Saturday, 1 December 2018
Imagine you trust someone totally, without any hesitation or doubt . You trust that person with your life and you know for sure that they would never let you down, betray you, or in any way hurt you.
I suppose, that is having faith in an individual. To trust someone to the extreme. That's faith.
Christ often spoke about faith. He said if we had very little faith, as little as a mustard seed, we could move mountains. Often, when He healed people He said: Your faith has healed you. Has made you well.
What He meant is, "Your faith in Me, in my power to heal you, to want to heal you, has made me heal you. Your faith has made you well."
So in essence, our faith and our trust in God, in Jesus, is the basis by which, through which, we are healed. The basis through which our prayers are answered. Our faith, our trust, opens the door, the channel, the opportunity for God to answer our prayers, and give us healing, or whatever we ask for, both for ourselves and for others.
So, if faith is the key, the first step, to answered prayers. Then where does faith come from?
Is it something we have ourselves? Something we create and build within us? We decide to have faith, to have trust, in God?
Or is faith a gift from God. Through His grace we have faith. Perhaps in different amounts depending on who we are.
What if we are one of those people whose faith is frail. Weak. Hesitant.
We may have faith when things are going OK in our lives; but then when things go wrong, really wrong, we hesitate. We are not so sure that God is listening. Will listen. Whether He will respond positively to our prayers and our needs.
What if our faith is fragile in times of crisis?
Is that our fault? Is it because we are somehow found wanting in our beliefs? Or is it because this is the amount of faith we have been give by the grace of God?
Don't misunderstand me here ... I am not saying that it is God's fault if I do not have enough faith.
What I am asking is how culpable am I if in my moment of weakness, in my moment of fear, in my moment of confusion, I am not so sure whether God will listen and answer my prayers.
And that's when anxiety sets in. Anxiety opens the door to many other evils. Doubt steps in and plays havoc with our beliefs, with our teaching, and with the very essence of what makes us who we are. And this is the devil's playground to use our worries and fears to his own ends.
The disciples had their moments of doubts. Of fears and worries. And of lack of faith. Peter is an excellent example. Thomas too perhaps. No doubt you can think of other examples, like all of them who ran away when Jesus was arrested.
Did they behave in such a way because their faith was weak? Or because they had not been given enough faith by God's grace?
What kept them going? What kept them hold on to their faith and strengthen it even?
Was it the Holy Spirit when He descended on them at Pentecost?
In my frequent moments of weakness I pray: "I believe, Lord; help my unbelief." Mark 9:24