"But the word which they heard did not profit them, for they did not receive it in faith." —Hebrews 4:2
Pause a moment and look at the ceiling directly over your head. Imagine that spot on the ceiling bursting open. What would be your initial reaction? Most people would jump aside to avoid injury from falling debris. Some would peer closely to determine the extent of the damage. Others might furiously demand an account from the responsible parties. Would anyone be looking for faith? That's what Jesus saw when He looked up (Mk 2:5).
"All depends on faith" (Rm 4:16). The rebellious Israelites lost their promised reward because they lost faith in God's ability to keep His promises (Heb 4:1-2). By contrast, the four stretcher-bearers so abounded in faith that even a roof and a crowd were not obstacles to them (Mk 2:3ff).
"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see" (Heb 11:1). The Lord is looking for faith (Mt 8:10). He says: "My just man will live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him" (Heb 10:38; see also Hab 2:4). Let us not be "among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and live" (Heb 10:39).
Prayer: Father, I know faith comes through hearing Your word (Rm 10:17). Increase my faith (Lk 17:5) through my daily immersion in Your word.
Promise: "Your sins are forgiven." —Mk 2:5
Praise: Even after losing her health, her husband, and her son, Anita's faith was even stronger and more enduring.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (This coming Lent, increase your faith by increasing your prayer. You may wish to order our tapes to help. Daily Prayers on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62, Liturgy of the Hours on audio AV 89-3 or video V-89, Married Couples Praying Together, AV 116-1, or V-116, Family Prayer on audio AV 59-1 or video V-59.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004