January 6, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Christian, have you ever felt like a faith-failure? Have you ever been told, “It’s because of your lack of faith that this or that didn’t happen”? According to the “Name it, Claim it, and Frame it” way of thinking, “You can have anything you want and ask for, if you have complete faith that you will get it!” And when it does not come to pass, it is because your faith is weak and wavering!
I am not of this camp! Yes, Jesus did say in Mark 11:22 through 24:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
“Be removed, and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but
believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he
says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe
that you receive them, and you will have them.
…and I do not doubt His word! But it is also written in I John 5:14 and 15:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, what-
ever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
So the caveat here is that whatever we ask must be in accordance with the will of God! Then, we will receive that for which we ask! So search the Word, and when it is plain to you that whatever you are asking is the will of God, “…ask, and it will be given to you…” (Luke 11:9). But also remember, it is in God’s timing, not ours!
Now to our scripture for today. Being rather lengthy, I will reproduce it here in part – Mark 9:17, 21 through 24:
Then one from the multitude…said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has
a mute spirit….So He [Jesus] asked his father, How long has this been happen-
ing to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him
both into the fire and into the waters to destroy him. But if You can do any
thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can
believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father
of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
And Jesus cast out the demon and healed the boy!
This marvelous healing has always encouraged me! You see, I don’t have perfect faith. After being a Christian for 48 years, a pastor for going on 42 years, and studying the scripture for decades, my faith is still wavering at times! It seems that God has given me an analytical mind, and I need to delve deep into the ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’ of a matter – and come to an understanding of how it works – before I can put my complete faith in something.
Yes, I have my doubts – not that God exists, “…and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him…” (Hebrews 11:6) – but about things like, “Is it God’s timing to heal this cancer now?” or, “Will He give me that new car this week or must I learn to be satisfied with what I already have?” A million other things could be put in place of the two I have just mentioned!
So I do not have perfect faith! And I reckon that I will have my doubts about some things until I see Him face to face! I am absolutely sure about that!!!! But Jesus takes Faulty Faith and makes it Functional! As He did with the doubting father almost 2000 years ago, our Lord still honors shaky faith! Talk about encouragement! I’m so glad God chose to include this incident in the Bible record.
What about you, Christian? Do you tend to beat yourself up because you don’t have perfect faith? Do you believe that God just won’t answer your prayers without faith unwavering? Then take heart! The Lord honors even Faltering Faith and makes it Functional!
Faltering Functional Faith – continue your believer’s walk with a little more confidence!