Faith that outfaces predicaments
During my growing-up years I became well acquainted with stories in the Bible about people who solved their problems through prayer. Their trust in god's power was unshakable.
Over the years, when serious testing times came along, I'd think about these examples. And I began to realize that all the people involved had one thing in common: a strong faith in the power and willingness of one supreme God to bring about a good solution in the face of trouble. each had aligned his own thoughts with a true knowledge of God, and his faith in good was strengthened. One cannot fully trust good, and doubt at the same time.
Not many doubts, if any, could have been entertained by Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison. We read in the Bible, "At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God." n1 Spiritual joy displaced fear. They could look forward more with faith than sight. And they took the only human action they could: expressing their faith outwardly by singing praises to God.
n1 Acts 16:25.
"And suddenly there was a great earthquake," says the Bible, ". . . and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed." n2 Spiritual understanding had sustained their faith, and the action of god's law of freedom for man superseded apparently insurmountable limitations.
n2 v. 26.
Do we suspect that spiritually grounded faith could not have the same effect for us today? If our concept of faith is merely blind belief, we may have doubts. Rightly understood, however, faith is a steppingstone; it leads to the kind of spiritual discovery and living that corrects limited beliefs.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood." n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 297.
Christ Jesus knew that God, divine Spirit, is this one great cause; that his true selfhood was wholly spiritual, the effect of Spirit.
It is God's purpose that all may understand the saving nature of Spirit, present to maintain and sustain eternally His laws of perfection for man. And every adverse experience, met through proving God's power to save, brings one closer to Him.
My faith was tested once when I was aboard ship. My three young children became seasick, and I found myself turning wholeheartedly to the power of faith rooted in a divine origin -- faith that I'd been learning about through the study of those Bible individuals' freeing experiences.
While the children were ill in their bunks, and I cared for their need as any mother would, my in-between moments were spent affirming man's unbroken relationship to God and His perfection. Sometimes I'd read aloud to the children from the Bible. They were kept at peace and comforted. Then, too, I would thoughtfully study references in the writings of Mrs. Eddy. One was particularly helpful: "The unity of God and man is not the dream of a heated brain; it is the spirit of the healing Christ, that dwelt forever in the bosom of the Father, and should abide forever in man." n4
n4 Message to The Mother Church for 1902,m p. 9.
My thoughts continued in praise to God in the words of the Psalmist, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, . . . who healeth all thy diseases." n5 Not only were my children released from seasickness but many other passengers who had been incapacitated were soon back to normal, enjoying the ship's dining room.
n5 Psalms 103:2, 3.
When sickness is outfaced through unflagging faith that is rooted in spiritual understanding, divine Spirit's healing power is proved. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. Micah 7:8