Today's Reading: Jeremiah 31:27-40
Find the Reading plan here.
This past Easter weekend, I had a heart check.
As I envisioned the disciples after the death of Jesus on the cross that Friday, I wondered where their faith was.
What was it like for them, the men who had spent countless hours with Jesus, witnessing the many miracles performed.
What was going through their minds?
Were they hopeless? Did they feel duped?
For some reason, I don't ponder on the women that were left behind. I can't help but to think that they "knew" He would return. Maybe I am wrong, but God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus because of her faith, her belief. Although I believe she was devastated because of the torture, I think she knew this was not the end.
However, the disciples often struggled with their faith. Even though they saw with their very own eyes, the Messiah, Jesus, in human form. They, like us, had some belief issues.
Herein lies my heart check.
If I were one of the disciples, would I have still believed after watching Jesus die?
Those 3 days of waiting must have been excruciating for those left behind. If you have ever waited on anything, you know what I am talking about. Waiting is hard. Waiting is the worst. Waiting can cause the most hopeful to question their hope.
We know how this story ends. Jesus returns, Jesus lives. He revealed Himself to the disciples. Their faith, if wavering, was renewed.
The disciples all went on to preach the gospel of Jesus. Many of them dying for Him as they preached.
People don't die for something they do not believe. They believed. Until the very end.
I think, if we are honest, we can all struggle with seasons of unbelief. Maybe not unbelief in Jesus, but unbelief in changes in our circumstances. Or unbelief that Jesus will change those around us that we have been praying for forever it seems.
We can get weary in unbelief. When this happens, we lose hope. We lose faith.
Girls, I know how this feels. I have bee there, very recently.
In these seasons of unbelief, God has taught me something HUGE.
I want to share it with you.
God led me to the story in Mark of a father who asks Jesus to heal his son from demon possession.
I will include the passage, instead of paraphrasing. I really wanted to put this passage in a video blog for you to hear out loud. However, my hair is a mess, and my face is a little scary this morning due to just waking up. So, I will spare you. This time. ;)
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer."
Are you amazed by this?
I am too.
Through this passage, God has taught me to ask Him to help me when I am struggling with unbelief...of any kind.
If I just pull away from Him, withdraw, and quit believing He can do anything in a certain situation, nothing changes. Ever.
However, when I go to Him in prayer, and boldly ask Him to "help me with my unbelief!", He answers every time.
Let me repeat, He answers every single time.
I am not saying that He always answers my specific request that has caused my heart to turn to unbelief, but He fills me with belief and with faith. Without fail.
God desires us to believe Him. He desires us to trust Him.
He desires us to come to Him in prayer (see vs. 29 above).
Now, I can look back on seasons of unbelief in my life and rest in the fact that He showed up. He filled my heart with belief and with faith.
When I come to that season again, I will once again ask Him...."Lord, help me with my unbelief".
What are you struggling with believing Him for today?
Will you be bold enough to go to Him prayerfully and ask Him to help you with your unbelief?
Our Memory Verse for this week:
"Everything is possible for one who believes." Mark 9:23
I now see this verse like this, "Jill, everything is possible if you just believe Me."
Girls, He desires a believing heart. He wants to show you great and unsearchable things.
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
I am praying unceasingly for your belief to be renewed and strengthened.
no more unbelief,