Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good News for Hard Times Week 5: The Risk of Faith

Now faith is being confident of what we hope for and sure about what we do not see.

Faith is what the ancients were commended for. 

And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him 
must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

- Hebrews 11:1-2, 6

This week in Wednesday Bible study we learned a story about a different kind of hard time - the kind of long, debilitating suffering that exhausts all your resources, that shapes and alters your way of life, that suffering that becomes a lonely isolated journey.

Jesus came to a village, and the crowds were following him everywhere 
because he was healing their sick, 
and everyone was bringing their sick to him to be healed.

Now there was a woman in this village who had suffered for twelve long years 
with a disease that caused her to hemorrhage and bleed.  
She had been to every doctor and healer and they had all failed her 
and taken her money and left her worse off than before.  
But when she heard that Jesus was in the village, 
and that he was healing people, she thought, 
"If I could just get close enough to touch him, I could be well!"

Now in this woman's day, according to the religious laws, her disease would have isolated her.  She would be considered unclean.  She wouldn't be allowed to share a home with others, because everywhere she sat or lay down would be unclean.  She wouldn't be allowed to bring sacrifices and worship, so she would be cut off from the center of community in the village.  No one would eat her food.  Or visit her.

So what she does is so bold.  It is such a risk, slipping out into that crowd, that crowd where no one would want to touch her.  Reaching out to touch the Rabbi.  A touch that would make him unclean.  So she just reached for the fringe on the hem of his robe.

In Wednesday Bible study, we talked about the risk of faith.  Everyone has hard times.  Some are like the sudden storm that came up on the Sea of Galilee.  Some are like the storm of worries within Martha's head and heart.  Some are the hard times of not knowing how your needs will be met.  Will you have enough?  And some hard times are long, exhausting lonely journeys like this woman's.

The question of faith is:  Will you let the hard time drive you to reach out to Jesus?  Will you believe that he is a rewarder of those who seek him?  Will you reach for the life he can give you?

Click here to listen to this week's story and learn it.

You can read the story in Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:40-48.

Who will you tell this story to?

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