It is hard for some to have faith in anything. The promises of failed administrations, the broken dreams of a happy home, the hope of a better tomorrow, and the fears of a changing world seem to factor into the thoughts of many who accept the word “doubt” as their mantra.
Despite our circumstances God beckons us to have faith. He wants us to hope for the goodness He wishes to provide for His children. Last week we explored some ideas about faith. Let’s unpack a few more thoughts.
Some Components of Faith
What is it? Do I really need it? Will it help me to be a better disciple?
Some say that they have a hard time believing, accepting, and having great faith. If you are that kind of person you are not the exception. In Mark 9 we read the account of a perplexed father who had brought his epileptic son to the new disciples and asked them to heal him. They were unsuccessful. We don’t know why, maybe it was because of the father’s unbelief or maybe the immature faith of the disciples. This distraught man now asked the living God (Christ) for help. “‘It (the epilepsy) has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’, said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” Mark 9:22-24. Jesus healed that boy and the father’s weak faith.
Jesus can help us in our unbelief. If you have a non-existent or weak faith in God, the Bible tells us that our loving and faithful God will even help us with our doubt. The same way He helped the father of the epileptic boy.
Our Faith Needs to be Childlike
We need to come to Jesus with innocence and trust. We need to look to our Heavenly Father acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers, let alone all the questions. A child’s basic nature is to be dependent and confident in his natural father. Likewise, we are to show that childlike faith. Someone once said, “Feed your faith and doubt will starve to death.” The father in the previous story was feeding his faith. What are you doing with yours?
- Read Psalm 22:9-10
- Read Matthew 19:14
- Read Mark 10:14-15
What is the Cost of Our Faith?
Believing in God would seem on the surface to be a rather harmless thing. According to a survey I read, 90% of Americans believe there is a God. But to truly believe is to have a deep and abiding faith worth living and dying for. Christ told His disciples to count the cost before following Him. If we have strong faith we may be persecuted. There can be a cost to holding firm to your convictions. But then, what value would those convictions have if they weren’t worth defending?
- Read Matthew 10:35-37
- Read Luke 12:51-53
- Read 2 Timothy 3:12
Faith is Most Powerful During Crisis
Once again, we can look to Old and New Testament saints who, with an abiding faith, battled through tremendous challenges to see victory. Even though we may be tested by the threat of war, domestic terrorism, nuclear attacks, sickness, broken homes, or financial collapse our great faith in God Almighty will result in praise, glory, and honor.
We may have affliction; lose our job; have a flood take away our home; experience the death of a loved one, but if we have an abiding faith we know that the ultimate, eternal picture is one that God has painted. Pastor Chuck Swindoll has often said, “Nothing touches you that hasn’t first passed through the loving hands of God”. If we really believe that He has our best interest in mind, then these temporal problems will take their proper place on the eternal timeline.
- Read Psalm 116:10
- Read Isaiah 10:24
- Read Jeremiah 12:5-6
- Read Lamentations 3:21-24
- Read Habakkuk 2:3
- Read Zephaniah 3:15
- Read Matthew 11:3
- Read I Peter 1:7
A Strong Faith has Power
A divine power to overcome temptations, trials and struggles is available to all who believe. You will also have power to do works and tasks greater than what you could have done without the help of the Almighty. You will have an energy and power within you that is unexplainable.
- Read John 14:12
Faith has Rewards
There will be times of healing, spiritual revival, strength, peace, and eternal hope. Hard as it may be we need to see our circumstances from an eternal perspective. If we really believe that “Nothing touches us that hasn’t first passed through the loving hands of God” then we will see that God has it under control. He has our best interest in mind. Our temporal problems will take their proper place on the eternal time-line.
“The Righteous Shall Live By Faith”
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he compares the foolishness of the law with the promises that faith holds. His basic message is that we are free in Christ and are no longer bondservants to the laws, traditions, or personal preferences of others. Because of our maturing faith we can experience the freedom of our salvation. Sorry for the length of this particular devotional. I don’t know about you but taking the time to read the above stated scriptures helps me develop stronger faith.
May God bless you! ~Jim Grassi