If the title of this post pulled you in, you likely want to grow in your faith. You want to believe God for something. Perhaps you feel like you have a little faith, but you want to have great faith. That’s me, too.
In reading through the book of Matthew recently, I came to the story of the centurion in chapter 8. Here’s a brief summary of his story which we find in verses 5 through 13.
This Roman centurion approaches Jesus and asks him to heal his sick servant. This servant is back at the centurion’s home. Jesus says that he will travel there and heal him.
Here’s the centurion’s reply.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Then in verse 13, we read the end of the story.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
As I read this passage, the words “so great faith” caught my attention. What was it that made the centurion’s faith so great? It says that Jesus marvels at the faith of this man who wasn’t even part of the nation Jesus has come to reach.
I studied the centurion’s response to Jesus. From it, I pull these three keys that can help us if we want to have great faith.
The centurion’s faith was in God, not in himself. He said that he wasn’t even worthy of Jesus coming into his house. He believed that it was Jesus alone who would cause the healing, not anything the centurion could say or do.
How often is our first response to a problem or difficulty to try to solve it ourselves? Or perhaps we take it to God, but then go out and see how we might be able to fix it?
Great faith comes as we acknowledge that only God can meet our needs. Remember James 4:6, “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.“
2. Belief in God’s Word.
The centurion believed that Jesus didn’t have to be present in his house to heal his servant. He trusts that if Jesus just speaks the word, his servant will be made better.
We don’t have the option of a physically present Jesus to speak the word that will answer our request. But we do have his written Word that is full of his promises. Do we believe them?
If we trust what God says in His Word and then see him answer our requests, it grows our faith. Then the next time a difficulty comes along, we can look back at his past faithfulness and be encouraged.
3. Acknowledge that Jesus’ power is greater than our problem.
The centurion knew how authority worked. A man in his position understood delegating responsibility and how the person in charge gives orders that are to be carried out.
In a similar way, the centurion believed in Jesus’ authority. If he as an officer was immediately obeyed, how much more did Jesus have the power to issue a command that would be accomplished instantly?
No matter what trial we face, God is greater. As Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:“
Our faith grows and becomes greater as we come humbly to God with our needs, believe the promises we find in His Word, and acknowledge that His power is greater than our problems.