Friday, March 11, 2016

The Gift of Unbending Belief

“… if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.  So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
— Mark 11:23-24 (NRSV)
JESUS’ disciples were stunned to find the fig tree that He had earlier cursed had withered.  Its fruit had died and had begun to rot.  There was such a dramatic effect.  The tree could no longer fulfil its function, that is, to bear fruit.
This is why this story and teaching is doubly salient: the tree did not have the faith to resist its being cursed, and it didn’t continue to fulfil its function, and because of that it was useless.
At times we fail to fulfil our function.  We lose faith, doubt creeps in, and soon we’re rattled and overwhelmed with hopelessness.  Any of the potential fruit in us withers and our lack of faith means we fall short of our purpose.
WHAT is faith other than unbending belief — never more so when there’s plenty of reason to doubt?
We do not get what we desire in this life because of two reasons:
1) we do not have enough faith, and
2) many of the prayers we pray don’t align with God’s will in the first place.  The first problem is actually secondary.
First we need to establish what God’s will is for our situation.  We then align our prayers.  Then we need to ensure our faith in His will is unrelenting — it’s coming to pass.  It’s coming into being because He will not let it not.
These are good examples of God’s will for our lives:
1.     That we commit to growing and don’t despise hard lessons that come.
2.     That we work hard in the direction of our goals and in enduring the frustrations.
3.     That we commit to serving others in the fullness of faith that love makes a difference.
4.     That we remain hopeful, because we know God is good, that our faith helps our experience of living this life.
Commensurately, our prayers need to be:
1.     God, help me to accept the hard things You’re teaching me.
2.     God, help me to work hard, trust the results, and trust especially in bearing with frustration.
3.     God, give me the desire to serve others without thought of gain.
4.     God, help me to trust You when it seems nothing good is happening.
God answers ‘yes’ the prayers of faith prayed in accordance with His will.
The prayer of faith believes for the miracle, and the miracle comes through belief in the prayer of faith.
There is nothing to lose in casting doubt to the wind, and to believe in unbending faith.
Believe in the gift of unbending faith, and God will grow that gift in you through belief.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

No comments: