Monday, February 9, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith

Chapter 2...
Encountering Doubt
The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!" Mark 9:24
DOUBT: to be uncertain, question, distrust; to fear.
Our study begins with a qoute from Paul Little, in which he talks about doubt typically being looked upon as evil, but goes on to explain that it can be beneficial and increase faith as it propells us to go beyond an "inherited" faith to
standing on The Rock on our own.
Jesus told the father of a boy posessed by an evil spirit that "Anything is possible if a person believes." To which he replied with the above mentioned verse. I do believe!
Help me believe!
We can all relate to this to some degree, when we are waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer for a family member or friend or ourselves. We are longing for His hand to move and break through the illness, or the addicton, or some other darkness.
We might say,
"I believe, but I am having a hard time in light of what i see here...cancer spreading instead of being cured, a child going deeper into alcoholism, or our finances getting tighter."
How we need the reassurance that Jesus isn't waiting for us to get our faith right, but desiring us to trust in His faithfulness, goodness and power.
There is another response that Jesus honors, the one that says, "I need more faith,
teach me how to get it."
Examples of doubt from scripture:
  1. The Israelites, after their deliverance from Egypt, seeing all the plagues, experiencing passover, being freed, walking through the middle of the Red Sea, came up to the promised land and DOUBTED that they could take it because they looked at the giants in the land instead of trusting God's promise. (Deut 1:19-36) As a result they wandered in the desert for 40 more years. We concluded we didn't want this kind of doubt!
  2. The father of the possessed boy mentioned above. "Lord, help me!" (Mark 9:14-27) Jesus responded with love and deliverance for the boy.
  3. John the Baptist, when imprisoned by Herod for confronting his sin asked if Jesus really was the Messiah or should they look for someone esle? Jesus replied giving testimony of the evidence, being confident that John would "get it". (Luke 7:18-28)
  4. We all know the story of Thomas, "I won't believe it unless I see it and touch it..." (John 20:24-29) Jesus obliged him and then said, "blessed are they that do not see, but believe".
  5. The disciples in a storm-tossed sea, watching Jesus walk on the water toward them, Peter steps out of the boat, walks a little ways, then sees the waves and falls in. Jesus said, "why did you doubt?"
  6. Disciples in a boat, a storm rages, Jesus sleeps and the disciples are fearful and wake Him in a panic. Jesus says, "where is your faith?"

Which one, in your current circumstances are you more like? Israel w/ unbelief? Or the hopeful, yet hesitant father? Or John? Or Thomas?

So how do we grow in faith?

We REMEMBER the works God has already done in our past and in His story, the Bible.

We get to KNOW GOD better by spending time with Him in His word, and in prayer.

Faith is like a plant that has to grow. It has to be developed like a muscle, and it grows through (sorry) trials. If we were not faced with trials, well, you know! We wouldn't need faith.

James 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Let's remember that as we continue to pursue our promised land, there will still be giants to contend with, but we can rely on the Promiser to fulfill His promises to us. Conquor the giants with faith in the One who perfects the things that concern you. (Psalm 138:8)

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
Psalm 108:12,13


Edie said...

I needed this today Kathy. Thank you.

I'm most like John the Baptist right now. He was given a vision and the results weren't what he was expecting to see and it confused him. He began to wonder, did I hear correctly? So he asked. I can totally relate.

Melanie said...

Very good words for today.
I like this..."he will trample down our enemies." Our fight is not against flesh and blood enemies...Praise God that He tramples down enemies of every kind that come against us.