Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why are You Afraid, O You of Little Faith?

One of my favorite books (aside from the bible) is RESPECTABLE SINS by Jerry Bridges.  A sin he addresses in his writing is that of anxiety.

O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (Matthew 6:30-33. ESV.)

But I'm talking more of the type described in Matthew 8 and 14:

26 And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  (Matthew8:26. ESV.)

31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, (A) "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"  (Matthew 14:31. ESV.)

Someone once described it like this (which I feel is a great illustration)... If I get bit by a dog (especially a big, real mean one) I am going to have distress and apprehension each time that animal comes near me.  I can try to preach to myself in an attempt to encourage and calm my nerves but physically it is impossible for me to stop trembling.  Perhaps Daniel felt that way in the lion's den?  But God delivered him, unharmed.

I KNOW God would do the same for me however, to be honest, I would probably have peed my pants if I had been in Daniel's position.  (Had Daniel ever been attacked by a wild cat before?  Would it have changed his level of angst or comfort?  Had Peter ever nearly drown before he went walking on water with the Lord?  Is there an excuse for concern or discomfort or does God have a no tolerance policy?)

I believe God sees and understands my heart.  I feel He would expect one to be wise around such a dog.

20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."  (Matthew 17:20. ESV.)  
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