Living the Life of Faith ~ The Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI


Gospel reading: Luke 17:5-10

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the disciples asking Jesus to increase their faith. I am sure most of us at some point in our lives have asked similarly.

If I had only more faith, we say if things are difficult in our lives. We say things such as, “if only I had more faith, maybe that person wouldn’t have got Ill, or wouldn’t have died” or “if I had more faith, I wouldn’t suffer like this or have that in my life, or I would be a better person”. I admit, there have been times when I have thought exactly as the disciples did in today’s Gospel reading.

However, living by faith is not something that comes in sizes or in measurable quantities. It is not a bargaining chip that we can use to gain favour or our own personal wants from God.

Faith is a true loving relationship that we have with Our Lord and is something which we must live fully each and every day of our lives. Living a faithful life does not mean that we will not suffer hardships and pain within our lives. The righteous are not exempt from suffering, just because a person may be ill or poor does not make them a sinner. We must not confuse wealth with approval of God or illness with sin (see Matt 9:21=22 and Jn 9:2=3).

It is living as one with God in all our daily words and deeds and doing it to our utmost with all that we are. Living a faithful life doesn’t even mean that we have to always agree with everything that our Lord tells us, but that out of love we learn to live as one to the best of our ability.

A good example is if we look at a good marriage or partnership, the two out of love for each other, live as one, they are faithful to each other in all things even if they may not always agree with each other.

Living a faithful life, is living to the best of our ability as Our Lord would live, we are all one in Christ and should strive to live this fully within our daily lives.

It is Loving each other, accepting each other and forgiving each other. It is walking with each other on this path of life and helping our brothers and sisters who stumble along the way.

We know that God will only do what is good for us as his children and that he has plans only for our good as the following scriptures clearly tell us:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

A true example of living the life of faith can clearly be seen in the story of Job. The story of the life of Job is one of faith, endurance, and of patience winning out against amazing odds.

Job was subjected to three tests=the first was to accept without sinning, the loss of his possessions and offspring (Job 1:6=22). The second was to endure the destruction of his health without blaming anything on God (Job 2:1=10). The third test was to endure false accusation. Most people would respond to the trials of Job by blaming these evils on God’s inaction, but Job showed humility in the sight of God. He tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell down and worshipped God and throughout all his trials Job never resorted to sinning against God. Job’s life and his faith is an excellent example to all of us as Christians.

Thank You, Lord, for the measure of faith You have given me. I refuse to be moved by outward circumstances, but only by what Your Word says. I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and I will not lean upon my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Thank You for saving me! Ephesians 2:8 says, “it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favour) that you are saved (delivered from judgement and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God…”. All of the precious gifts You have given me: salvation, healing, prosperity, etc., are connected to my faith, and it’s impossible to please You without it. I will keep Your commandments, walk in love, stay in the Word and live by faith!

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