by: carole l. haines
8 At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he leaped up and began to walk. (Acts 14:8-10 NASB)
Faith is a somewhat of an abstract concept. Abstract mean, “existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.” Faith is not something you can touch, taste, see, or smell, right? All we can see is what is the result of faith is. The above verse reveals to us that Paul saw that this man had faith to be healed. He saw faith in this in the man’s eyes, or on his face. O, I want that. I want people to look into my eyes and see faith in Jesus, trust in His Holy Spirit, Joy in God the Father. Our Pastor has been teaching on the Holy Spirit for about seven weeks, and yesterday he referred to the Holy Spirit as, “the means to that continuing conversation with God, that He has been having with believers since the Old Testament.” I love that picture. Faith in a God who wants to relate to us, in word and deed. Faith in a God who desires to reveal Himself to us. He tells us in His Word: 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29: 12-13 NASB) God wants to be found by us, God wants us to know Him. Oh, how the love of God for us, is far beyond our ability to comprehend and understand. Not one of us loves like that, so we have a hard time wrapping our minds around it. One of the most quotable verses in all of Scripture comes just before this declaration. Let’s look at the whole context of it. 10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’ (Jeremiah 29: 10-14 NASB) God is so marvelous to place hope right in front of us, in the midst of correction, heartache, physical frailty, mental or emotional weakness, loss, or calamity. These beloved verses are given to Israel, at one of its lowest points in History. God is the perfect Father. It’s like He lifts the head of His Beloved Nation Israel, as they are being corrected by Him for their rebellion. He lifts their head and says to them, “Look at me, Look at me. Gaze into my eyes and see my love for you in this correction. You tested Me, you rebelled against Me; and as Your Loving Father, I must bring correction.” But that is not His final will for them, and He expresses that in verse 11, “I know the plans I have for you…” God is speaking that to your heart today, in the midst of your trial, your correction, your calamity. He is saying to you. “This is not the end, it’s a beginning of something even more beautiful than you can imagine. Trust this God, who caused the eyes of Paul to fall on that one lame man, in the midst of that sea of people, and recognize his faith to be healed. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 11:1-2NASB). Fix your gaze on Him, and rest in His promise to you of something far better, than what is happening right now.