A FAITHFUL SLAVE
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Memory Verse: Proverbs 22:6
Further Study: 2 Kings 5; Prophets and Kings, 244-253; The Bible Story, vol. 5, pp. 79-88
My niece is a hospital chaplain. She has discovered something that comforts cancer patients she visits. Many feel hopeless in their current situation. “It’s OK,” she tells them. “Let someone else carry your hope right now.”
It was a thought I found intriguing. We speak of others who carry our burdens. We reference Jesus as the great Burden Bearer. But can someone carry hope or faith for another?
Can someone carry hope or faith for another?
I didn’t have to look far to discover, that indeed, someone else carrying faith on our behalf is absolutely biblical. Do you remember the four friends who carried the paralytic man to Jesus? They not only physically carried him, but they also had faith that Jesus would, indeed, heal him. Jesus didn’t simply acknowledge the faith of the paralytic, but He referenced “their” faith (Matt. 9:2). The four friends faith strengthened their friend in his current situation.
Remember the centurion who came to Jesus to have his servant healed? “You don’t have to come, Jesus. Just say the word,” he said. The servant was healed because of the centurion’s faith (Matt. 8:5-10).
If the story of Naaman were made into a play, who would the star of this story be? Naaman? Elisha? Perhaps you’re thinking as I do that the star was actually the Little Maid. This young girl, held captive in a distant land among unbelievers, had enough faith for all of them. She declared before Naaman ever left, that her master would be healed by the prophet.
This young girl, held captive in a distant land among unbelievers, had enough faith for all of them.
This young slave girl had experienced significant challenges for one so young. She could have been angry or bitter, but instead, she excelled in faith. And it was this faith that led to Naaman’s journey and ultimate healing.
How is your faith today? Is your hope running low? Is your faith in need of support? Remember the friends and family who carry hope for you. If you can’t identify someone, ask. There are those in your neighborhood, congregation, or workplace that will gladly carry hope for your situation until you feel strong enough to do so yourself. The faith of others can carry you to Jesus where, like the paralytic, you will find the ability to walk in assurance.
The faith of others can carry you to Jesus where, like the paralytic, you will find the ability to walk in assurance.
Do you know someone who may need faith-support? Can you stand in the gap for your family and friends? Let them know of your willingness to be a hope bearer. Pray daily not only in your personal devotions, but over the phone or during a visit. Let them know you are there. Give them words of encouragement. And like Naaman, they and you will be renewed.
If one studies the story of Naaman carefully, you will find some interesting contrasts. Re-read the story after reviewing these comparisons.
- Compare the faith of the Little Maid to the king of Israel.
- Compare the response to the letter of the king of Israel to the response of Elisha.
- Compare the pageantry of Naaman to the response of Elisha.
- Compare the response of Naaman to Elisha’s instruction to the response of Naaman’s servants.
- Compare the fate of Naaman to the fate of Gehazi.
Making it Real
There is a hymn in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal that isn’t very well-known, but it expresses this same idea of the need we have for people to “carry” our faith. One way to do this is through prayer. This week, look up No. 505 in the hymnal (I Need the Prayers). If you know the song, sing it! If you don’t, at least read the lyrics aloud. But for family worship learn the tune. You’ll find encouragement in its words as well as inspiration to pray for others.
After you’ve learned the song and sung it several times this week, create a prayer list of people you are committed to help as faith-supporters. Write a note to let them know you are praying for them.
If you don’t have an instrument to play the tune, you can learn it by listening to this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U34-YEhRELY
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.