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Faith is an Action Word

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Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.
(James 2:14)

Why does God delay in answering our prayers? Why is help sometimes so slow in coming?

Mary and Martha, must have asked the same questions when their brother became seriously ill and Jesus did not hurry to their side. By the time Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had died and been buried for four days.

Martha ran out to the road to meet Him. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” she blurted. Martha believed that, had Jesus been present, He could have healed Lazarus.

But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask,” Martha continued. She believed that Jesus had a peculiar intimacy with God and his prayers would make a difference. But she saw no way Jesus could help Lazarus now. The best she could hope for was that her brother would rise again in the final resurrection.

Martha believed all the right things about Jesus, even to the point of proclaiming Him to be the Messiah who was to come into the world. Still, she failed to make it practical. When Jesus told her to roll away the stone, she protested, “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead four days.”

Are you, like Martha, standing face to face with an insurmountable problem? Yes, you believe all the right things about Jesus, but are you willing to trust Him completely? Even now – with this present problem?

To believe is more than clinging to the right dogma. It involves action. “Faith without action can’t save anyone,” James tells us. When Martha surrendered her doubts and obeyed Jesus’ command to remove the stone from the tomb, making herself vulnerable, things began to happen. Now Jesus could work the miracle of her brother’s resurrection.

Lazarus came out of the tomb!

Why does God sometimes delay? He wants to lead us beyond a program of beliefs to a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He wants to show us another facet of his power. He gives us an opportunity to trust Him even when we cannot see.

Prayer: Dear God, increase my faith. I surrender my doubts and fears and preconceived ideas. I invite you to come into this situation and work it out for Your glory and my good.

by Helen Grace Lescheid
Used by Permission

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