Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 2 November 2015

 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Mark 11, verses 22-23.

Yesterday I asked “do you believe.”   Here’s the why; here’s the assurance of faith.

Jesus is telling us that we can perform any miracle, no matter how large, imposing, daunting or logically improbable.

Read that again, then stop to absorb it.   What He’s saying can change the way you live.

You see, it’s not enough for us that we fallible people believe.   Jesus logically tells us the spiritual truth that He has done everything necessary to save us from the justice due for our sins. He tells us His truth, then proves it repeatedly in a hundred ways:   all of which come to the cross (which, at this point in Mark, hasn’t occurred but is – literally – dead ahead). Yet He knows us.   He knows we want more, that the sins of our intellect aspire to desire more. Hence, He gives us faith, preaching and proving that, through faith in Him, the miraculous power that is His can be ours as well. Jesus overcomes all.

Don’t go getting the big head.   You and I will never be God.   We can’t be Jesus.   He’s the same Savior who spoke the truth that “Apart from me you can do nothing” (see John 15). He means that in the exact same way that He means that we can do anything through Him.

Anything.

Move a mountain. Make a child. Undertake a big project. Kick a habit.   Save a life.   Fly.   Anything is possible through Jesus.   Literally things aren’t any more complex than this.   It’s a simple truth.

So what about that ‘doubt in their heart’ bit?   Tough one, to be sure.   “If I have faith and I command something to happen and it doesn’t, does that mean I don’t have enough faith?”   Perhaps, but what’s your motivation and have you talked with Jesus about that? “If I have enormous faith and things don’t turn out the way I wanted, does that mean my faith was insufficient?”   Maybe; I’m not God and I don’t know for sure about your situation…have you asked God about it? “I just can’t.” To paraphrase both Jesus and Yoda, “that is why you fail.”

We each have doubts; we’re human.   The ONLY way to handle doubt (meaning “squelch or erase doubt”) is to take our full concerns to Jesus. I just finished reading the book of Job for the umpteenth time and came away, yet again, with the knowledge that human ways aren’t always God’s ways, but God’s ways are better even when we don’t understand them. When doubt clouds faith, the only place to go is to the cross and to align ourselves, once again, with faith in Jesus so that He might grow and expand our faith once more. If we truly say we believe and that Jesus’ words mean what they say, there is no other option.

The assurance of faith, that through Jesus all things in this life become possible, is the guarantee of forgiveness, the spark of empowerment, and the true source of freedom and human liberty. Through faith, the sky is the limit.   What say you?

Lord, I put all my faith in You.   Wherever You are leading me today, I ask only to believe in You that I may follow.

Read Mark 11, verses 12-25.

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