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In the Gospels, there were only two things that caused Jesus to marvel. One was faith. The other was unbelief.

Now if Jesus is going to marvel at me, I want it to be because of my faith—not the lack of it. I assume you feel the same way!

So what are the characteristics of a faith that causes Jesus to marvel?

Scripture gives us the answers in the account of the healing of a centurion’s servant in Luke chapter 7:

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant.

 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” (Luke 7:1–3, 6–7, 9)

What an accolade! This centurion—a Gentile—didn’t just have faith, he had great faith!

In this passage of Scripture, we see great faith operating in three significant ways.

First, the centurion believed Jesus was able to heal his servant.

No doubt he’d heard the stories that were spreading like wildfire…This Jesus cleanses lepers! He opens blind eyes! He raises the dead! But the centurion didn’t simply listen to the hearsay, he believed what he’d been told!

That meant that in his moment of crisis, as his servant was close to death, the centurion turned to Jesus, confident that He was able to intervene.

It could be that, like the centurion, you’re in a really tight spot right now. Maybe you can’t see a way forward. Perhaps you’re beginning to lose hope that things could ever be different.

Remember: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). Nothing is too difficult for Him. He is able!

Second, the centurion believed that Jesus was willing to act.

The centurion was confident of that because Jesus had left where He was and come in response to his need.

Perhaps you wonder whether Jesus would do the same for you?

Friend, He already has! Jesus left the glories of heaven and came to this world for you. He wore stripes on His back and thorns on His head for you. He went to the cross to meet your deepest need.

As Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

Nothing in your life escapes Jesus’ loving care. He is willing!

The third way you can see the centurion’s great faith in action is in his reliance on Jesus’ word alone.

As Jesus begins to make His way to his house, the centurion speaks out with both boldness and humility: “Say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:7).

He doesn’t ask for a sign. He doesn’t stop to consult his feelings. He doesn’t ask for people’s opinions. He doesn’t even need to see any material evidence. He simply takes Jesus at His word.

Friend, this is the kind of faith that makes Jesus marvel…

I believe God is able. I’m convinced He is willing. And His Word is all the evidence I need!

Of course, the test of that great faith comes when life gets tough. So how can you be ready to keep trusting when things seem to be getting worse?

It’s simple.  You need to have a love affair with your Bible! Because the promises of God are the only fuel that can fan your faith into flame. Getting into the Word and spending time with God’s promises will sustain you in dark times.

That’s why I’d love to send you my message titled The Ups and Downs of Faith today. It’ll help you find more answers in God’s Word to spark great faith in your life—so you can stand firm in Christ even during times of discouragement and darkness.

“The Ups and Downs of Faith” is our way of thanking you for your faithful support to help bring our risen Jesus to a hurting world. Your partnership is truly changing lives as you help proclaim the earthshaking truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection. So request your copy on CD/DVD, or download it today!

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Bayless Conley

Author Bayless Conley

Bayless Conley is a pastor, author, and Bible teacher known for his clear presentation of the gospel and the way he applies the life-changing truth of God’s Word to everyday life. Each week his broadcast, Answers with Bayless Conley, is impacting lives around the world in many languages on TV and online.

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