Transcribed from the sermon preached July 6, 2014
The Reverend Rami Bungsut
Scripture Readings: Genesis 12:1-9, Luke 8:43-48
I am very happy to stand before you to share the word of God-about Living Faith. We have faith and hope; that’s why we come to the church. We expect that we will have spiritual renewal from our service. Let us have a closer look at faith.
In our New Testament reading we find a story about the healing of the woman with a bleeding problem. This is the solitary miracle where faith anticipates Jesus’ consent, and finds the healing through the touch of his garment. The woman had had a bleeding problem for 12 years (Being a woman I understand how long 12 years is to have a bleeding problem), but no one could heal her. As soon as she came and touched Jesus, he felt something. Then Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” His disciples said: “The people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, I know that power has gone out from me.” When the woman came to him, Jesus comforted her saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Immediately her bleeding was stopped. Jesus knew that the mind of that woman who came to Jesus with her faith. Jesus could not forsake the one who touched him with faith. Everybody has their own complications. When things are not going the way we want them to, it is easy to lose our enthusiasm. We need to keep telling ourselves that God is a faithful God. Your sickness might not go away soon. This legal problem might last more years. Your marriage problem might not improve. You don’t know what to do. It doesn’t matter how big your problem is because one day your problem will be removed because we have God who is working behind the scenes. God is supernaturally doing things for you that you cannot do by yourself.
I wonder how many of you have experienced God’s miracle in your lives. I, personally, have experienced his miracles many times in my life. Let me share you one of my experiences. When I was 20 years old, I had a kidney problem. I was struggling with that illness for 3 years. I visited different hospitals and doctors but it was becoming worse and worse. My whole body was swollen and the pain was horrible. The doctors in Mizoram referred me to go to another state where they had better facilities. It was rainy season, and they cancelled our flight. We decided to go by road, and that was a 20-hour drive. Because of my pain, I needed to take pain killer injections at least every 6 hours. My relatives came together and cried because no one thought that I would survive. I was also worried because I couldn’t even sit down. At last I crawled inside the restroom and prayed with all my heart. And one of our church elders came and prayed for me with his faith and tears. They put me in the car and as soon as I entered the car my pain was gone! We travelled for 20 hours without any problem. We went to the hospital and did different investigations, and they didn’t find any complications in my body. Since then I am totally healed till today. Sometimes I think that God is waiting for us until we totally depend upon him instead of trusting other things. It is never too late for God! He will do whatever he wants at the time he appoints. Nothing can stand in his way. God knows our mind. In my prayers, I always say to God “God I have nothing to boast before you; the only thing I can do is to come closer to you with faith” God knows my will and that is why he provides my needs every day. We receive his blessing day-by-day, uncountable. There is nothing to worry about in life if we have faith in the power of God. However, that doesn’t mean that we should pray and wait for God without doing anything. We should do something. If we need money we need to work. If we want to do well in our studies, we need to study hard. In all this, we have to come to God in faith that God is the all-powerful God. If we bring our sickness, struggles in life and our pain to him with the hope and faith, He is ready to provide our needs.
Faith is like stepping out to receive a gift from the giver. If one does not come out to take the gift, he/she will never get the gift. If one comes out to collect the gift believing that there is something valuable inside the package, he will get the gift. If we want to receive God’s blessing we need to come forward and receive his gifts.
Today is communion Sunday. We are partaking bread and wine to have communion with God. To receive blessings through this communion, we need to come forward with all our hearts. There are so many people who experience spiritual and physical healing through communion. Let us prepare ourselves to partake this bread and wine with a living faith.
Living faith can transform our lives, enabling us to enjoy an intimate and personal relationship with God. Faith offers freedom from worries, doubts and fear. It can bring strength, hope and wisdom in the face of problems and challenges. It might not happen overnight, but keep asking. Nothing is permanent. If you start speaking to God with faith you are so close to receiving the reward. Living faith gives us new life. Amen.