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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Benefits of Faith in God and Adverse Effects of a Lack of Faith



Today's reading from Numbers and from Matthew, juxtapose two scenarios. In one, there's a group who show a lack of faith in God. In the second, one person shows absolute faith in God.

In Matthew 15:21-28, we see a Canaanite woman, whose faith in Jesus results in her daughter being healed. I've listened and read this verse and the same lesson jumps out - having faith in God has benefits. We all know that we have to believe before we see, as opposed to what science says is the reverse - seeing is believing. Because this woman believed and believed to the extent of being desperate for Jesus' help. She was so desperate that she pushed back on Jesus' seeming insult.

Most times, when we read or listen to this verse from Matthew, we probably yawn and say, what's new? Probably nothing. But we all know that it's tough to really, really, really have absolute faith in God. It could be because we are cynical or even because our previous prayers did get the result we wanted. We forget that God always answers our prayers. It's either, Yes, No or Not Yet. But the problem is that when we pray, it ends up as "My Will Be Done, Lord" and so we sulk and stop believing in prayers and start losing faith in God.

Now, the readings from Numbers 13:1-2,25- 14:1,26-29, 34-35 are quite scary. It shows what happens when you lack faith in God. It's not merely harmless, it can ruin you, especially if you keep repeating to yourself that God means for bad things to happen to you. Be careful of what you wish for - it can come true as these Israelites found out. Every one of them who whined to God, died in the desert and never made it to the Promised Land. Whiners are always losers anyway.

Very often, God shows us opportunities, but fear grips us by the throat and we start having negative thoughts about why something will not work. This becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. As Henry Ford uses to say, "whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."

Every runner on the track who breaks the tape at the finish line, goes to the starting line with a 100% belief that he/she will be the winner. No two ways about it. If there's even a nanosecond of doubt he will lose.

But I think, with God, even if we have that split second of doubt we can rectify it by asking God to forgive us for doubting that He will be with us. If He shows us an opportunity, why should you doubt you will win. The Israelites thought they had to fight the giants in the Promised Land all by themselves.

Use these readings to prop up your faith in God and go forth everyday with positive thoughts of smashing your obstacles and emerging victorious.