Sunday, March 13, 2016

Enablement to Overcome Doubt and Disbelief

UV 1697/10000 Enablement to Overcome Doubt and Disbelief
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9 v 24

A part of us believes or trusts God and a part of us disbelieves or doubts. The father of the child who was possessed and often thrown into the paroxysm of some kind of fits wanted badly to believe, to think it was possible for God or Jesus to heal him. But he needed the help of Jesus to believe in this wonderful possibility as against the miserable reality he had experienced since the boy’s early days. All of us need divine help to believe and help to overcome our disbelief. Part of our disbelief comes from the fact that in our experience it has not happened before. Part of our disbelief come from our distrust of the character of God. Part comes from our own sense of guilt and incompleteness or inadequacies. The irony is that the greater our self confidence and the greater our knowledge of the world, the greater is the doubt and the inability to believe. We need to disbelieve the world and what we have been taught and learnt this far in order to believe the Lord. We need grace to enable us to overcome disbelief, distrust and doubt. Unbelief is of different kinds: it ranges from total disbelief to varying proportions of doubt and belief. Elsewhere Jesus had said, “ A little faith can move mountains” implying that a little faith mixed with a lot of doubt can also cause wonders to happen. However, in every situation, our first response is likely to be the natural and rational before it turns to the spiritual, supernatural and the miraculous. Faith begins as tiny as a mustard seed but over time and experience of the grace and power of the Lord, it becomes the primary plant of fruitfulness in our lives. That seed sends down roots of the Word into the subsoil of our souls. It then sends up the shoot of faith and the branches of testimony- the branches of healing and deliverance, the branches of victory and power, the branches of blessings and the fruit of the Spirit. There might be other trees in our garden of life like that of reason, diligence, talent and skill but the greatest tree would be the tree of faith. Answered prayers are the sap that rises up this tree.

The response of the father came as a kind of prayer to Jesus. For Jesus had said that “ all things are possible for him who believes.” Belief removes the lid of limitation on all our possibilities. We believe for instance that medicine can heal a disease. But we also need to believe that the Lord can heal without medicine. His word is sufficient to heal us. He can also heal through medicine. The disciples could not cause the healing of the dumb boy. Jesus was disappointed at their lack of faith. Their faith had not expanded enough for them at this point in time to enable them to cast out the spirit in that afflicted boy. They too needed to pray, “ Lord, help us overcome our unbelief and help us believe nothing is impossible for You and us in You.” Faith is pushing the limitations of what the Lord can do in our lives. He is infinite, unlimited and can do all things- the difficult and the seemingly impossible.

Our natural conditioning to believe in the physical realities of the world around us. Our experience of the rational and logical world of cause and effect tends to limit our faith. Our existing knowledge of the world and its laws causes us to doubt. But constant flexing of the muscle of faith in prayer, affirmation of our faith in the promises of God and His assertion that nothing is impossible for him who believes that God has infinite power to do the impossible causes the miraculous, the marvellous and the supernatural. Our position changes from the natural, “ We see, therefore we believe” to “ We believe, therefore we experience.”

Prateep V Philip

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