The Silent Killer
Illustrating a Truth of The Power of Believing
Unbelief is a silent killer stalking the Christian's land of promise. This should not surprise us, because it was unbelief that kept the children of Israel out of their Promised Land. And yet we are believers! We know that Jesus is Lord and has been raised from the dead. We believe that the Bible is His Word, that we have been forgiven, and that we are heading to heaven--all of which is gloriously true! But have we been blinded by the light we have received? Are we failing to see what we don't yet believe? After all, even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but they take no peace, or joy or freedom out of that belief.[i]
What we have been given to believe about Jesus is entirely sufficient to help any Christian live with "joy unspeakable" despite any trouble that they might be going through.[ii] In fact, we are told to "count it all joy" when we fall into various trials. [iii] Sadly, judging by the worried, anxious, even depressed state of many Christians, it seems that a thief is robbing us of the joy that should be ours. It doesn't have to be this way!
How on earth is the enemy getting away with such "high" way robbery? It can't be by the troubles we face, because God has promised that He is making everything work for our good.[iv] It can't be by the evil done to us, because the Lord can make even that work for good, if we forgive others and give it to God. It can't be because of our sin and weaknesses, because Jesus promises that He and the Father love and forgive us no matter what. What can it be?
Unbelief is a "silent killer," because it weakens faith without feeling like a sin. Yet, if we fully believed the promises of God we would take courage and joy. If we fully believed the command to forgive, we would quickly get free of the past. The truth is that whenever we lose bright hope for our future, or confidence in God's love, or deep peace or joy, we have been robbed. Since it is unbelief that the thief uses to crush the life out of our faith, the main thing we need to work at is keeping our hearts alive by fully believing what God's Word tells us--just as Jesus commanded us to do.[v]
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God... So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12, 19 ESV
Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." John 6:29 ESV
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24 ESV
Father, it is not my faith that saves me. I am being saved by Your calling, Your love, Your truth, the Blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit's power. Forgive me for taking credit for what I believe for You alone opened my eyes. Forgive me for turning a blind eye to what I have not been believing that You have already shown me to be true. I cast down all past pride and fear. I want to become able to see this hidden stronghold when it is blocking me, so help me to fully believe what You believe. I do believe, but please help me recognize and overcome my unbelief!
[i] James 2:19: You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!
[ii] 1 Peter 1:8: Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.
[iii] James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.
[iv] Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
[v] John 6:28-29: Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
Next Illustrated Insight
Hope in Him
Illustrating the power of "holding onto the hope" that our God holds out to us.
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