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Hope for Those With Little Faith

Hope for Those With Little Faith

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By: Dr Eliezer Gonzalez

Let me confess something about myself. I’m not some kind of model Christian. By nature I’m a pessimist and a worrier. Often, little things cause me stress.

Someone who knows me well challenged me about this recently and asked, “Where’s all this faith you say you have? How can you have faith and often feel down?” That got me thinking.

I know that there’s this brand of Christianity that sometimes seems to be more about psychology than Christ. This kind of Christianity says that if you have a relationship with the Lord, then, abracadabra, you are now a happy, shiny Christian, and there’s nothing that can get you down.

That’s not the way that the Bible describes faith. There’s this story of a man came to Jesus, asking him to cure his son, and he cried out,

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! – Mark 9:24

This man admitted that although he had some faith, his faith was mixed with doubt. Of course, Jesus cured his son. The faith of this man is the model of how it always is with us this side of eternity.

Our faith is never perfect. We are always falling, stumbling, and weak in how we come to Jesus. And he is always understanding, compassionate, and quick to stand beside us in his strength.

Jesus never said that he would only love those who come to him in perfect faith, but instead, that even faith the size of the tiniest seed was enough (Luke 17:6). Our tiny faith is never perfect in size, but it is perfect in its power to take hold of the mighty, saving strength of Christ.

So how can we tell if a person has faith? You can’t look at how much that person suffers, at their doubts and struggles; instead look at what they do (Matt 7:16; James 2:18).

The 11th chapter of Hebrews is often called the “Faith Chapter.” It is like God’s gallery of heroes. There, great men and women of faith are listed one after another, and the chapter uses this formula:

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going (Heb.11:8).

In other words, by faith, these men and women did something. The Bible teaches us that faith is what faith does.

You don’t need to pray a perfect prayer, just a saving prayer.

When you remember the stories of these people, they were all doubters and even mockers at some stage. For example, Abraham and Sarah (who is also mentioned there), both severely doubted God’s promises, and they both laughed in God’s face (Gen. 17:17 and 18:12). But in the end, their faith was sufficient, and God fulfilled his promise of a son to them. Abraham is even called “the father of the faithful” (Rom. 4:16).

Of course, the Bible challenges us to have a perfect faith (James 1:6), because faith comes with blessings. However, God tells that it’s not the struggles of the journey that count for salvation. Instead, what counts is the decision we’ve made about to whom we entrust our lives, in spite of our doubts and fears and failings along the way.

So yes, I have faith, even though it may be far from perfect faith, and I entrust my life to the One who is perfect, and merciful, and good. Perhaps you too can pray this prayer with me,

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! – Mark 9:24

It may not be a perfect prayer, but it’s a saving prayer.

Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.

About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.

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