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``Where is your faith?''

ONCE when I was feeling afraid about a physical trouble, I opened the Bible and started reading about Christ Jesus and his disciples, caught in a storm at sea. The disciples were frantic, afraid they might not survive. Not Jesus. He rebuked the violent elements, and the storm stopped. Then he asked his students, ``Where is your faith?''1 That question seemed to look me right in the eye, so to speak. ``Where is your faith?'' it demanded. ``In God--or in the difficulty you're facing? In the promise of healing or in the prospect of failure? Where is your faith?''

Mentally I sat up straight, amazed to discover at that moment that I had plenty of faith, all right--but it was all in the wrong place! I had faith that I couldn't master the ailment. Faith it would go on forever. Even faith it might do me in. So much faith in the trouble and so little in God!

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This was a sobering realization, since my natural inclination was to trust God. I didn't want to dishonor Him by doubting His care. After all, through studying and practicing the teachings of Christian Science I had experienced many proofs of His healing love, enough to be convinced that I could count on His help at all times. So rather than feel afraid, I could draw on my understanding of God's invariably good nature, withdraw my faith in the difficulty, and place it entirely in Him. That's what I did, and I was healed.

If you're facing a challenge and feeling uncertain and maybe afraid, you too may want to ask yourself, ``Where is my faith?'' Is it in the prospect of a bleak future? In the specter of relentless suffering? Are your hopes for happiness and healing placed in the charismatic personality of a mortal or in material things like drugs and diets?

The point is, any confidence we place in matter or the human mind undercuts our faith in God and thus cripples our ability to demonstrate His saving power in our lives. This is why it helps to identify any areas of misplaced faith, anything where something other than God's goodness is occupying our thought. Then, as we rechannel our trust to the side of God, Spirit, we'll find we're able to master life's difficulties with greater poise and certainty. Our ability to practice Christian healing for ourselves and others will proportionately increase.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.''2

A growing faith in God is a sure sign of spiritual progress. It means that the invisible things of Spirit are becoming more real to us than the visible things of earth. The New English Bible translates the passage ``Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen''3 in this way: ``Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see.'' Faith gives us the courage to persevere through those times when, to the material senses, there may be no outward sign of progress.

If we're consistently short on faith, though, this doesn't mean we are unworthy of redemption and healing. It does mean, however, that we need to get to know God better. We need to gain a more spiritual view of existence.

The faith that heals isn't the exclusive privilege of select individuals; it's something every sincere person can attain, since it grows out of understanding God. And everyone can come to understand God.

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As we get better aquainted with Him, we discover how perfectly natural it is to trust Him, to trust divine Love. It certainly makes more sense than having faith in evil or misery or sickness! God is man's loving Father and Mother. He is our Life and Soul. He mercifully and constantly provides all we could ever possibly need. And He is knowable, approachable. He deserves our faith--all of it.

1Luke 8:25. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 368. 3Hebrews 11:1. The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. Hebrews 10:23

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