Your stomach drops. Your heart races. You realize you’ve lost something important. Whether it’s a credit card, a wallet, a phone, or a purse, we’ve all experienced that feeling and it is one of the worst in the world.
Then comes the search, as you look in all the usual spots: the car, your room, couch cushions, everywhere. You retrace your steps. You consider calling on a search party.
And then comes that rush of relief: the server held on to your credit card; you find your purse in your car; or you discover your wallet wedged between the cushions on the couch. All the fears and worst case scenarios melt away. Your heart resumes its normal rate again.
Look long enough and most personal items can be found. But what about something abstract like hope? Can one ever truly find it? In Matthew 8 we see Jesus interact with a Roman centurion. More importantly we find an answer. Read Matthew 8:5-13 here:
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!”
“I will come and heal him,” He told him.
“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.
Jesus praised the centurion’s faith. Jesus pronounced the servant would be cured. The servant was cured at that very moment. When the centurion got home, he found his servant healthy, healed, and alive.
Faith is trust. Jesus praised the centurion for his faith. He showed faith through his willingness to trust Jesus. He trusted that Jesus could heal his servant right there on the spot without ever venturing into the servant’s presence.
Jesus doesn’t simply want us to trust in Him or to find our hope in Him for certain things. He wants us to find hope in Him for all things. He wants us to trust in Him for everything.
The centurion’s journey to faith culminated in finally asking Jesus for help, yet asking for help can be the hardest thing to do. “Jesus, help me” is one of the most honorable things we could ever say. The person who has what he thinks he needs doesn’t ask for help. The spiritually destitute person has nothing to offer … and that is exactly what God requires of us.
Trusting Jesus is allowing Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. When we learn to lean on Christ, we open the door to let hope in. We are not exempt from trouble. We are not exempt from hurt and brokenness, but we can have a confidence that Jesus has overcome the world and our past. There is hope in surrendering to Him.
Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tenn. Cross Point has grown to reach more than 5,000 people each weekend through its five campuses located around the Nashville area and online. Follow Pete on Twitter @pwilson or read his blog at WithoutWax.tv.