“Are your life, love, and faith a marvel to God, or does your anemic unbelief astonish Him?”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –May 24, 2023
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel…And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. Matthew 8:10; Mark 6:6, NKJV
Jesus marvels at us! He is either marveling at our great faith, as in the case of the Roman soldier’s faith, or He marvels at our unbelief, similar to His hometown community who only saw their local resident as a good man but surely not the Son of God. And what does marvel mean? To marvel is to draw attention, to cause someone to pause, usually with awe, but it can be one astonished or surprised by unexpected behavior. Interestingly, there is a connection to how we marvel at the Lord’s work around us as evidence of either a great faith, a fragile faith, or no faith at all. With eyes of faith, we can see clearly His healing, His forgiveness, His creation, and His love. Are your life, love, and faith a marvel to God, or does your anemic unbelief astonish Him?
Surprisingly, Jesus complimented a military man who represented tyrannical foreign occupation as a person with great faith. His great faith was evident when with humility, he described himself as a man under authority. With love and compassion for his paralyzed servant, he showed great faith when he asked Jesus to heal him. Amazed by what He heard, the Lord made whole the lame servant…virtually healed, without Jesus being present in person. On another occasion, in the presence of those He grew up with…Jesus marveled at how they did not take Him seriously. Their lack of faith could not get past the reality that Jesus was a big deal…the Lamb of God come to take away their sins. Amazed by their unbelief, Jesus made His way among the villages teaching salvation in Him. Yes, unexpectantly, great faith by a generous Gentile (the Centurion oversaw the local synagogue construction) …Jesus marveled. Equally stunning was the unbelief of His Jewish friends…Jesus marveled. Faith can fizzle in familiarity or be aflame in daring to trust God.
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24, NKJV).
If your unbelief has caused Christ to marvel at your lack of faith, you can turn to Him for help. There is a potent prayer to help believers who are in need of bold belief, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” Confessing a faith that has become fragile, even forgotten, and asking for a restoration of belief is a prayer God gladly answers. Like David cried out, “Restore to me the joy of my salvation!” With a humble heart, petition heaven for a heart on fire for faith in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will ignite you with divine reinforcements of love. Trauma can easily mute what were vibrant prayers pulsating with hopeful expectations. If pain has squeezed dry your faith, pray for your heavenly Father to help your unbelief. Submit to the healing truth of Scripture.
Or, if your bold belief has caused Christ to marvel, you can keep thanking Him for His faithful love in your life. And you can reciprocate…marvel at the Lord’s generous work in your life. “This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). Celebrate successes as the Lord’s doing; give Him the credit for your accomplishments. Be still; Jesus sits with you in sweet fellowship to bring healing to you and those you love. Whatever your season of life, like the Centurion, humble yourself as you are under God’s authority and earthly authority. Marvel. Never get over that once you were lost, but now you are found. “How marvelous!”, He says.
“The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes” (John 9:30, NKJV)!
Dear Lord, help my unbelief, so I might totally trust you and rest in your love through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What work of the Lord in your life causes you to pause and praise Him for His marvelous blessings?
1 Chronicles 16:12; Job 5:9; Matthew 21:42; 1 Peter 2:9
Elevation Worship: Give Me Faith
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