This issue looks at the results of unwavering faith.
SINCE YOU ASKED
According to your faith be it unto you (Matthew 9:29).
That pretty much says it all. Eight little words powerfully and simply tell us why we seem to encounter so many defeats. Oh, we have our moments of victory when we praise the Lord for what He did for us, but it doesn’t take long until we’re back on the pity pot slurpin’ sorry soup. Up one day, down the next. So, what’s the problem? As this little verse clearly explains it’s our faith, or lack thereof. It says that if our faith is small, God’s blessings will be small. If it is solid and steadfast, God will pour out great things into our lives, despite what may be going on around us.
It’s sobering to realize that the only thing that prevented Jesus from performing miracles was unbelief (lack of faith) on the part of those needing help. It wasn’t that He wouldn’t do them. He couldn’t. Unbelief erected an impenetrable barrier. The same is true in our own lives. God cannot work when we really don’t think He will. How’s your faith these days? Just let someone ask you how you’re doing. Your response will show whether you’re living a life of undaunted faith or a life that’s “under the circumstances.”
AS I SEE IT
Most of our spiritual problems, when reduced to the core issue, result from our insufficient or wavering faith. The faith I’m referring to has nothing to do with “positive thinking” or thinking “happy thoughts.” I’m talking about having faith in the one who has shown Himself to be faithful-in one who is good and is incapable of doing anything that is not good, even when we can’t see the good in it. The faith I’m talking about is what remains after God shakes everything that can be shaken in our lives. This is the faith that defeats discouragement. This is the kind of faith God loves to reward, the “be it unto you” in our verse.
For some of us, when things don’t go our way, discouragement sets in, taking us into the pit. As one who has spent way more time there than I should, I know all about this. It’s easy to blame my occasional misery on my melancholic temperament, but that’s just a copout. In reality, discouragement implies some sort of failure on God’s part to give us what His promises have led us to expect from Him. It says that God disappointed us and implies that maybe He isn’t as good as we thought He was. This is not something I want to go on record as having said, or even thought. Discouragement nearly always results when my focus is on what I want from a situation rather than what God wants. In heaven, I hope to discover what God was accomplishing in all those situations that left me so disappointed.
I have learned that all discouragement is from Satan, and it is our lack of faith (in God and in what He is up to) that allows Satan to enter the picture. The truth is that God has given us all the encouragement we should need as He says so many times throughout Scripture, “Surely I will be with thee.” Every time He sent one of His servants on a mission, He gave this assurance, and He does the same for His children today. If He is with us, who can be against us?
Click here to learn how to receive this kind of faith.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
ELEVEN PLUS TWO:
Rearrange the letters:
TWELVE PLUS ONE