Loliondo:Childlike Faith

Eighty-one-year-old Scolastica Hussein tearfully bid goodbye to her beloved grandchildren at her splendid home on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, doubting whether she would ever reunite with them again.

Scolastica who had seriously battled with diabetes and blood pressure for nearly 23 years, was embarking on a journey to Samunge village — currently referred to as a new ‘Mecca of Africa’- to seek a miracle herbal healing administered by retired Lutheran pastor, Ambilikile Mwasapila in Loliondo, Ngorongoro District.Seventy-six-year-old Mwasapila administers a herbal concoction derived from an indigenous tree called mugariga, which has divine powers to treat diseases that include asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, cancer and HIV/Aids.After a good eight hours of anxiety and stress, she finally arrived in the presumed promised land of Samunge. Fortunately, her turn came and she got her single dose served from a cup.“The miracle medicine absolutely changed my life,” Scolastica told The Guardian on Sunday, adding: “My pressure and diabetes were up, but immediately after having taken the herbal cure, I felt fine”. She returned home a happier grandmother full of life, and praising God.

Childlike Faith

How does God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) give us faith? It is usually through the preached word. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). The message is in the written word, the Bible, and it is in the spoken word, whether a sermon at church or a simple testimony of one person to another.The word of the gospel tells us about Jesus, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit uses this word to enlighten us, and somehow allows us to trust ourselves to this word. This is sometimes called “the witness of the Holy Spirit,” but it is not like a courtroom witness we can ask questions of.

It is more like an internal switch inside us that is flipped, allowing us to accept the good news that is preached. It feels right. Though we may still have questions, we believe that we can live in this message. We can base our lives on it, we can make decisions based on it. It makes sense. It is the best possible choice.God gives us the ability to trust him. He also gives us the ability to grow in faith. The down payment of faith is a seed that grows. It prepares and enables our minds and our emotions to understand more and more of the gospel. It helps us understand more about God as he reveals himself to us in Jesus Christ. To use an Old Testament metaphor, we begin to walk with God. We live in him, think in him, and believe in him.

Doubts

But most Christians struggle with faith at some time or another. Our growth is not always smooth and steady—it comes through trials and questions. For some, doubts come because of a tragedy or severe suffering. For others, it is prosperity or good times that subtly tempt us to rely on material things instead of God. Many of us will face both sorts of challenges to our faith.Poor people often have stronger faith than rich people do. People beset by constant trials often know they have no hope except God, no choice but to trust him. Statistics show that poor people give a higher percentage of their income to the church than rich people do. It appears that their faith (even though not perfect) is more consistent.

The greatest enemy of faith, it seems, is when all goes well. People are tempted to think that it was by their strength or their intelligence that they achieved as much as they have. They lose their sense of child-like dependence on God. They rely on what they have, rather than on God.Poor people are in a better position to learn that life on this planet is full of questions, and God is the least questionable thing they have. They trust in him because all else has proven itself to be untrustworthy. Money, health, and friends are all fickle. We cannot depend on them.Only God is dependable, but even so, we don’t always have the evidence we would like. So we have to trust him. As Job said, even though he kills me, I will trust him (Job 13:15). Only he offers the hope of eternal life. Only he offers a hope that life makes any sense or has any purpose.But still, we sometimes wrestle with doubts. That is simply part of the process of growing in faith, of learning to trust God with yet more of life. We face the choices set before us and once again choose God as the best choice.

As Blaise Pascal said centuries ago, if we believe for no other reason, then at least we ought to believe because God is the best bet. If we follow him and he does not exist, then we have lost nothing. But if we do not follow him and he does exist, we have lost everything. So we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in God, by living and thinking that he is the surest reality in the universe.This does not mean that we will understand everything. No, we will never understand everything. Faith means trusting in God even though we do not always understand. We can worship him even when we have doubts (Matthew 28:17). Salvation is not an intelligence contest. The faith that saves does not come from philosophical arguments that answer every doubt. Faith comes from God. If we rely on having answers to every question, we are not relying on God.

The only reason we can be in God’s kingdom is by grace, through faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we rely on our obedience, or anything else that we do, then we are relying on the wrong thing, an unreliable thing. We need to re-form our faith (allowing God to re-form our faith) into Christ, and him alone. Works, even good works, cannot be the basis of our salvation. Obedience, even to the commands of Jesus, cannot be our source of assurance. Only Christ is trustworthy.As we grow in spiritual maturity, we often become more aware of our own sins, and our own sinfulness. We realize how far we are from Christ, and this can lead us to doubts, too, that God would really send his Son to die for people as perverse as we are.The doubt, no matter how real, should lead us back to greater faith in Christ, for only in him do we have any chance at all. There is no other place to go. In his words and his actions, we see that he knew quite well how perverse we were before he came to die for us. The better we see ourselves, the more we see the need to cast ourselves into the mercy of God. Only he is good enough to save us from ourselves, and only he will save us from our doubts.

Trust

When we realize that God has all power to do anything he wants, and that he always uses it for the good of humanity, then we can have absolute confidence that we are in good hands. He has both the ability and the stated purpose of working all things, including even our rebellion, hatred and betrayal against him and one another, toward our salvation. He is completely trustworthy—worthy of our trust.When we are in the midst of trials, sickness, suffering and even dying, we can be confident that God is still with us, that he cares for us, that he has everything under control. It may not look like it, and we certainly do not feel in control, but we can be confident that God isn’t caught off guard. He can and does redeem any situation, any misfortune, for our good.We need never doubt God’s love for us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). The God who did not spare his own Son can be counted on to give us through his Son everything we need for eternal happiness.

I believe Faith in God can heal -The Loliondo Wonder requires such Childlike faith!That God did indeed speak to Ambilikile Mwasapila in Loliondo and put His healing word in the roots of  a poisonous tree to heal anyone who chooses to believe his word can heal! If you dont have faith it will not work- such is the character of  faith

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