Eagerness of Faith
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Eagerness of Faith
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
“The Lord is Good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him…” Lamentations 3:25. I probably should of chose this verse as the memory verse for today. The reason being is that this verse sums up so much about what our message is about today. Life is not always great and our circumstances are not always ideal. It rains or shines on both the righteous and the unrighteous. However, one promise is sure is that the Lord will be good to those who seek his face and seek his favor. However, there are times when we will get what we want from God and since we are satisfied it seems we stop seeking him as we once did when we first came to know and love him.
Jairus was a prominent leader in the synagogue near where Jesus had come to teach. In most places that Jesus travelled the synagogue leaders disliked Jesus. Jesus never taught anything differing or against their doctrine however, he would point out their hypocrisy and of course they did not like that. However, in this instance a synagogue leader is seeking him out and displaying a faith that Jesus can solve this problem with his sick little girl. The man had a need and therefore sought out the Lord. He had an eagerness and hunger for Jesus as someone precious to him was dying. Jesus could have said no after all such people in Jairus position had not been supportive of his ministry. However, the Lord does good for those who seek him. Jairus sought out Jesus and he responded with pity and willingness to help.
On the way to his house, we find a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. She lost everything because of this illness. She spent all of her money on doctors to help fix the problem but they only seemed to make it worse. She was in a situation of suffering in which she had no money and no husband. She was deemed untouchable and unclean. This would have put her in a state of great loneliness. However, when she sees that Jesus is passing by, she seeks him out in secret just to touch him. She has an eagerness and hunger of faith that if she can just touch his clothing then he suffering would be over. She reaches for him and as she believed so did it come to be.
Jesus reaches Jairus’ house and the people are weeping and mourning for the death of his daughter. Jesus sends away everyone except for 3 of his disciples and Jairus and his wife. Jesus tells them to have faith as she is not dead but only sleeping. It seems Jairus still seeks the Lord’s help and is still holding on to faith that his daughter can be healed. Good comes to those who seek the Lord therefore, his daughter is healed upon Jesus’ command.
In 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Paul speaks about an eagerness of faith shown through giving. The Corinthians gave willingly and abundantly the year before to those who were in need and Paul encourages them to do the work that they started. The goal is not for them to make themselves poor from their giving but to bring about an equality among believers by leveling the playing field economically. Communism is a governmental system that attempts to bring equality across the board by distributing wealth too all evenly by force of the central government. While the concept to some may seem appealing the results are destructive. What Paul is talking about is bringing about economic equality not by force but by a willingness and eagerness of faith to give and trust in God that all needs will be met. Paul would encourage us to earn more so that we can give more according to what we have. By doing so those in need may find relief from our generosity. It seems though Paul is having to write this letter to point out that they should not stop in their eagerness of faith. They should continue on until the race is finished. It is like they gave once and then that was enough from then on. God asks for more than this from us.
God desires for us to finish what we started in our faith. I believe that this is more than just with our finances. However, we need to do the same with how we seek knowledge and his will. It is easy to just receive salvation and from then on never let the Holy Spirit convict us or transform us. I remember as a teenager going to youth concerts and events and we would be on fire for the Lord but within a few days or weeks it seems that this flame would slowly die down from a roaring bonfire to just hot coals. Where did all this excitement go? A fire without fuel will eventually die out. Theses events would ignite a flame and our spirits would be full but when we got home, we would stop applying fuel for the fire. It seems we would get caught up in the rest of things in life and forget to dig deeper in his word or to continue to seek him or draw close to him. Time and again I would find myself in this slump of faith because I lost the eagerness of my faith. Paul encourages though not to stop in our eagerness but to finish what we started. Don’t let the hunger and desire die down just because we have a moment of satisfaction. It needs to be a continual seeking of His face and His desire upon our lives.
There may be times when we do not receive what we hope and desire but we should never let that discourage us from seeking the Lord. Sometimes God has a bigger plan for us than we can know or understand. Our job is not to understand what that plan is or what it might be but our job is to seek him out and his will for us regardless of what we may receive.
We regularly receive a subscription from the Voice of the Martyrs at our home. This organization diligently gets the word out about the faith of Christians around the world who are often persecuted and killed for their faith. Recently we received one about a couple in India I believe. They were living in an area hostile to Christianity. The husband would constantly receive threats from radicals who wanted him to recant his faith and turn back to false idols. However, the husband refused. One night a mob came knocking at their door. The husband told his wife that if God wanted to save him then he would but even if he didn’t then his wife should never lose the faith. The mob grabbed this woman’s husband and drug him out on the streets. Later in the morning his body was found out on the road. This man and woman never lost the eagerness of their faith and she continues to have faith and to teach her children the same.
Good comes to those who seek the Lord. You might hear this story and wonder how does good come to those who seek the Lord. What good can come out of being a martyr? The good that this woman now knows is that her husband is with the king of kings in paradise and he is waiting for her there. Therefore, she continues to eagerly seek out the Lord until her time comes to see her husband again.
We are urged to finish the race. We are urged to keep on an eagerness of faith and to keep putting wood on the fire. This is why we continually meet together. So that we can fuel each other with the Word and with our faith. This is why we need to daily be in his Word in one way or another, so that we can continue fanning the flames. This is why I love Christian music and Christian radio; it fuels the flames of faith. This is why camp meeting, district assembly, and NMI convention are so important every year. It helps to fuel and fan the flame. It is sad though how often we prioritize other things and other distractions over seeking out the Lord in faith. I myself am just as guilty at this at times. However, I believe today that it is God’s desire that we do not lose hope and we do not lose faith. It is His desire that we desire Him and to grow closer to Him. Will you show him your eagerness today?