10 Jan FAITH – More Than Just Knowledge
As I began to think about the word “faith” and what to say about it that might be encouraging, I’ll be honest and say that I felt a little stuck. I couldn’t think of why the Lord gave me this word to write about…it seemed like I was the wrong messenger. I said a quick prayer asking the Lord to reveal His purpose to me, and within minutes I stumbled upon Mark 9 and was reminded of the type of faith the father had in this story…a type of faith I could relate to. In the story a father brings his son who is overcome with an evil spirit to Jesus, begging Him to heal him after a failed attempt by the disciples to try to cast out the spirit on their own.
Mark 9:21-24 says, “And Jesus asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘ “If you can”! All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’”
I love how, in the very same breath, the father proclaims his belief in Jesus, but confesses that it’s not enough… that He needs help to really trust. Becca Lafferty, a blogger, said, “This sort of active faith and confession leads to true reversal of evil in the world. Faith comes from hearing the word of God and pressing in to God through prayer. Even when we are faced with unbelief or uncertainty.”
“I believe, help me in my unbelief” has been the cry of my heart for the past year. I’ve literally repeated the words in my head hundreds of times as I’ve fought feelings of doubt and lack of trust. As I say these words and let my heart rest in the fact that I don’t have to have it all together, I get to experience faith. Real trust in Christ, NOT reliance on myself. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” When I take my eyes off of God and the hope He offers and instead put them on my circumstances or people in my life, I’m choosing not to trust what I know is true about Him and I’m most likely going to be disappointed and unfulfilled. On the other hand, when I choose to keep my eyes on Him despite my ever-changing circumstances and trust what He says about where my hope comes from, despite what I might see or feel, I am living out FAITH.
Faith requires us to have confidence in our knowledge of what the Bible tells us we can hope for, as well as the kind of trust in God’s Word that changes the way we live. We can intellectually believe facts that the Bible declares about Jesus all day, but until we turn this into something our hearts rely on and until we live in accordance with these beliefs, we just simply know something…we don’t have faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “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.”
This is faith…putting ourselves at risk in order to truly trust and follow Christ, and having an ACTIVE confidence in a God that has proven Himself over and over again.