Faith in Failure
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17: 19- 20
It was a miracle. A boy, tormented by seizures, heads home completely healed, thanks to Jesus. We’d expect nothing but joy and amazement among the disciples. And yet there is a cloud of discouragement among the group. Before Jesus arrived, the disciples had tried to heal the boy. They had tried and they had failed.
When the disciples were first sent out, they experienced tremendous success – praying for and seeing people healed – just like Jesus. The Bible notes their amazement at the extraordinary power Christ had given them. But, in this case, they had failed. So, what happened? How was this situation any different?
Faith – or lack of faith was the problem.
Over time, the disciples began to shift from a total trust in Christ - from a God confidence to a self-confidence. They began to use the name of Jesus like some magic wand. Because the name of Jesus had worked in the past, it should work now. They didn’t realize that ever so subtly, they had begun to have confidence in their abilities rather than relying solely on Christ.
Don’t we do the same thing? Over time, what required incredible faith becomes almost routine. We’ve seen God constantly provide for our families, in our health, our career, that when something goes wrong – we blame God. Where was He? Faith suddenly disappears.
God’s power is not experienced in the present because of our faith in the past. God’s power in the present is when we have faith in the present. In this case, Jesus saw their hearts. The disciples had little faith and Jesus knew it.
Where are you on the faith journey? Have you slowly shifted from a God confidence to a self-confidence? Have problems in your life caused your faith in God to diminish? Ask God to renew your faith. To change your perspective. Ask for faith that trusts in Jesus in the face of failure.
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