Acquainted With Peace2
“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “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 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.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (Matthew 8:5-10).
According to Jesus, a Roman Centurion has much to teach us about the nature of faith.
What this centurion knew about faith was expressed using a straightforward concept, one that is learned by most people at a very young age. The concept is authority.
What does faith have to do with authority? The logic is quite simple. To have faith, one of the critical components is a recognition of authority – what it is and who has it.
The centurion was drawn to Jesus against all odds (a Roman military officer coming to a Jewish healer for help wouldn’t exactly have been commonplace). He came because he understood what it is to have authority, and thus, recognized it in Jesus.
But it didn’t end there. While the recognition of authority led the centurion to Jesus, it was what he experienced through his interaction with Jesus – mercy, compassion, and a willingness to heal – that ultimately resulted in faith.
So then, what is faith? It is the conviction that God has the same mercy, compassion, and grace for you that He had for the centurion. And the willingness to act on it.
If you’re struggling to have faith in a particular area of your life, try settling the matter by thinking in new terms: God has both the willingness and the authority to affect every area of my life for the good.
Remember, faith is not something we conjure up; it’s merely a recognition of the goodness of the One who’s in charge.
You might be amazed at how a simple recognition of these two things – God’s goodness and His power – can lead to an amazing and unshakeable acquaintance with peace.
Have you ever experienced what it’s like to have your faith wane? Or, are you searching for faith in a specific area of your life? Next time you pray, start by acknowledging God’s authority over every aspect of your life. Then, if possible, open your Bible and find a promise associated with your situation (salvation – 1 Timothy 2:4; provision – Philippians 2:4; health – 3 John 2). Finish by thanking God for both His goodness and His ability to affect your life for good.