Great Faith

January 24, 2017
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Matthew 8:10 – When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." (NIV)

When I read gospel stories like this one about Jesus and the centurion, who believed that Jesus could heal his servant by just saying the word, it makes me wonder if the days of "great faith" are well and truly over. A lot of folks that I know, including myself, have faith, but I wouldn't call it "great". Some of us have a simple faith — a down-to-earth, pragmatic belief system that gets us through each day and encourages us to help our neighbours. Some of us have an historic faith, which is deeply rooted in our traditions and denominational backgrounds. Others have an emergency type of faith which is used to help us to overcome setbacks, illnesses, and troubles. But "great faith", such as Christ saw in the centurion, is something which is quite rare indeed.

The more I think about "great faith", the more I believe that it's meant to be rare. It's like finding a diamond in a coal mine or a precious pearl in an oyster. It's something that, when we come across it, is meant to inspire us, as well as to create a feeling of awe. It connects directly to the mysterious love of God and allows us to know that we are not alone in the universe. It's a rare jewel to bring us joy; it's a priceless gift to give us hope.

Perhaps you know or have known someone of great faith. Celebrate that fact, and think about how that person has influenced you or affected your faith. Praise God for such a blessing and keep looking. Encountering people of great faith may be a rare experience, but once found, they offer a real glimpse of God's everlasting love.

Question to ponder: Who has shaped and influenced my faith in Christ?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the gift of faith and for the people who inspire us to become better Christians. Open our eyes, hearts, and minds, so that we may see those who truly have a great faith in You. Allow us opportunities to share our own faith with others today. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so John.

    Thanks, John. Great question too!

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional. Yes, our prayer is, “O Lord, increase our faith.” Blessings.

    Wonderful way to see it. Great encouragement to keep on believing and practising our faith, in order to increase our faith. God bless.

    Dear John,
    You spoke beautifully about the blessing of knowing someone with great faith. Thank you.

    There are some who feel that faith is a spiritual gift.
    If that is so it may explain why some seam to have “great faith” and others not so much.

    Hi John,
    Thank you for your devotional today, as it happens I was thinking about the Roman occupiers who were believers and have been toiling about that very subject.

    Wow, thank you John. What a thought provoking devotional. I have known people with great faith and it truly amazes me. I often wondered why I didn’t have such but now I can appreciate theirs and continue to work on mine. Thanks again.

    The Gospel of John (Stuart) in four paragraphs! Bless you for writing.
    If you wish to see, literally, one of the people I have met (figuratively) who has greatly influenced my life and faith, simply look in a mirror.
    Thank you!

    Good to see you back John, I have always enjoyed and appreciated your devotionals. They make me think about my faith – and that is a good thing! Today’s certainly made me bring to mind a couple of ladies who deeply influenced me – one in my teenage years, and one quite recently (in my much later years). Thank you, thank you.

    Good morning John
    It was a treat this morning to see your name on the devotional. Thanks so much for continuing with your inspirational words. You always have a special message that applies to my space at the time.
    I trust you are keeping well and that life is bringing you abundant blessings.

    John, how lovely to have one of your devotionals today. I’ve missed them.
    I always appreciate what you have to say and look forward to more of your contributions. “Great faith” is a precious thing indeed and such an encouragement to those of us for whom life is challenging.
    Thank you, John, and may God bless you and your congregation in this new year.

    Hi – and thank you for your devotional re great faith. Those people I have met who would reveal great faith, I have seen as expressions of first Corinthians 12:9. Faith is listed as a spiritual gift! That seems strange because everyone of us as believers have a measure of faith. But I believe God gifts some with a supernatural, God–graced, great faith.
    What you shared really make sense in light of this because God gives these
    gifts of the Spirit to build up the church, to strengthen the Body which is right in line with what you say. Again, thank you for your thoughts.

    Good morning John,
    I was reading the devotional and appreciating your wise thoughts. I did not scroll to the bottom first, but was not surprised to see your name.
    Thank you very much.
    I recently retired from my role as Ecumenical Chaplain at university in Ontario. I’m serving as moderator of a tiny church that is embroiled in a conflict. The devotion is especially meaningful as I try to encourage members to acknowledge errors in communication and to work toward reconciliation. It will take great faith and probably lots of time for this to happen.
    Blessings on your ministry.

    Dear John:
    Thank you for your devotional. I love the verse, “Ye have not because ye ask not…” and “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
    My parents were very close, in love all their married lives, and it showed. They also had “great faith” and that showed. A few weeks after my dad’s funeral, I asked my mum how she could keep going. With tears and a beautiful smile, she explained that even though ‘He slay me’, she would trust Him. At that point, I asked for that kind of faith and He gave to me freely. Praise His Holy Name, He gives all good things freely! “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” That was 35 years ago and NOTHING has shaken my faith since. The secret? Spend your life time at the Throne of grace! It’s the very best place to be, day and night!
    All God’s blessings, including the gift of great faith.

    Dear John, brother in Christ,
    Thank you for your devotional, and for the many which you have written over the past years. You have opened your heart and been willing to share both the hurts, and the healing which Christ has brought to you. It is possible to witness the presence of Jesus in and with you, and that is a deep encouragement when we, the readers, find ourselves in dark valleys. Thank you. God bless and keep you, as He surely will.

    Hello John:
    I read your devotional with great interest.
    I especially liked your description of different kinds of faith: simple, historical, emergency. I think that’s a very insightful comment! And while I agree with you that some people have one kind, and others another, I think it’s also true that I recognize those different faiths within me – different kinds at different times. And do I ever have “great faith”? I’m not sure. Perhaps not. Perhaps it really is rare, as you suggest.
    In any case, thank you for writing such an interesting and thought-provoking devotional. Whatever kind of faith I have, it is enhanced by reading and reflecting on devotionals such as this.
    (In other words, my answer to your “Question to ponder” is: many people, including John Stuart!)


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