Monday Morning Devotion-January 10, 2022
You Gotta Believe
I do believe, help me with my unbelief. Mark 9:24
Looking back over some of the devotions written in my first devotional book called:
"Monday Morning Devotions" In Chapter 2 I re-discovered this one to share with you:
It's a simple concept, really! What you believe determines the way you live.
As human beings, we must have something to believe in and our belief system governs our actions. It's human nature---the way we are made. As Augustine said: "I believe, therefore, I am." So, believing is as natural as breathing.
Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas writes in his Christian Believer Study Manual, "To be human is to be a believer." He further points out that our beliefs become 'the set-of-the-sails' that determine the direction of our lives and our destination.
You are where you are today largely because of what you believe. If you live in America, or wherever you live it is not just because you were born there, but because you believe it is the best place to be. Otherwise, if you have a choice you would move! You go to your job each day because you believe it is what you need to do.
Every day we show our belief in things that we take for granted. When we turn the key in the ignition switch of our car, we believe the engine will crank up. Nobody ever jumped out of an airplane without believing the parachute on his/her back would open.
There are lots of mundane daily activities we do that are based on our belief system. When putting coins in a machine to get a USA Today or Tallahassee Democrat newspaper we do so believing that we'll be able to open the machine and catch up on the news (unless of course we get the newspaper online---in that case we tap on the app with the expectation that the daily news will appear.) We put coins in a vending machine. They disappear and we expect to get a drink or chips or candy.
Some of our beliefs are more important than others. Some we believe in more intensely. There are things we believe but are willing to listen to evidence that could alter that belief. Conversely, there are beliefs that are immutable. They are written in stone, and we will not change them despite persuasion, research, or arguments to the contrary.
In Mark, Chapter 9, Jesus was approached by a desperate man whose son was possessed by an evil spirit. The boy was in such bad shape, he would fall to the ground with convulsions, writhing uncontrollably. The disciples of Jesus had not been able to cure the boy who had been that way since early childhood. So, the father turned to Jesus and said: Teacher, if you can do anything, take pity on us, and help us.
The reply from Jesus was something on the order of. "What do you mean, if I can?" I'm sure Jesus did not exclaim this in a sarcastic way. He certainly could have gotten an incredulous look on his face and brought up some of the miracles he had recently performed. He could have bragged, put the man down, and made him feel small for the way he phrased the question.
But he didn't. He realized this man basically believed in His ability to heal. His son's problem was so severe, he almost didn't dare hope or believe it could get better. So Jesus simply said, in encouragement, "Everything is possible for him who believes.'
The man's replay was immediate. "I do believe, help me with my unbelief." The father wanted to believe, and this was apparent to Jesus but, as the Believer's Bible Commentary says: "We want to believe, yet we find ourselves filled with doubt. We hate this inward, unreasonable, contradiction, yet seem to fight it, in vain.
Sometimes we really struggle with that unbelief. We know what we want to believe. Yet those doubts creep in. Think of how the story would be different if Joseph had not been able to conquer his unbelief.
God asked Joseph to believe that his betrothed, Mary, who was pregnant, had not been intimate with another man. Joseph was informed that the child she was carrying had been conceived by the Holy Spirit. There was certainly no precedent for Joseph to look at. This had never been done before. In fact, it has never been done since. That was a dramatic bit of information that Joseph was being asked to accept.
Joseph was a righteous man. He had a good heart and he loved Mary. He was still concerned about her. He was willing to believe the message brought to him by God's angelic messenger. Through his belief and acceptance, Joseph has become honored, throughout the ages as the earthly father of the Savior. His story and his place in history are memorialized in scripture.
If that happened to any of us, would we have a belief in God strong enough to carry us through itÐWhat does it take to believe that deeply, that freely, and with that type of understanding and conviction.
As you prepare each day to meet whatever obstacles you must confront and overcome, perhaps you need to examine your belief system. Do you believe in yourself, your talents and abilities? Do you believe you have everything it takes to do the job you are called to do? A more important question would be: Are you doing with your life what God wants you to do?
Yes, "You Gotta Believe" to be successful in terms of how God measures success. But first you have to get help with your unbelief. When you overcome that, believing is easy because you can start counting the victories instead of the defeats.
Prayer: Father God there is a lot of negativism in the world today. Sometimes it overwhelms our good intentions and makes us skeptical. Help us to conquer our unbelief so we can understand and believe fully and deeply in the true spiritual blessings you sent to us. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!