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The Challenge of Unbelief

Faith does not remain in a constant state. It can be like emotions and fluctuate over time. Think about the father of the demon-possessed boy who appealed to Jesus for his son’s healing. Does his cry, “I believe; help my unbelief!” resonate with you? (Mark 9:24). Or what about the startling warning to Christians, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Heb. 3:12). Notice this is a warning to “brothers” and he had just previously referred to them as “holy brothers” (v. 1).

The truth is that even people of faith must at times wrestle with unbelief. Faith must be nurtured and fed or it may wither and die. Two of the soils Jesus depicted in His parable of the sower were ones where the seed sprouted and began to grow (Matt. 13:1-9). That is, faith was born in the hearts of these people, but in these cases, various influences led to that faith’s demise. It can happen.

Just like with our physical bodies, our spirit needs constant care and preventative measures taken to prevent illness, disease, injury, and even death. That means we are regularly engaged in activities that build and nourish our faith. We remember that faith comes from hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). That includes not only initial faith, but ongoing faith. In addition to that, time of devotion and solitude with God is faith building. The famous 23rd Psalm describes it as God our shepherd restoring our souls as He leads us by the still waters (vv. 2-3). And what about the association with other believers through Christian fellowship? Our time together in worship is intended to be an upbuilding experience (Heb. 10:24).

So, it’s not just unbelievers for whom faith is a concern. We must take action to be sure the faith that we possess continues, progresses, and grows!

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