Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."(Luke 17:19)
One thing that God honours and rewards is 'faith'. Even during Jesus' earthly ministry, he openly commended them who showed him their faith, whether they were Jews or Gentiles. What we read above is him commending the faith of a leper who was cleansed or healed. Actually there were 10 lepers who cried out to Jesus, "Master, have pity on us". The gospel writer Luke gives us the facts as it happened.......
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:11-19)
If 'what God honours and rewards is faith', 'what God loves is a heart filled with gratitude'. There were 10 healed but only 1 came back to thank Jesus; and he was not a Jew, but a Samaritan. (Where are the other nine?)....The question that Jesus asked then, is relevant even today, because many receive his blessings but fail to praise God or thank him for the same.
The question that we must ask ourselves today is.........are we like the nine who were ungrateful or are we like the one healed leper who praised God with a loud voice, fell at Jesus feet and thanked him?
"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:12, 13)
"You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?' (Malachi 3:14)
Sometimes, thoughts like these pass through the minds of believers. After doing things in a right manner, if deliverance doesn't come at the expected time, frustrations can surface. "What more should I do Lord", is the heart cry that rises. But we must remember that God is merciful and more compassionate than we can ever imagine. He sets the time for the deliverance and when it comes, it comes quick, though we may think it was delayed. The taunts of the enemy during the waiting period can be distressing and can batter whatever hope remains.
The waiting can sometimes be spiritual hunger for experiencing the touch of God and is accompanied by a soul-mourning condition. One of the Psalmists went through such a state and he lamented, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" (Psalm 42:1-3)"
But the best part of it all for a believer is that God never leaves nor forsakes and his Holy Spirit is always at work even when one can't bring words to the mouth while in prayer due to the dejected state that one is in. The Bible says,
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)"
There's hope for you and me because we serve a Saviour who went through all the griefs and pains that we go through and he understands. Let the afflicted among you assure your selves this day, that your Saviour will do wonders for you once again and that he will reign supreme over all matters of your life.
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.(Romans 8:28)
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. (Psalm 71:5)
As a youth, when he was still a shepherd, David had trusted in God Almighty and made him his confidence. It did not end there; as the king of a nation, he needed God's help continually and he received it as long as he walked with God. But there were times when he took things for granted regarding his relationship with God and then fell in to trouble like when he numbered Israel's fighting men and had illicit relations with another man's wife. But these he repented of, when God chastised him and his fellowship with God Almighty was restored.
In the same psalm, David once again affirms this sentiment of God being "his hope".....
But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)
Standing in the presence of King Saul and being told that he (David) was no match for the giant Goliath who was threatening Israel, did not deter David from professing his hope and confidence in God. He said, ""Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you." (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
Is God your hope and your confidence? If yes, blessed are you. Hoping continually in God is what we must all do, despite the circumstances being contrary. Then we will see deliverance from our troubles. David experienced this from the Lord on myriad occasions, so he proclaimed, "Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.(Psalm 20:6)"
This day and everyday, proclaim that God is your hope and your confidence. And praise him continually for being that.