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Friday, July 17, 2009

Are You Putting Great Faith in Your Doubts?

I have enough faith for your problems. I can tell you exactly what you need to do to believe that God will take care of you. I can even make your doubts look silly. Of course, that's because they are your problems. I only struggle when I have my own problems.

Jesus seemed to get upset with His disciples for doing exactly what I do. He rebuked them for doubting His goodness and power when they were in a storm.

One time they were all in a boat rowing across the Sea of Galilee when a storm came up. Sudden storms are frequent on the Sea of Galilee. Often northerly winds push the cold air from the mountains down onto the warm and humid Galilee. Storms are formed within minutes. Most of these men were fishermen and had probably been in a storm like this many times.

Jesus was sleeping in the front of the boat. He was the picture of peace. True peace is known when calmness prevails while there is chaos all around you.

The disciples are afraid of sinking. They wake Jesus and ask Him if He cares that they are about to die. What a question! While we can see their desperation, should there be any question about His caring for them?

Maybe they thought He couldn't do anything about the storm. The question may have been rhetorical. Maybe they were saying that He needed to be awake for what was about to happen. Is there any question that He lacked the power to save them? Did He ever leave that impression?

He stopped the wind and calmed the sea. He said, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" They had failed to see who He is.

We don't have such a great excuse. We know who Jesus is but somehow have put great faith in doubting Him. We have have doubts in our faith because we have faith in our doubts. We have more faith in our fears than we do in who our Lord is.

Of course, I can point these things out and know they are true. I can tell you what we should believe until the time comes for me to believe them. Sudden storms come upon all of us. I seem to exhibit my faith best when my feet are on dry land while you are rowing a sinking boat. I believe Jesus would ask me why I have no faith. I don't have a good answer.

I must lose faith in my doubts if I am ever to peace in the storms of life. There are two prayers that I often say during these storms. One is recorded in Mark 9:24. A man has brought his demon possessed boy to Jesus. Jesus' disciples were unable to cast out this demon. Jesus tells the man that all things are possible to him who believes. The man said my prayer, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!"

The second prayer is said by Peter after he has gotten out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. He has had the faith to get out of the boat and to momentarily walk on the water but he starts putting his faith in the wind and the sea rather than Jesus. He begins to sink in the water and cries out, "Lord, save me!"

These will have to be my prayers until I have the complete faith that eliminates doubt.

Do you really doubt whether Jesus cares for your situation? Do you really think He is powerless to do anything about it?

I didn't think so.

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