Paradox of Faith
One of the definitions of paradox is a “statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true” (Merriam—Webster Dictionary).
I would assume most Christians struggle with their faith and with their prayers; however, many would be afraid to admit it in the company of perceived spiritual giants.
Everyone looks a little better from a distance. I have viewed a few strutting preachers at a distant but when I got a closer look I wondered why they strut. We all have some struggles of faith even if some look as if they have it altogether.
I cringe more than gloat when a few compliment me as a minister—because I know who I am without God (it is not too pretty). Truth be known, none of us are great men of God, we are mere men who serve a Great God. Our feet are of clay, we just happen to stand on the Rock.
The father in Mark 9 brought his demon possessed son to Jesus for deliverance. Jesus told the man, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJV). The man replied, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24 NKJV). So here is the paradox of faith, he believed but he also had some doubt. Have you ever been at that place?
So I’m thinking; we do not put our faith in our faith or faith in our ability to pray but we put our confidence in Jesus regardless of our faith level—well, maybe that is true faith.
When we simply believe in Jesus’ goodness, mercy, and compassionate love—we believe! Our trust and reliance is in Him not in our “great faith” and this trust and reliance is in Him even when we do not understand the present outcome.
Peter, James, and John had accompanied Jesus to the mountaintop experience we call, “The Mount of Transfiguration”, where the Lord appeared in a glorified state with Elijah and Moses. The remaining nine were left at the foot of the mountain.
The man who had the demon-possessed son had brought his son to the Nine for deliverance but they failed. Then when Jesus came down from the mountain, the man was there waiting with his son to see Jesus.
How many people are disappointed with our level of faith and yet do not wait to see Jesus for themselves. This man hung around until Jesus showed up. Jesus healed the boy and scolded his disciples for their poor faith. How many people bring their problems to us as Christians and leave out of frustration because we failed to meet the need?
Jesus told His disciples they could reach the level of needed faith through prayer and fasting. As the world continues to bring their problems to us, we need to be spiritually equipped with faith to be Jesus to them at the foot of the mountain. We can use all the excuses we want but Jesus shows up at the foot of mountains if we just wait.
Scripture: Mark 9:23-24 NKJV “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ / Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'”
My Prayer: Lord, transform me by your power through prayer and fasting that my unbelief is changed to faith. I do not want you to be disappointed in my faith in You. Help me to know you in a deeper way so that the impossible looks possible through the lens of faith.
–Harry L. Whitt
Listen to Harry’s Sermon on this topic.