Confrontation Of Faith
Posted on November 1, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“What do you mean, ‘If I can?’” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” —Mark 9:23-24 (NLT)
Guess I’ll start this off with a little diddy we find in the Book of Deuteronomy, “And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut 8:2). I don’t think its deliberate but I believe every so often we tend to forget what we’ve been saved from so we need a reminder once in those while’s. Now for some of us the following verse has been quoted when those times of testing comes up, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3).
Now I don’t know about you but, “Consider it all joy?” HA-HA!! It’s hard to feel the joy of some those trials when the horizon has no defining end, right? If you’re sitting there reading this and disagreeing with me, that’s fine, but don’t tell me that your faith is such that no testing is required. We all have to have it tested, its when it treads into unbelief that we’ve gotta be careful.
I once read this in a Tozer devotional… “Now, it is well known that people do not go boldly to God and profess that they have no confidence in Him, and no one except the rare professional unbeliever is willing to witness publicly to his low view of God. The frightful thing, however, is that people everywhere act out their unbelief with a consistency that is more convincing than words.” OUCH!!
When Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration, He walks into a crowd of people surrounding His disciples. “What’s all this arguing about?” asked Jesus. The answer from a distraught father tells the tale and he’ll end it with, “So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit but they couldn’t do it.” Well, Jesus will pretty much rebuke everyone there for their lack of faith. He’ll also ask them, “What are ya gonna do when I ain’t around?” (I’m paraphrasing that) “Without faith, you are going to be helpless.”
Jesus will ask for the boy, ask for details and then the father will say, “Have mercy on us and help us, if You can.” Uh-oh…I’m not too sure what kinda expression would have been on Jesus’ face but whatever it was, after He asked, “What do you mean, ‘If I can?’ Anything is possible if a person believes” it brought out a confession. That confession resonates in Christianity to this day. “I do believe. Please help me overcome my unbelief.”
Let me ask this question. Why is it that when we find ourselves in the valley of defeat we’ll cry out, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can”? Are we more confident to ask something of El Elyon when it’s something we think can handle even if He doesn’t do anything? Billy Graham gave this answer once, “Remember: If our faith is weak, it may not be obvious when life is going smoothly and we aren’t challenged in anyway. But when hard times come, a weak faith will be revealed for what it really is: shallow and unable to help us through life’s difficulties.”
I’m guilty of being the father in Mark 9. I went to the wrong sources to help get me out of a bad situation a few years back and that situation hasn’t gotten any better. I didn’t go straight to the source, through prayer, to help. That moment of unbelief has had its consequences and I see why through this passage of Scripture. No one went straight to prayer first, we all went into negotiations and when that failed that’s when everyone decided to pray. “Ce n’était pas bon!!” (That wasn’t good)
When we aren’t exercising our faith through prayer we are sowing into our unbelief with selfishness. I’ll agree with Tozer that we won’t tell God straight up we have no confidence in Him, but we’ll sure act like it. We’ll forget the wilderness moments that got us saved in the first place and God, in His infinite wisdom, will allow us to wander in the wilderness longer than we thought we should so that our unbelief is removed from our hearts. But I’ll also agree with Jesus when He had to tell His disciples that what they were dealing with wasn’t gonna go out from the boy by anything but prayer.
The next time you confronted and have to consider it all joy may the words of David be the mediation of your heart, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” AMEN!?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
The Daily Bible Reading: Matthew 20-21 | You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here
Daily Quote: “Human unbelief cannot alter the character of God,” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord. — Lamentations 3:26