All posts tagged: Unbelief

Credit: Greg Tee/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bent, but not broken

There are people whom I can’t help because they are not able to receive or believe words of encouragement or hope spoken to them. But I was no different. Deep down I didn’t feel that I was worthy of the attention or the possible good that could happen. An underlying root of unbelief grew deep into my heart. Because of fear of what the unearthing might expose, I stubbornly stood in the way and for a long time prevented this root from being pulled up. I felt safe in the damp, dark dirt of the past. I allowed some digging and uprooting but when the tangled roots got close to the surface I shrunk back.  The light revealed too much. The fear of unearthing and acknowledging the past in order to heal can be difficult to handle. There has been too much trauma and any further emotional upheaval in the present is almost unbearable. But God wants to heal our emotional wounds. I so appreciate this verse in Isaiah that helps me take a gracious …

The Mespotamia Valley where Abraham and Sarah lived before God called them on their journey of faith: Credit: Hassan Janall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikipedia

Faith through doubt: 4,000 year old marriage contract confirms story of Ishmael

Español: La fe a través de la duda: contrato de matrimonio de 4.000 años de antigüedad confirma la historia de Ismael Though the patriarch Abraham and wife Sarah ended up in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ (Hebrews 11:8-11), their lives were far from a perfect display of faith. God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son out of which would come a great nation (Genesis 17). Though they clung to this promise, there were times when they doubted God and took matters into their own hands. One of these moments involved Hagar, Sarah’s personal maid: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16: 1-2 NASV) Sarah told Abraham to impregnate her slave who would serve as a surrogate and have a child that Sarah would …

A fig tree with fruit. Photo: Sean O'Sullivan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Start doubting your doubts

George Bernard Dantzig had just received his Masters Degree in mathematics in 1937 and a short time later was accepted as a Doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of California. His Doctorate would be interrupted by World War 2 and Dantzig, who died in 2005 at age 90, would finally receive it in 1946. But one day in 1939, he was late for a Doctorate statistics class. When he arrived, his college professor, Dr. Jerzy Neyman, had written two statistical problems on the black board. Believing these were class assignments, Dantzig wrote them down and took them home. In an 1986 interview with College Mathematics Journal, he said the two questions proved quite challenging and it took him a few days to complete them. After finishing, he sheepishly approached Dr. Neyman apologizing for having taken so long. When Dantzig asked if he still wanted the assignment, the professor told him to throw it on his desk cluttered with paper. Six weeks later, on a Sunday morning at about 8 AM, while Dantzig and his …

And Jesus wondered at their unbelief. Modern-day Nazareth. Photo: Adam Jones/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has this punctured a hole in your faith?

When we study the New Testament, one of the major themes is faith. But equally as prominent is the concept of unbelief that is a major hindrance to miracles. Unbelief basically cuts a hole in our reservoir of faith allowing it to seep away. There are many things that can cause such a rip. One of them is offense. In Mark 6, we read how Jesus had arrived at His home town, Nazareth, and on the following Saturday popped into the local synagogue where the leaders invited Jesus to teach. At this point, Jesus’ reputation was starting to grow. From the congregation’s reaction, it was clear people were aware of the reports circulating about His miracles. Now as they listened to Jesus teach, they were “astonished” by what Jesus had to say. But not everyone. Some were offended. They had been attending the synagogue faithfully for years and now “this man” a carpenter, the son of Mary, was teaching their congregation. They had been attending this synagogue for years and now this upstart was teaching …

True confessions: I was a “glory” junkie

[by Dean Smith] It was not a shining moment in my life. The pressure had been building and finally I couldn’t take it anymore. Slowly, I got up from my desk and walked down the hall to a co-worker’s office. Stepping into his doorway, I asked him what he thought of the last issue of the publication I worked on. I thought I had cleverly worded the question so he wouldn’t think I was fishing for a compliment. I remember the awkward silence, the pained look on his face, and then the forced compliment.