This year, I’m reading through the New Testament using YouVersion Bible app. And I’ve been under conviction about plenty of faults. But one thing keeps echoing over and over: my lack of faith penalizes me.
I was reading along in my Bible like a good Christian should. Things were exciting until The Book stopped me in my tracks. I’m minding my own business, and Jesus says, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).
How do you react?
Maybe you slough it off and keep on reading. After all, he’s talking to some blind guys a couple millennia ago. That has nothing to do with you. Or your faith.
Yeah, I tried that,too.
But Jesus wasn’t having any of it. He said to my heart, “According to your faith, Shari, I have answered your prayers. I promise to answer when you pray in faith.”
He promises. If no answers are forthcoming, can I really point the finger at him?
My heart was pricked but I kept on reading. “Lord, you know I have faith.”
Then comes Matthew chapter 13. Christ and his disciples head to Nazarath, Jesus’ hometown. Shouldn’t he be the hometown hero?
After all, the man is healing everyone of everything (Matthew 9:35). People are flocking to him and walking away changed.
Think of how many people Jesus knew in Nazareth. People he loved and respected. Imagine him heading home, eager to help his friends and family.
You know the story. Matthew 13:53-58 tells us how things unfolded. No hero’s welcome for Jesus in Nazareth. The pious men in the synagogue thought he was getting too big for his britches.
Never mind that they admitted he had wisdom and performed mighty works (Matthew 13:54). That wasn’t as important as the fact that he was a carpenter’s son. His family was just ordinary community members.
What stopped me in my tracks that day was the last verse in this chapter:
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”Matthew 13:58
Jesus is all-powerful. He went to Nazareth intending to heal their sick, both physically and spiritually.
What stopped Almighty God from performing these amazing deeds?
Lack of faith. Unbelief.
“According to your faith,” Jesus said. In reality, He meant: “If you don’t want my blessing, I’ll take it to the next person.”
Of course I want your blessings, Lord. (Only a raving lunatic would say otherwise.)
“Show me. Believe you have what you ask of me. That’s all I ask.”
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? The prayer of faith shall save the sick (James 5:15). So many promises spoken by a God who never lies and will never fail.
So why aren’t the blessings showering down? Or maybe I’m too blind and selfish to see them?
Let’s get specific, why is my continual prayer going unanswered? I don’t know what that burden is for you, but I know mine. I’ve been praying over it for months and months.
Time to check my faith.
Do I truly believe God is hearing me? That He will answer me? That I have those things I’m asking for?
Looks like my lack of faith has cost me. Because I didn’t believe, Jesus didn’t perform many wonderful acts in my community.
“Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.”
If I only had the faith the size of a mustard seed. If only.
Why don’t I?
What is your faith telling you, my friend? Jesus is answering every prayer according to your faith. Is unbelief restraining the mighty hand of God in your life?