Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh Ye of Little Faith


Do you have it? If you are like me there have been times in your life when you have worried, you have been fearful, or you have doubted. The disciples certainly had these human emotions.

Luke 12:27-28... Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 8:25-26... And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Matthew 14:30-31... But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

In the verses above Jesus counters the human emotions of His disciples by telling them they should increase their faith to counter their fraility.

It sounds like a great plan, but what is faith?

Scriptually we only have one definition for faith. It is found in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews at the first verse…..Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

In his book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozier he reminds us that the definition of faith given in Hebrews is only a functional definition, not a philosophical one. It assumes the presence of faith and shows what it results in, rather than what it is. Tozier also advises we would be wise to go just that far and attempt to go no further. To attempt to go further in my own opinion would be to place words in God’s mouth and we certainly can never assume where the Lord is concerned. Tozier explains we are told from whence [faith] comes and by what means: “Faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8),” and Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).”

Faith in action is best seen in the Old Testament story told in the book of Numbers (Numbers 21: 4-8) where the wandering people were being plagued with snakes. The Lord provided Moses with a remedy in that a serpent of brass was placed on a pole where everyone could see it. By gazing upon the serpent people would be saved even if they were bitten. Jesus refers to the serpent story in John 3 within His explanation regarding how man can be saved.

Jesus explains man is saved by one simple act of faith……by believing. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3: 14-15).

It’s so simple yet faith can be hard virtue for many people. Perhaps as Tozier implies it is because it is the least self-regarding of the virtues. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. In today’s society we are encouraged to be self-fixers but Tozier explains when we take our eyes off ourselves and place them on God faith begins to look out instead of in and the whole life falls into line.

Who needs the next greatest self-help book? We already have the best one, and it tells us to have faith, look to God, and follow His word.


Susan said...

Loved the eye analogy - really helpful...enjoyed new way of putting 'let thine be single'..inspired me!

amijane said...

Thank you so much. This helped me a lot. I was beginning to fret and get frustrated with a current situation I have. And everyone turned their backs on me, so I had no one but God to turn to for help. In the midst of this he worked a miracle for me. However, the holy ghost is at rest in me and I let my own thoughts and doubt creep in. And I remembered how Jesus was suprised at his disciple about them being concerned about them and the people having enough food. I don't know what bible verse it is. I found your website and I have all the references I need. Thank you. The bible references and your text touched me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic,I loved the read, I've bookmarked this site. 10/10

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic,I loved the read, I've bookmarked this site. 10/10

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