Thursday, December 1, 2011

MrsDrPoe: "How Is It That You Have No Faith?"

Welcome to another Theology Thursday on the blog!  As usual, I invite you to open up your Bibles with me as we look into another portion of God's word.

One of the threads running through the book of Mark is that fear causes faith to grow or shrink.  If we look at Jesus' calming of the storm in 4:35-41, we see one particular example.  In this passage, Jesus and some of His disciples are on a boat crossing the sea of Galilee when a "great windstorm" comes up.  The disciples are frantic, thinking they are about to die while Jesus is asleep on a pillow.  (Note: Many of these men were fishermen by trade who had grown up on these waters; this must have been some storm to have seasoned seamen so shaken up.)  They wake Jesus, who calms the storm with three words and then asks, "Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?"

We may think to ourselves, "Isn't that a little harsh?  These people left everything they had to follow Him!"  Indeed they had a great enough faith to leave their old lives; however, when their faith was tested by their fear of the storm, it failed.

This example should be an important one for us- it shows that we cannot be stagnant in our faith.  We can't assume that we have "great faith" because once several years ago we believed in the risen Savior.  If our faith isn't growing, it's shrinking.

Just like we grow in bodily strength through weight-resistance, we grow in faith through resisting temptations.  When we fear ridicule for speaking up about our faith, speaking up anyway builds our faith.  When we don't have time to read our Bibles or pray, making time anyway builds our faith.  As we continue to grow our faith through these challenges, it makes it easier to grow when more difficulties are presented.  And because we are imperfect, we should take comfort in the fact that if we do shrink in our faith at one time, through the grace of God, we can overcome the next time we are tested, just like the disciples did.

I hope these thoughts have been helpful for you, and I hope you have a blessed day!


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