The Power of Faith


In the gospel Mark, a gentile woman asks Jesus to cure her daughter. Jesus refused because he was sent to Jews. She replied; “Sir, even the dogs, under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Jesus responds, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.”

There is a point being made here concerning faith and the promises of God: In the Large Catechism, Luther points out that faith and God’s promises are two sides of the same coin. They are part of a piece. When we come to believe in the promise, the promise is fulfilled. When we believe in the promise of forgiveness, we experience forgiveness. When we come to believe that Jesus gives us peace, we experience peace. This is true because faith comes from the heart, not the head. It is possible to believe something intellectually and not experience it as true because the promises of God pertain to conflicts that reside in the heart. Anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, hatred, jealousy, envy, and lust – all these spiritual sources of dis-ease come from the heart. Believing that God can heal using these things in an intellectual way does not take them away. It gives us the impression that they will be resolved sometime in the future when heart and head are together. This is not faith in a biblical sense because it doesn’t engage the whole person. Recall the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind, and strength.” That is, with your whole being.

This is also true of faith. Faith means to trust with one’s whole being. When that happens, when we trust in God’s promise with our whole being, that promise is fulfilled. It heals us. It restores us. Again, as Jesus said to those who believed in his power to heal them, “Your faith has made you well.”

Gracious God, the power of faith creates miracles. Grant us the faith that comes as a gift of your Holy Spirit that we too may experience your power to heal.

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