There are moments in our Christian lives when we begin to ask questions such as — how do I express my faith, especially in difficult times? Is faith something the senses can see, feel, hear, smell, and touch? Can I express faith easily? What does faith look like?
These questions come to our minds, especially in times when we are in direst need of faith. But how does one really see faith?
We can read one of the most compelling acts of faith in the Bible in Mark 2:1-5,
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
In this passage, we can see what genuine faith really looks like in two different ways: Faith can be seen, and faith is expressed through love.
1. Faith Can Be Seen
Faith, as something that can be seen, it’s shown on two occasions of the passage; in the gathering of people to see Jesus and in the bringing of the paralyzed man by the four people.
These two scenarios showed Jesus that the people believed in Him and His glory, as the Son of God, because they gathered in large numbers.
Sending the paralyzed man to Jesus for healing revealed their faith in Jesus, which He could clearly see and, thus, not only healed the paralyzed man but saved him.
Another verse that supports this is found in Acts 14:8-10 as stated,
While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.
In this verse, we can see that a cripple man’s faith healed him, and he was able to walk. Paul and Barnabas saw his faith first-hand because he went there for them to see.
In Matthew 9:1-8, we also see the same scenario as written,
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
Seeing faith is seeing both its physical form and the magnitude of it in its spiritual form.
In the case of the paralyzed and the crippled men, either they or their companions had a very strong faith in Jesus or they needed to see it for themselves.
Jesus, Himself, the Apostles, Paul, and Barnabas did not ask about this faith, rather, they felt the faith burning from their actions, instead.
When we show faith, we need not say that we have faith, but let the people around us see the kind of faith we do have.
It is not just said, it is felt and seen beyond what our mortal eyes can see.
2. Faith Is Expressing itself Through Love
“The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.”
In this passage, it is deliberately said that faith in Jesus is seen through actions of selfless love.
The perfect example of this is Jesus’ faith to His Father, Our God, and sacrificing Himself to save us from eternal damnation. This act of faith is the act of true love by Jesus.
We can also read a similar passage in Galatians 5:13, as is written,
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
The New Covenant that Jesus gave to us is all about expressing love.
We can read countless verses in the New Testament about love, and one of the most compelling ones is John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus also reminds us about love in His new commandments which are:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”(Matthew 22:37-40).
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”(Galatians 5:14).
Faith is all about love, and when we face difficult times in our lives, we are reminded about God’s love for us and that He will never leave us because He loves us.
We have to love God by showing our selfless love.
What Does This Mean?
Faith in God can be both seen and felt through true love. To be able to express faith in difficult times is to express love for God by trusting in Him