Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.
Eight times in the Gospel Jesus says, ”Your faith has made you well.” The great teacher, Jesus, says this repetitively and, like all students, we should turn to this phrase to understand why he believes our faith is so important.
In his revolutionary new book, Your Faith Has Made You Well, author Dr. Bruce L. Hartman explores the meaning of a connected faith with Jesus. In an age of dramatic news headlines and an increasingly turbulent world, Dr. Hartman provides a radical way to turn our eyes away from the headlines and towards Jesus by exploring how to develop a real and healing faith.
Hartman encourages us to see Jesus not as one whom we turn to only in times of stress but as a daily confidant and friend. He inspires us to allow Jesus from the co-pilot’s seat to that of the pilot. Jesus is not a genie who grants wishes, but a being who should be present in every moment from the time we wake up until we go to bed.
Hartman fills his book with stories of modern-day faith heroes who are connected to the stories of the Bible. In a non-dogmatic way, the book is a journey of discovery and reflection. When we have finished the book, we will all be forever changed.
While reading, I discovered seven ways this book improved my understanding of faith and how to develop a powerful faith life:
In those unfair times of life, don’t blame God— bear into God.
Sure, there are times when bad things happen to good people and times when we ask God “Why?” There may even be times when we might blame God for our misfortunes. But should we? A simple lesson of this book is that God is a God of love. God does not create bad things but instead restores us. At some point, we will all stand at this crossroad of life, and it is in our darkest moments that we should bear into God and not turn away.
Our faith is developed through practice and prayer.
Our faith isn’t something that we should call upon haphazardly; rather, we should engage in continuous conversation with God through Jesus, while constantly watching how God is working in our lives and answering our prayers. Instead of living a life guided by our own to-do lists, we should follow the current God leads us on. Removing God from being the spare tire in our lives to becoming the steering wheel.
Our hearts will turn to loving and praying for our neighbor.
Instead of having judging hearts, Your Faith Has Made You Well will help turn our hearts into deep wells of compassion. We will find ourselves moved to pray for our enemies instead of judging them. We will see that all humankind is made in the image of God. Ultimately, those who offend us will become people we care about.
Praying does create miracles.
The book contains stories about people who relied on prayer to overcome difficult circumstances. Developed through a lifelong commitment to God, when confronted with potential tragedy, they turn these challenging moments into miracles. From the story in the Gospel of Matthew of the hemophiliac woman whose unfailing faith in Jesus healed her to modern stories of people who were gravely ill and were healed. Their healing was not just because Jesus was present but because these were prayer warriors of extraordinary faith.
Generosity is an act that heals.
The very act of giving to others becomes redemptive. Instead of standing by while others are in need, we learn to help. In so doing, we receive the gift of redemption. Kind acts not only make us feel good about helping others, they also make us feel better about ourselves. We begin to see our desire to do good change to a belief that we are worthy.
The more faith we have, the more certain we become.
Our faith is not a just a once-in-awhile belief. The more we live in faith, the more God responds. As these responses occur, we develop a stronger trust in God. Over time, this trust transforms our fears into an enduring sense of hope.
We will become healed!
Life can be hard, and each of us will have periods of suffering, whether spiritually, physically, or mentally. By acquiring a direct and constant relationship with Jesus, our life problems will abate. Not because we ask, but because we believe in the power of the unseen. Our faith becomes a trusted companion because it becomes a constant reality.
Your Faith Has Made You Well is both a wonderful book and a place for reflection. One of the marvelous aspects of this book is that it can be read straight through from beginning to end, but help can be found on nearly any page. Reading it alongside the Bible will encourage, uplift, and heal!