Excusing Our Unbelief

There are times when my lack of faith turns to unbelief. This means I get to the point in my walk with Christ that I think something is beyond His control. I may try to soften the blow by saying I am lacking faith, but I have actually shifted into the realm of unbelief. I will either demand a sign from God or just head out into the wilderness on my own.

The scribes and Pharisees were notorious for demanding Jesus to show them a sign. The most despicable one is when they mocked Jesus on the cross, demanding He come down from it so that they would believe in Him. Another example is found in Matthew 12:

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You’” But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’” (Matthew 12:38-39)

What appears on the surface as a reasonable request is exposed by Jesus’ response. He called not only the scribes and Pharisees evil and adulterous, but also the whole generation of that period. Jesus had performed many miracles and signs to prove who He was. He was not about to succumb to the demands of a group of unbelievers.

This is not to say Jesus will not give us a sign to confirm our faith; what He will not do is give in to our demand that He prove His authenticity or authority. Matthew Henry explains:

“Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief.”

This was not the first generation with whom God was angry because of their unbelief. Moses’ generation was well known for its unbelief and bad behavior towards God. All the while God was providing them food and water in the wilderness, the Israelites were still lifting up complaints and doubts about God:

“Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel, because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in His salvation.” (Psalm 78:21-22)

As Christians we have no right to doubt God. The God who raised Jesus from the grave is the same God who lives in us through the Holy Spirit. The Jesus who was crucified on the cross, rendering the curtain to the Most Holy of Holies now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

As newly born-again Christians, our faith muscles will be tiny and weak. That is why we must exercise and grow them through studying and meditating on Scripture, praying to the Lord, and obeying His call on our lives.

It is through obedience that we prove our faith in Jesus. Some say we don’t know God’s will, and yet what we do know God wants us to do, we do not. This is dangerous territory:

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)

Our walk with Christ is not always going to be an easy stroll through a peaceful park. There are going to be dark days where doubt creeps in to attack our faith. Nevertheless, we must always trust in Jesus. Our Lord is always looking out for us and interested in the affairs of our lives. We must never forget that. We remember that by rejoicing in the Lord always:

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12)

One of the greatest gifts given to us is our faith in Christ. Let us live each day with the full knowledge that we are protected by King Jesus.

That knowledge alone will cure any unbelief.

In Christ
Dave
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers

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