21 October 2011


There is power in desperation-- especially when combined with faith. What are you desperate for?

Who got healed in the Bible? Usually, someone whose desperation and/or faith drove them.
  • Naman was desperate enough to travel to a foreign country and consult a Jewish prophet. His pride nearly overcame his desperation-- which would have kept him from getting healed.
  • The widow of Zarephath was desperate; she thought she and her son were about to starve to death. But she acted in faith and was fed throughout the famine.
  • The woman who couldn't stop bleeding was desperate enough to break the rules, go into the crowd and touch Jesus' robe. Bing! We have another winner!
  • The blind man cried out from the roadside, risking the wrath of the crowd and even Jesus' disciples.
  • Some guys CUT A HOLE in someone else's roof to get their sick friend to Jesus.
  • People with dead or dying children and other relatives begged Jesus for help.
  • After the Romans hauled Jesus in, the disciples generally appear helpless, hopeless and even afraid to be seen in public near Jesus. After the resurrection and ascension, they moved from hopelessness to desperation and spent weeks praying in the upper room. Bing! More winners.
In each case, desperation fueled faith. Faith is an action, and their action, birthed in desperation, brought results. Most of us realize that real love is not a feeling, but action. Do you understand that faith is also action? Faith is a gift. But instead of just wishing for Christmas to arrive, remember that God is a Daddy who loves to give things to his kids. He wants you to have this gift. He's just waiting for you to open it, and to use it (action!), not put it on a shelf waiting for batteries or a manual or whatever.

The object of your faith matters as well. I can have faith in you. But you can fail me, forget something, or simply be incapable of doing what I want or need. If my car starts off the edge of a mountain road, I can cry out to you with as much faith as I want. It won't help.

Judas Iscariot was desperate. But he put his faith in a false idol, an image he'd built up of Jesus that wasn't Jesus, a construct in his mind, a Jesus of his own creation. He might as well have carved a statue and expected it to deliver Israel.

That's why you need a relationship with God, why you need to study the Scriptures-- to know who he is so you know who it is you are putting your faith in. If you have a warped view of God-- for instance if you see him like Zeus, sitting around with a collection of thunderbolts waiting to smite you-- your faith will reflect that. In that case desperation is more likely to drive you away from God than toward Him, and your faith and relationship will wither and die, or at best be so warped as to be useless.

Faith without desperation is complacent or self-serving. Desperation without faith leads to despair. But together they lead to where you want to be. And it smells like victory.

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