Aren’t we supposed to be moving mountains, walking on water, feeding many with little to nothing to start with? Are we not supposed to be receiving anything we ask in the name of Christ as long as we are sure that it’s in the Fathers will? What has seemingly happened to many of Christians of this era. Have we, even though we have the complete and inerrant word of God at our disposal, become as the Apostles when they first began their walk with our Lord.
“Why could we not cast him out…” “Because of your unbelief.” (Matt. 17:19-20) When we ask in His name a request that we have, are we asking to “…consume it upon our own lust.” (James 4:3) Are the desires of our heart the desires of our Father in heaven, or simply items we think or believe we need, things that will make our lives easier, less stressful, less troubling. Are we praying that we would be happy continuously, when we should know that happiness is just the worlds cheap imitation of the joy of the Lord that the Christian believer has. Do our prayers reflect the will of God, or me, myself and I, this is what I think would be best for me, Lord, so bless me in this or I may begin to doubt.
Perhaps for some of you that are reading this now, the suffering you are experiencing seems too much, too terrible to endure, but if He was to remove it, would you grow in your trust and faith in our Lord, do you believe your faith in His providence in your life would be just fine where it is without any type of suffering, thank you very much for the offer anyway Lord. Why are so many people who call themselves Christians in great despondency and disheartenment saying, “I don’t know why God is allowing this is my life, I just don’t think I deserve this.” What has happened to “Thy will be done.”
“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt” (Matt. 14:31) Have many of us started like Peter was at that moment when Jesus said, “Come to me, walk on the water” (Matt. 14:29), lost what He has blessed us with. The initial excitement of being called to do a task that God Himself has appointed us to do, the fact of the knowledge that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13), infuses every core of your being, the joy overflowing in you that you have been chosen by our Lord to do a work for His glory, and that He will enable you to do it. And then you look around, then the doubts begin to show up, “Maybe I’ve gotten myself in too deep here, I know the Lord is my Shepherd, but maybe I was wrong, maybe I have misinterpreted this supposed call, maybe I should think about this a little more. Maybe my faith is not what it should be, but I don’t think I want to go through this so that He can strengthen it, maybe there’s another way.” O, why do we doubt, why can’t we always trust.
I was in a men’s Bible study once where I was laughed at and mocked when I mentioned that if there was a little child out there in the ocean that was drowning, if God wanted me to run out there on the water and save her, then that’s what would happen. Am I wrong to exhibit this type of faith, should I just stick with food and raiment and never seek anything more, perhaps if I pray hard enough my wife and I will have a warm place to sleep this winter. Our small prayers must sometimes seem so pathetic to a God of infinite wealth, a Sovereign Lord who has not something to offer, but everything. Our faith that He can and will provide all of our needs, and many of our wants, can be hindered so easily.
“Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith, how is it that ye have no faith.” (Matt. 8:26 and Mark 4:40) My friends, what storms can you not weather with Him? These men were afraid in this tempest, with the waves crashing over the ship, they were sure they were going to die, and I can sympathize. I have caught a glimpse of the face of death several times in my life, and at those moments, I was afraid. A moment of fear does not mean a lack of faith continuously, but the more of these moments He allows to come upon us, the shorter those moments become, and the stronger our faith in our precious Lord, who faced the greatest fear anyone will ever face, a fear those who are truly His children will never have to face, separation from God, for He has borne that fear for us.
If you have even glanced at the television over the last several years you have noticed that for ever small ache and pain, we are to take a pill, seek medical attention if we sneeze, have a DNA study done ‘just in case.’ I am not of course speaking here of a severe illness, nor will I begin the debate of “God’s will” versus ‘He has blessed us with doctors’, the question is one of faith. We tend to ask for the smallest most minute blessings from our Lord when we have at our disposal the entire Kingdom of Heaven, (Eph. 3:20) and of course we should be extremely humbled that He even hears us, but as it is said in the book “Introduction to the Devout Life” by Francis de Sales, “He who can find pearls will not stop to pick up shells.”
“If ye had faith as a mustard seed…” (Luke 17:6) I am afraid to say it, but many of the Christians that I have met over the years have not even shown faith as small as that little seed. It generally seems that their faith is dependent on their circumstances, what is going on in their lives, not the Word of God and His unfailing promises. For some it seems that that they do not feel or believe that God should even recognize their existence, for they do not believe they are worthy of His incredible abundance of blessings that He freely offers, so their faith stays small, and when they do ask for anything they ask like the waves, (James 1:6) and do not receive. Is anything impossible for God?
One of the church’s my wife and I attended for about a year wanted to do some renovations to the building, but instead of seeking the Face of God and His wonderful provisions, (Psalm 50:10) they decided to set out a large glass bowl and asked the congregation to bring in their leftover change each Sunday morning. This is the limited, small faith that many have fallen into, the trap that say’s ‘Let’s not ask God for too much, we wouldn’t want to seem a burden or too grabby.’ Not to seem obtuse, but I don’t think God thinks much about small change, unless you are at a parking meter, and didn’t think you had any change on you. (Did you remember to thank Him at that moment?)
My brothers and sisters, “It is the Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32) “He that spared not His own Son…” (Rom. 8:32) Is our Lord and Savior going to have to repeat what He said in Matthew 17:17 to this generation, have we for the most part decided that little faith is okay, are we satisfied with the crumbs. God does not make us take a test that we have already passed, but He in His infinite mercy does prepare us for the test to come, and for many of us I believe these tests of faith may prove to be too much, our faith may waver instead of growing. You cannot, let me repeat that, you cannot lose your salvation, but if your faith and trust in Christ is not growing without the test in your life, what makes you think it will grow when the test comes. Does He need to prove His love for you every day, day after day, or can you find rest in Him no matter the circumstances.
“The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17)