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  • Pastor Charlie Rivens

The Gift of Extraordinary Faith - 1 Corinthians 12:9; Acts 27:33-44



You may be confused why “faith” should be listed as one of the supernatural charismata (spiritual gifts). Doesn’t every Christian have faith? “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” says Hebrews 11:6. Our very salvation depends upon at least a measure of faith, says Ephesians 2:8.

Perhaps the way to synthesize the various Scriptures is to view the “gift of faith” as the Spirit’s grant of special resolve and power to believe for the impossible despite difficult circumstances. Paul certainly needed that on his scary voyage across the Mediterranean in today’s reading. The hurricane-force gale simply would not let up. He and the 275 others aboard the creaking ship stood every chance of drowning. Yet he stood up before them all and declared, “I have faith in God that [survival] will happen just as he told me” (Acts 27:25).

And in fact, that is what happened. No lives were lost in the end.

A pastor’s wife in Windsor, Ontario, was praying about a needy family with six children in the congregation. Their van, perhaps 15 years old, was breaking down repeatedly. And then … “I started to feel that God was saying in response, ‘Give them your van,’” says Cathy Ciaramitaro.

The only trouble was, this pastoral couple had five children of their own at home. Their Ford Aerostar van, less than two years old, was their main form of transportation. How would they get everybody to school, church, and other activities? Yes, they also had an old sedan. But it seated only five with any comfort. And their teenagers were getting taller by the month.

She approached her pastor-husband with the idea. His response was swift: “No, Cathy. Don’t be ridiculous.”

But she could not escape the impression that they should give this family their van. The couple prayed for wisdom. Then the old sedan began to develop one mechanical problem after another. Through a series of events they became convinced that God was trying to get them off dead center.

They gave the couple the Ford Aerostar—and waited, wondering what to do next. They didn’t tell a soul (except their kids) what they had done. Two days later, a new attender at the church walked into the office and asked to see the couple. Sitting down, he began, “During last week, I started feeling as if God was telling me to buy you a vehicle. I wrestled with the idea all weekend. Now I’m sure that I heard God’s direction correctly. What kind of vehicle would you like?”

By evening, the nearly speechless Ciaramitaros were the owners of a brand-new Chrysler van, with more bells and whistles than they’d ever seen. Their extreme faith had been rewarded.

“God has better things in store for his people than we can even imagine,” says Cathy. “As we listen to his voice and exercise our faith, there’s no predicting what will unfold.” Holy Bible App.

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