“Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is Divine.”
“The Scriptures are to be received as God’s Word to us, not written merely, but spoken. When the afflicted ones came to Christ, He beheld not only those who asked for help, but all who throughout the ages should come to Him in like need and with like faith . . . . When He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee;” when He said to the woman of Capernaum, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace,” He spoke to other afflicted, sin-burdened ones who should seek His help !” – The Faith I Live By p.9
“On the way to the ruler’s house, Jesus had met, in the crowd, a poor woman who for twelve years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent all her means upon physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable. But her hopes revived when she heard of the cures that Christ performed. She felt assured that if she could only go to Him she would be healed. In weakness and suffering she came to the seaside where He was teaching, and tried to press through the crowd, but in vain. Again she followed Him from the house of Levi-Matthew, but was still unable to reach Him. She had begun to despair, when, in making His way through the multitude, He came near where she was.
The golden opportunity had come. She was in the presence of the Great Physician! But amid the confusion she could not speak to Him, nor catch more than a passing glimpse of His figure. Fearful of losing her one chance of relief, she pressed forward, saying to herself, “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.” As He was passing, she reached forward, and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment (ref: Malachi 4:2). But in that moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness gave place to the vigor of perfect health.
With a grateful heart she then tried to withdraw from the crowd; but suddenly Jesus stopped, and the people halted with Him. He turned, and looking about asked in a voice distinctly heard above the confusion of the multitude, “Who touched Me?”
Peter, ever ready to speak, said, “Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?” Jesus answered, “Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.”
The Saviour could distinguish the touch of faith from the casual contact of the careless throng. Such trust should not be passed without comment. He would speak to the humble woman Words of comfort that would be to her a wellspring of joy, — Words that would be a Blessing to His followers to the close of time . . .
“The Word that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life !” John 6:63
Looking toward the woman, Jesus insisted on knowing who had touched Him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward tremblingly, and cast herself at His feet. With grateful tears she told the story of her suffering, and how she had found relief. Jesus gently said, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”
“For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God !”
. . . It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His Divine power, that the cure was wrought.
The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no accession of vital power. But when the suffering woman put forth her hand to touch Him, believing that she would be made whole, she felt the healing virtue. So in spiritual things. To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto Salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the Truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith, cannot receive Blessing from God.
It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him.
The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits (worthiness to receive the blessing) to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in Covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is Life.
A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power !
After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gifts which the gospel offers are not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. So the Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God (Elohim) !” Isaiah 43:12.
Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His Grace (Divine Influence) as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is Divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the Salvation of souls.
When the ten lepers came to Jesus for healing, He bade them go and show themselves to the priest. On the way they were cleansed, but only one of them returned to give Him glory. The others went their way, forgetting Him Who had made them whole. How many are still doing the same thing! The Lord works continually to benefit mankind. He is ever imparting His bounties. He raises up the sick from beds of languishing, He delivers men from peril which they do not see, He commissions heavenly angels to save them from calamity, to guard them from “the pestilence that walketh in darkness” and “the destruction that wasteth at noonday” (Psalm 91:6); but their hearts are unimpressed.
He has given all the riches of heaven to redeem them, and yet they are unmindful of His great love. By their ingratitude they close their hearts against the Grace of God. Like the heath in the desert they know not when good cometh, and their souls inhabit the parched places of the wilderness.
It is for our own benefit to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and to receive more and more ! There is greater encouragement for us in the least blessing we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others. The soul that responds to the Grace (Divine Influence) of God shall be like a watered garden.
“So with all the Promises of God’s Word. In them He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His Voice. It is in these Promises that Christ communicates to us His Grace and power. They are leaves from that Tree which is “for the healing of the nations.” Received, assimilated, they are to be the strength of the character, the inspiration and sustenance of the life.
Let youth grasp the hand of Infinite power. Faith grows by exercise. Feed upon the Promises; be content to rely on the simple Promise of God’s Word. Hang in memory’s hall the precious Words of Christ. They are to be valued far above silver or gold.” – The Faith I Live By p.9
His health shall spring forth speedily; his light shall rise in obscurity, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon him. Let us then remember the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the multitude of His tender mercies. Like the people of Israel, let us set up our stones of witness, and inscribe upon them the precious story of what God has wrought for us. And as we review His dealings with us in our pilgrimage, let us, out of hearts melted with gratitude, declare, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all His people.” Psalm 116:12-14.
– Desire of Ages p.343-348