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Friday, February 18, 2011

Fear of lacking faith

Someone sent me this today via email. I like it.

Fear of lacking faith
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
With reference to Mark 9:14–29. The Bible is full of limitless promises of blessing – healing, forgiveness, restoration, provision, guidance, grace – and the key to all of these is faith. If you believe, the Bible tells us, you will receive. The problem is many of us struggle to muster up enough faith (or rather we fear that we don't have enough) to receive them. And yet, according to Jesus, we don't need very much. In fact, faith as small as a mustard seed will move a mountain (Matt. 17:20)! I don't know about you but I find that rather discouraging. If that amount of faith is considered 'tiny', well there's not much hope for me. But then I read today's wonderful passage about a father with a son afflicted by an evil spirit. With his child ill, and no hope in sight, he summons up the courage to speak to Jesus in a rather hesitant 'if you can perhaps you might' sort of way. Jesus points out his lack of faith then goes on to say that everything is possible if you believe. This is not a wishful thinking kind of belief, but rather faith in Jesus' willingness, power and ability to act. Then the man says: 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.' Perhaps a paraphrase of this could be: 'I believe that You can; but if faith is needed on my part, I don't think I've got enough of it. But I know You're the source of everything so can You give me what I need?' This man recognised that the faith he needed to believe for the miracle he yearned for could only come from God. He could not whip it up himself; and neither can we. There is no need to fear that you do not have enough faith: you don't, but God does.

Mark 9:14-29 (New International Version, ©2010)
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 
15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 "What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 
18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
19 "You unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. 
22 "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."
24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.

Favorite Bible Quote, Believe or Belief, Faith, 


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