O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH!
A professor recalls an incident that happened twenty six years ago. He muses on whether there was any need for having carried ‘worry’ which seemed like a mountain when he could have just taken that burden in faith to God, the creator of mountains. Always remember that worry opposes faith. He had to travel from his place of work, a hill station, along with his wife, a pregnant woman who had completed seven months, to a metropolitan city for confinement. Suddenly and unexpectedly, she developed labour pains. He felt the weight of the whole world upon his shoulders. Rushing from compartment to compartment, like moving from pillar to post, at first he went in search of someone who would offer moral support and be of help to his wife in delivering their child. Anxiety gripped his heart like a clamp as he moved helter-skelter for getting a blade to cut the umbilical cord holding the mother and child together. Ultimately somehow the confinement took place in a moving train.
A beautiful boy baby weighing just one kilogram was born. Upon reaching the city, the mother and child were rushed to one of the nearest hospitals. The doctors told, "We will save the mother, but the little one’s life cannot be guaranteed. We will try our best." Like pricking a fresh flower, on the first day, that tender child was administered twenty six injections. Those moments were like monitoring the thumping of his heart on an invisible monitor. Worry had pre-occupied his mind; faith kept knocking the door repeatedly asking for entry, and sadly it went unheard.
Goodbye To Worry
Yet God smiled at His son saying, "O you of little faith! Why worry? He is my child." In God’s immense grace and mercy that child of just one kilogram is now a handsome young man, an engineer in the field of information technology. Now, when this professor travels down memory lane, he questions, "Why did I allow worry to work, and not exercise my faith in Christ then? Why did I not trust my child into Christ’s care?" Someone has clearly stated, "Worry is a rocking chair that keeps you busy, but takes you nowhere." Jesus Christ challenges us, "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" So, if faith has to operate, one must definitely say goodbye to ‘worry.’
"Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith (Matt.6:30)?"
Likewise, fear also cripples our faith walk. Making negative imaginary assumptions in mind and drawing up all sorts of strategies based on them lead to fear of all forms. While in the process of working out ways and means to solve something that has not happened, or that which is not likely to occur, is like tuning the strings in any musical instrument so much so that unable to bear the tension they are bound to break. When fear grips a person, that individual fails to remember, that as little children of God we have overcome the evil forces because Jesus Christ who is in us is greater than Satan who is in the world (1Jn.4:4).
No Fear In Love
Again, faith faces the direction opposite to fear. Anyone who fears has not been made perfect in love because fear involves torment. The only way to get rid of fear is to trust in the love of God for us because there is no fear in love; and perfect love casts out fear. We ought to love God without any reservation because He first loved us unconditionally (1Jn.4:18,19). God could have given up His hope on mankind, yet every child entering planet earth descends with the message, "God loves us all the more."
"But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm" (Matt.8:26).
David was definitely not a mighty man of valour when compared with His commander Joab and his brothers Abishai and Asahel. David himself made this confession, "And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too harsh for me" (2Sam.3:39). Yet David received a wonderful certificate from God. How was this possible? Being the last son in his family, none invited him to join the feast when Prophet Samuel stepped into his house. Yet God remembered David because he diligently sought Him as well (Psa.55:17). David knew that he could place all his fears and cares on God (Psa.55:22; 1Pet.5:7).
In the morning and evening, for forty days, Goliath triggered his challenge like a fleet of missiles containing poisonous fear to contaminate the hearts of the Israelites. King Saul, his sons and the entire army of Israel, in which even the brothers of David were employed, fled in fear when Goliath ridiculed the children of Israel. When everyone moved in the direction of fear, fleeing from the presence of their enemy, David walking by faith faced the enemy without an ounce of fear because he was aware that God’s grace enveloped him like a bullet proof garment. He remembered the grace of God which had earlier helped him rip apart the jaws of a bear and a lion while shepherding the sheep (1Sam.17:36).
The stone from the sling of David darted through the air and hit the forehead of the giant. Naturally the expected outcome of this blow would be that the man should fall on the ground with his head facing the sky. However, we are called to note that something contrary and supernatural took place. The giant fell with his face touching the ground. How could this be possible, if not for the intervention of God? "David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth" (1Sam.17:49). Therefore, we can boldly say goodbye to fear and cling to the cords of God’s everlasting love.
Doubting God’s power or limiting His ability to work in us also causes us to fall in our faith walk. Peter walked on the sea just as Christ. Had he continued looking at Jesus Christ without looking at the tumultuous sea surrounding him, he would have walked casually with Christ by his side to the boat. The moment he doubted, he fell into the water. In other words, God affectionately asks Peter, "My son! Why did you doubt My power?" "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him (Peter), and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’" (Matt.14:31).
Making you doubt the power of God by scattering seeds of doubt and watering them to make sure they sprout as healthy sapling is the work of Satan, the old serpent. It was he who raised the question to Eve, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’" (Gen.3:1). This doubt was sufficient to cause the downfall of entire mankind. Doubt led to blaming each other. Adam threw the blame on the beautiful creation of God, woman, who in turn tossed it upon the serpent. This doubt made way for an army of various forms of sin like disobedience, ego, superiority, domination, murder and the like to march ahead and cause the once peaceful kingdom made of a man and woman to split making room for chaos and confusion betwixt them.
Whether God comes to our aid or not, which is not for us to decipher, let us like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego place our trust on God and boldly face the fiery furnace without doubting the awesome power of the Omnipotent Lord (Dan.3:17,18). Like these three young Hebrew men, let us learn to say goodbye to our doubting attitude and forge ahead in our spiritual walk.
Spiritual Growth Similarly, reasoning with our carnal mind impedes our spiritual growth. Job emphatically expounds, "For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him" (Job 23:14). The human brain can function only to a certain extent. Man no doubt is far superior than a supercomputer for God has created his ‘brain’ with trillions of fine tissues. Yet He cannot comprehend the wisdom and knowledge of God which cannot be fathomed (Col.2:3; Rom.11:33).
Try to reason with complicated questions such as, "What would become of my future or that of my dear ones? What if this business venture ends up in failure? My health condition is posing a threat, what shall I do? My children are not listening and are lagging behind in their studies, where can I get help from?" The Bible says, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring" (Psa.84:5,6). David had this experience of turning every valley of tears into a spring because his strength was drawn from God. Perhaps if you are trying to work out reasons for these on your own, using your carnal mind, then you are failing to recognise the Captain in your ship who can lead you safely to the shore (Rom.8:6; Mk.4:38).
"But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?’" (Matt.16:8). Jesus Christ is the bread of life (Jn.6:35,48). Without trying to reason out the causes, let us hand over the situation into God’s control and definitely His leading will be the best to bless us beyond our understanding. When we learn to say goodbye to ‘reasons’ that arise out of a carnal mind, as Christians we begin to see positive ‘results’ in our spiritual walk with God. Let us improve our intimate relationship with Jesus Christ by saying goodbye to worry, fear, doubt and carnal reasoning.