Sacred Encounters Lesson Nine

February 28, 2024
Lesson 9 artwork: Tabitha Raised to LIFE! by Isaac Horton
Lesson 9 artwork: Tabitha Raised to LIFE! by Isaac Horton

Lesson Nine: People Encounter Jesus Through the Work of the Disciples

Scripture: Acts 9:36–43

The community of faith relies on the power of Jesus Christ in times of crisis.

The following text is adapted from Fontaine’s article, “Faith in times of crisis.” The citation and link to the article are below.

No matter how devastating, irreversible, or hopeless things seem when you are facing a major setback or a life-threatening situation, people of faith can choose to actively trust in the loving and saving grace of Jesus, and refuse to let go of that abiding trust. Faith is not the absence of fear; faith is what overcomes fear. As we read in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Even though we live with the knowledge that God will ultimately make things right in the next life, that assurance doesn’t lessen the struggles of painful experiences or death here on earth. Of course, we’re not able to sit comfortably in the next life right now, so we must deal with the present! It is natural to be fearful when we’re in the midst of a bad situation and can’t see any way out, but this is when faith comes to the fore. As Psalm 46 reminds us:

God is our refuge and strength,

    a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam,

    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

    the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

    God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar; the kingdoms totter;

    he utters his voice; the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

None of us knows what lies ahead. We often can’t know if that setback we’re facing or the things we’re suffering will be gone in a minute or a month, or if they will last a lifetime. What faith knows is that the Holy One will not leave us comfortless; but will walk with us.

What are the challenges that you’re facing? What worries loom large when you have a moment of quiet? Will you rely on the assurance that God is, indeed, with us? Even when you feel that momentary sinking feeling,  remember to place your trust in the one who lived, died, and rose again for us, Christ our Savior.

Adapted from, Fontaine, Maria “Faith in times of crisis” (Activated, April 2020),


This blog is the last in a series of nine blogs.

Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA), Inc. publishes an annual Bible study. Sacred Encounters is the study for this year. You can purchase a Sacred Encounters Bible study book (HZN23100) and study along with us. Call 800/533-4371 or order online.