith, Part 2