The Three Tenses of Faith

Aug 8, 2020

‘But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask...’John 11:22 NLT

When their brother Lazarus was dying, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus. But He didn’t come in time. Notice the three tenses of faith at work in this story. First, the past tense. Heartbroken, Martha said to Jesus, ‘If You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ (John 11:21 NKJV) That’s ‘if only’ faith. We say things like: ‘If only I’d lived in the days of Jesus,’ or ‘If only I could be prayed for by a certain person.’ ‘If only’ faith plans for a funeral, not a resurrection. Second, the future tense. When Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would live again, she replied, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ (John 11:24 NKJV) This is ‘some day’ faith. People who have it tend to say ‘Some day I’ll...’ With them, everything belongs to the future. But you need to know your rights, your privileges and your authority as a believer in Christ—right now. When you do, your outlook will begin to change. Finally, the present tense. Martha said, ‘But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask...’ (John 11:22 NLT) This is ‘even now’ faith. In spite of all you’ve been through, God has the power to raise you up again. You may may have lost your job, your home or your marriage; you may be struggling with stubborn habits; you may be living with a sense of failure. It doesn’t matter. ‘Even now’, by God’s grace and power, you can come out of this experience and live again. You can fulfil your hopes and dreams. All you have to do is pray and invite Jesus into your situation.

SoulFood: Deut 22–24, Luke 12:13–21, Ps 119:25–32, Pro 17:11–15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

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