“Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:24.
Confidence implies full trust, belief in the power, authority, capability, trustworthiness, veracity or reliability of a person. To have confidence in God is to have faith in Him. Jesus commanded His disciples to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), because no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem, no matter how impossible the case may look, God knows no impossibility (Matthew 19:26). God quickens the dead, calls those things which be not as though they were, and will perform whatever He promises (Romans 4: 17,21). He is the God that cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2), nor deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). His words and promises are forever settled (Psalm 119:89).
God is the Almighty (Genesis 17:1); He can do all things, and none of His purposes can be thwarted (Job 42:2). He is the everlasting God, the Lord, and Creator of the ends of the earth. He is neither tired nor weary (Isaiah 40:28), and His actions never contradict His holy, righteous nature (Revelations 15:4; Exodus 15:11).
Confidence in God is what qualifies us to be in constant fellowship with Him (Genesis 3:8). It manifests in full obedience to His laws (Genesis 2:16 – 17). Confidence in God is lost when sin comes in. Those influenced by sin will become confident in themselves, someone else, or something else. This is not God’s will for us. Lack of confidence in God is unbelief. Unbelief itself is sin (Hebrews 3:12); nay, it is the parent of every other iniquity (Charles Spurgeon, 1855). Show me a man possessed with the heart of unbelief and I will show you a man devoid of fellowship with God. Relationship with God is not about what we profess alone, it is more about our absolute trust in God. Unbelief means disobedience and distrust. It is the opposite of faith. Unbelief restraints our spiritual walk and impedes our progress. It is a spiritual cancer that only God can cure (Mark 9:24). It is the sin that so easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1).
The sin of unbelief led to the death of one aristocrat in 2 Kings 7:19. Through Elisha the prophet, God had promised plenty in the midst of Israel’s food crisis. Despite the fact that Elisha was well known to be God’s prophet; had divine credentials; and had all his past prophecies fulfilled, the noble did not believe his declaration. His doubt of the divine veracity and mistrust of God’s power had fatal consequence.
We are not to cast away our confidence because confidence in God is always rewarding (Hebrews 10:35 – 36). Yet when in need, danger or difficulty, we always forget the fact that it is in Him we have our being (Acts 17:28), and lose our confidence in God. This ought not to be so! This is the time to reconnect and renew our confidence in God. Let us do so solemnly and humbly, asking Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Only God can help us believe the way, manner and level we ought to. One of the paradoxes of our faith is that we must be weak to become strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). We must ask for His grace and mercy at this time of need. Faith, humility and patience will help us rediscover His tender mercies. Cast not away your confidence in God!
Last blog I concluded that after this life we are left with nothing but judgment that awaits the rebellious and impenitent one. Dr. Helmut Thielicke, in his book, Being a Christian When the Chips Are Down, reports on a conversation with an eloquent man in his sixties, punctiliously dressed. The well-groomed gentleman confessed he had never really found himself. He wanted to be a musician. Instead, he was compelled to take over his father’s business. He was not a businessman. “So my life ended up as a heap of ashes before it had ever really caught fire.”
This story reiterates the troubles we have in life that is full of disappointments and failures. Appointments are part and parcel of our lives. We face appointments each day. We are beings with appointment. There are two major ones according to the scriptures. The first is the appointed time to be born and the second is the appointed time to die. To everyone born on this planet these two appointments are inescapable. By birth we are ushered into life and by death we are ushered into eternity. God oversees the one and overrules the other. Accepting this fact brings us to realm of reality. Christ is the ultimate reality and only in acknowledging this we have life. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Solomon in the book of the preachers (Ecc. 3) stated these two appointments is the big bracket of all other contrast pairs. We enter into life by birth and we exit with death. The gap between the entrance and the exit is called lifetime. The rest of the couplets cover the events and circumstances that take place between these two extremes. In this first contrasting couplet we observe there is “a time to be born, and a time to die”
Birth by all indications is miracle that comes from God. Everyone born into this world is the heir of immortality. He is a being that can never die. The psalmist said we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psa. 139:14). Job backing up the fact of this miracle declared that the Spirit of God gave me life (Job 33:4). Supporting this argument Solomon informed us the mystery of birth in Ecc. 11:5, that none can tell how the babe in the womb develops bone. Experts in medical science submitted that there is much they know about the birth of a child, there is even more that they do not know. For instance, no one has yet been able to explain at what point the fetus becomes “a living being.
Abortion and suicide is contrary to the will of God because none can fathom how human life is formed. And no gynecologist or pediatrician has yet pronounced on the manner in which the bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman. This entire process, including those parts of the process we think we understand, is shrouded in mystery. What man did not make he cannot unmake without consequences. I like to rest my case with the Psalmist that in His (God) book it is written the days fashioned for me when as yet there was none of them (Psa. 139:16). Our lifetime is a gazette.
This is the reason why DNA identifies unique and specific person, from the entire human race, because God does not create duplicate. He only makes originals. Did you know that you are an original? If you despise your body, your being, then you are despising the work of God. You are God’s image bearer. The wonders of creation will continue to baffle us. Man is triplicate in one. He is made spirit, soul and body.
Although born physically man must be born spiritually. Christ told Nicodemus that he must be born by the spirit. Again we need to realize that we are not born of the wish of man but by the Spirit of God (John 1:13).
How can we be born of the Spirit; you may like to ask. Peter told us that we are “born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23). This means that in sovereign and mysterious way in which God alone works out His purpose, the Word of God begets faith in Christ, and then the Spirit of God begets life in Christ. It’s the Spirit of God that gives life. We are born of the Spirit through the activity of the preaching. In this activity there is the communication of the truth of the Word; and in response through the activity of praying, there is the fertilization of the seed of the Word. The agent of Spiritual birth is the Spirit of God and the word of God.
In conclusion, I like to say that the event of birth, whether considered physically or spiritually, is a mystery, and we are dependent upon God for the bringing about of this miracle. Just as God responds to human faith when we obey the natural laws of physical birth, so in like manner He responds to saving faith, when we obey the biblical laws of spiritual birth.
There is a time to be born physically and a time to be born spiritually; and, just as it necessary to be born into the physical family in order to start our human life, so it is necessary to be born into the spiritual family in order start our divine life. To know the wonder of spiritual birth therefore, we must believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the living and saving Word, and then we must receive Him personally and decisively. Only then can we begin to live to fullest of our being.