10/25/20 – Faith over Fear

Posted on : Oct 23rd, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Last week, during our Annual Virtual Fall Retreat, I had the pleasure of listening to members voice their concerns and fears as we explored ways to weather the storms in our lives. The same is true during our prayer time on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. We recognize that prayer is a spiritual discipline and practice. The apostle Paul reminds us to pray without ceasing, in other words to always be in an “attitude of prayer.”

Since Prayer is a conversation with God, do you need faith when you pray? Consider the following passages of scripture:

Hebrews 11:1-King James Version

11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1-New International Version

11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Matthew 17:14-21

When they approached the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, kneeling before Him and saying,  “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic (moonstruck) and suffers terribly; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to heal him.”  And Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”  Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed at once.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why could we not drive it out?”  He answered, “Because of your little faith [your lack of trust and confidence in the power of God]; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if you have [living] faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and [if it is God’s will] it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. [But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]”

 

In our text, the parable tends to suggest that Jesus is rebuking not only the demon from the child who needs healing, but also the disciples for their lack of faith.

Interestingly, “Faith” is only used twice in the Old Testament (OT). The first reference (Heb.’ēmûn) translates to “faithfulness.” The second reference (Heb.’ēmûnâ) translates to “giving faithfulness.” You will find, in the OT, that “trust” is equivalent to Faith and it is used over 150 times! Yikes!

Faith is a New Testament word. Is it a definition or a description? Is it Active? Philosopher and Theologian St. Thomas Aquinas says that the word faith is not a definition because it does not “indicate the essence of faith. ”Since the time of Enlightenment the word Faith is understood to mean “partial knowledge characterized by a degree of uncertainty based upon a lack of evidence.” A great topic for a bible/book study! I mention Bible Study as to intrigue and prepare you for 2021. Bible/Book and Video Study is coming!!!! Stay tuned for more information….

How do you respond when your prayers are not answered in the ways that you expect and anticipate? Is it because you have little or no faith? Is doubt a sign of spiritual weakness? Can Faith and doubt reside within our consciousness at the same time. If so, is doubt a companion on your spiritual journey?

See you Sunday!

Pastor Janice

 

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