Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Absence of Faith


 
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” – James 1:6-8

There are times when we pray that we just cannot see how God can give us what we desire.  Doubts are present where faith is absent.  Faith is multi-facetted, with each facet being an areas in which God tests and proves to us His power.  It is only as strong as it is tested and proven.  Our faith is often lacking in the areas that we have not fully understood the power of God.  For example, if we have never seen miraculous healing occur, we have trouble believing it is possible.  The Apostle Thomas had doubts about Jesus’ resurrection for that same reason – he could not see how it could be possible.  In that area, Thomas’ faith had not been tested and proved.  Peter, stepping out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus found that his faith had not been fully developed for the sport of water walking as well.  Yet in both incidents, Jesus was there to help them overcome their unbelief by showing Thomas his nail scarred hands, and by reaching out to Peter and raising him out of the water.

James says that a man that doubts is double-minded, meaning his mind is wavering, uncertain, and divided.  He also says that he is “unstable in ALL his ways”, meaning his conduct, feeling, and decisions are inconsistent and restless.  He cannot fully trust God because his faith is shifting, as sand under the feet. 

We are all unstable on every point of faith at some point in our walk with Christ.  But from the time we first believe in Him until we die, He works to perfect that faith in us.  Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8), and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without it, we cannot please God.  It also tell us that we are rewarded for our faith.

God would never require of us something that was not within our grasp.  In Luke 17:5 the apostles said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”  He tells them how little faith is needed (as much as a mustard seed) to accomplish great things.  In Mark 9:23-24, Jesus has a conversation with the father of a young boy who was suffering from an unclean spirit causing him to have seizures and be thrown into the fire.  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”, and the father replied through tears “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  Jesus immediately cured his son, which built the father’s faith. 

We can ask for God to do the same thing.  We can pray and ask Him to grant us more faith, so we can fully trust Him and not be unstable in our ways.  God wants to increase our faith. 

 More verses on faith:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

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