Faith Against Fear & Suffering – by Father Gabriel Alkass
We celebrate St. Ephrem—one of the greatest saints of our church. He was a great teacher, and God gave him so much of the Holy Spirit so that he could interpret the whole Bible. Today, we also recognize the healing of the leper. The verse for today is Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
So, whether it is leprosy, envy, or any sin, we all need spiritual healing. So, we need to remain in our faith and be strong.
Revelations 2:10 says, “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” – what a great verse!
These encouraging words are directed to all of us, especially during this Great Lent. During the Great Lent, we face difficulties or temptations. This is normal. Things must come because God allows them. And that sometimes may shake our faith.
So, suddenly, we wonder and say, “Why does God allow this?” or “Does God love me?” So, if this is what happens, recognize that this is a sign of fear. And fear shakes your faith as well. Many times Satan puts fear in our hearts.
So, we need to suffer. None of us will go to heaven without suffering.
If you memorize this verse, the angels will come and help us. So that’s why one of the Bible characters I admire so much is the Centurion, who called to our Lord about one of his paralyzed centurions. “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof.” But he was convinced with faith that his soldier would be healed.
That’s why the children are victorious over temptation and difficult times. But I am sure none of you want to be defeated by our weaknesses or Satan. So we need to remain faithful.
My second point is to “keep the Lord on your boat.”
Jesus told the disciples to get on the boat to the other side, but the great storm started to break the boat, and water started spilling onto the boat. So, Jesus was sleeping on the boat. And the disciples woke Him up and said, “teacher don’t you care that we are dying?”
That period is the most beneficial time for Christians. He feels every moment of your life, but we need to trust. But the Lord looked at them and blamed them for not having faith, asking “Why are you so afraid?”
The Lord does not want His children to be weak. He wants them to be strong.
You can trust the Lord.
So, in conclusion, my beloved, our life may seem like a storm. But use the verse and trust Him.
Yes, your boat will fill with water. If your heart gets filled with fear or anxiety, and you feel everyone gave up on you, remember the Lord will never do so. The Lord loves you and will never let your boat sink if you rely on and trust him, not in your thoughts and ideas.
Train yourself to decrease your fear and increase your faith through the grace of God.
Learn more from Father Gabriel’s sermon video here.
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May 21, 2023