5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6, NRSV, from Bible Gateway’s NT in a year)
Yesterday, I posted about a toxic evil poisoning humanity: sugar. Today, I turn my focus to the toxic evil poisoning the human spirit: doubt. Look carefully at the description of Jesus’ dilemma: “he could do no deed of power there… amazed at their unbelief.” God gave humans a will of their own, and God does not intrude. When God’s will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven, it is because somewhere, a human has called it into effect by aligning his will with God’s and humbly asking for it. When the wills of men clash or run rampant, the result is strife, war, disease, and death. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Check what you know about this. Take a mental poll of the people you know. Don’t most of them believe that the miracles of God were for another generation of people, or that He doesn’t move today the way He did in the Bible? The reason He doesn’t for those people is precisely because they believe that. God does not change. He is not asleep. He has not abandoned us. He is, likely as not, amazed at the unbelief of this generation that binds Him from doing the work He longs to do in our lives. Were we to believe, and humbly submit ourselves to interceding on behalf of those we are called to serve in love, we would see the glory of His power, His love, and His way of life.
Jesus’ neighbors could not see His godship because they were too familiar with his personhood. The women who taught Mary to take care of her firstborn were among them. The men who watched Joseph teach Him to cut, plane, drill, and glue wood were told this was now the One who built the world. Their experience told them something contrary to what they were hearing. It must have been an awkward place for Jesus.
How is it where you are, under the misconceptions of your experiences, hurts and disappointments? The One you blame for the loss of your loved one asks you to believe He is the Resurrection. The One you are certain took that unborn child says He knit you together in your mother’s womb. The One against whom you’ve held a grudge because He did not prevent that terrible thing from happening to you or yours asks you to trust Him with your life and circumstances. Not you! You can’t believe someone who could do all that is worth trusting!
Let me propose a question. If your conception of God is disappointing you, which is more likely: that your conception of God is mistaken, or that God is? It might be time for you to come to believe that the Power greater than all can, and will, restore you to sanity, to wholeness, and to a trusting relationship with Him. Why not erase your grudges against God, and pretend for a moment that He is not the One who snatches away unborn children, kills loved ones, and orchestrates tragedy, but who grieves even more deeply than you at such things. Why not step away from doubt, give God the benefit of being omniscient, and let Him love you the way He has always longed to? God is not sleeping; but your relationship with Him might well be in a coma or worse. Hear Him call you awake. Respond to His touch, and let Him love you alive. The Prince of Peace is standing at your door. All that stands in the way of His power is your doubt.
Dear Father, today, erase my doubt and help me in my unbelief. Wash me of my insecurities and wipe away all my disappointments. Lord, I trust You are God, and from You comes every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). I set my mind to know that it is the enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy, and that You are committed to my abundant life both now and forevermore (John 10:10). Help me live in that life even now in this physical body, while I wait for my graduation to be with You for eternity.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:5, NIV)