Faith & Unbelief

Date: | Author: Thomas West | Category: One Year Bible

Providence is working through a one-year Bible reading plan. Throughout our journey through the Bible, a pastor or ministry leader at Providence might offer a reflection or explanation on the text we’re reading. These brief commentaries are intended to explain, invite, and inspire. By explaining we hope to cast light on obscure details. By inviting we hope to welcome people into the reading plan who did not start at the beginning of the year. By inspiring we hope to be a means of the Spirit awakening a fresh perspective of who God is in your life.

Among all of the details of the story in Mark 5:24-34, we see real examples of faith. The faith that we see is so remarkable but everything in the setting lends itself to unbelief.

Faith is different than feelings. Feelings are based on circumstances. Feelings change like the seasons and are based on your surroundings. Faith is acting, trusting, and believing that God is real, at work, and working for good—regardless of what one feels. Sometimes faith leads in the opposite direction of feelings. 

In this passage, the woman had been suffering for a long time. She was probably hopeless, but nevertheless, she went to Jesus. Faith in Jesus is what makes people well. Jesus told a woman who had been suffering for a long time, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34). Faith in God’s promises is the means of healing in every situation. God invites people to trust him in all of life (Proverbs 3:5–6). The way of Jesus is a way of trust. 

Jesus lived his life trusting that his Father was good and that he would lead him to the best places (Psalm 23). All throughout his life, Jesus demonstrated absolute faith in his Father and challenged his followers to exercise the same kind of faith. Simply believing God in faith does not mean we will be healed or receive everything that we feel like we need—but those things are not even possible without faith. For many reasons, people are prone to doubt. Modern Western culture is fraught with the skepticism. The Providence church family can be a beacon of light by holding on to faith, hope, and love in this dark world.

The contemporary search for truth is “Understand in order to believe.” And against this thinking, Jesus’ church has always maintained, “ Believe in order to understand.” In the struggle with doubt and unbelief, Jesus encourages people, “Do not fear, only believe.” (Mark 5:36). The way of Jesus is the way of trusting God.

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