August 16

And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3:16

Peter here reminded the crowd that they knew the weakness and helplessness of the man who had been suddenly and unexpectedly healed.  He did this to emphasise that the healing came from God.  He then further emphasised that it was faith that came from God, not the apostles, that had healed this man.  If we exalt our faith as something we have achieved, we are trusting in a weak thread that will snap at the slightest strain.  There is a faith that comes from human striving or imagination but it is weak and ineffective.  Imagine a man drowning in the midst of a stormy sea.  The search-and-rescue helicopter locates him and lets down a rope, with the simple instruction: “Hold tight to the rope, and we will lift you up over the rocks and the cliffs, and set you down in about 20 minutes.”  The man looks at the slippery wet rope, considers for a moment his exhausted, weak arms, and then chooses to try his luck with the storm rather than risk falling onto the rocks.  But then a strong member of the crew climbs down a rope ladder, reaches down with both hands and instructs the man, “Lift your hands up to me so that I can grip you.”  The man lifts up his weak hands, and feels the iron grip close around his forearms.  In the same way, we reach out to Christ in weak response, and find to our amazement that we are filled with a confidence and strength that are not our own.  Thank God for the faith that comes to us from God as we reach out to Him.