More faith and more belief… how do we get there during dry spells? Do we need to see continuous miracles to believe? If so, wouldn’t that contradict our faith? And how about when we do believe, but we know our belief could go even deeper, beyond the things of the world? There is an answer.
While belief has more to do with knowledge and understanding (mental acts), faith has more to do with trust, loyalty and acceptance. Sometimes we struggle with believing, even when we really want to. This could lead us to question our level of faith. I struggle with this at times.
We see a clear example with Apostle Thomas. He refused to believe the resurrection without personal evidence–even after witnessing miracle after miracle that Jesus performed. How much like Doubting Thomas we can be. When we experience a breakthrough or miracle we yell “Thank God!”, but when we hit dry spells along our journey, we wonder if God is there. When we can’t figure out how to believe deeper in the miracles of God (over what we see in the world, what a doctor tells us, etc.), we wonder if it’s all for real.
More Faith, More Belief… More Prayer
When we desire God, we can pray. The power of prayer is very real.
Yesterday I read how Jesus performed miracle after miracle in Matthew and Mark. He said that when you have even a little faith and belief you can move mountains. He also said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
On our own, how much do we really believe? It’s something we need to pray about. Countless messages about faith and belief are coupled with prayer.
Maybe we don’t have the capacity as humans–by our own works–to “get” more faith, but God has that kind of capacity, especially when we call for His help.
Pray and Believe
This all came together yesterday while reading about Jesus meeting the father of a boy possessed by evil. The demon inside caused the boy to lose control of himself, become stiff and even try to kill himself. Jesus’s followers couldn’t rid the boy of evil, but the father asks Jesus if he could do something about it. Mark 9:23-24 tells us:
Jesus said to the father, “You said ‘If you can!’ All things are possible for the one who believes.”
Immediately the father cried out, “I do believe! Help me to believe more!”
The father asks Jesus for help. We may want to believe, we may want to have faith, but we need God’s help to go deeper. It is not by our works, but by His.
Ultimately the followers ask Jesus in private why, after all the miracles they performed in His name, could they not rid the boy of evil. Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer” (Mark 9:29).
When our belief is challenged, when we know we need more faith, we can pray and ask God for help. We can trust our prayer is being answered even if it takes time. God wants to help us. Believe that He will.