Summary: Strong faith can become weakened by doubt, but life can be restored by Jesus.
Text: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Story: “Show Much Have You?”
A friend tells of overhearing two little girls, playmates, who were counting over their pennies. One said, “I have five pennies.” The other said, “I have ten.”
“No,” said the first little girl, “you have just five cents, the same as I.”
“But,” the second child quickly replied, “My father said that when he came home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents.”
The child’s faith gave her proof of that which she did not as yet see, and she counted it as being already hers, because it had been already promised by her father.
Do you and I have this kind of faith? Can you and I think and believe like these little girls? Children are amazing in many respects, but especially in the area of trusting and believing.
If you tell your son or daughter you are going to do something involving them, you had better come through. They trust and believe in your honesty. Their faith ensures them of something that has not yet transpired as if it already has become reality.
I. Where there is faith there is doubt
II. Where there is faith there is life
III. Where there is faith there is Jesus
Let’s look at faith through the eyes of a father who had a desperate need. His son suffered from seizures leading to convulsions. This father had faith just as you and I have and he knew that his son could be made whole.
This event takes place as Jesus, Peter, James and John return from the mountain where “The Transfiguration” had taken place. “When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them” (Mark 9:14).
The father had taken his son to the disciples believing that they could cast out the demon from his son that was causing the seizures. The father might have witnessed the work of the disciples on previous occasions: “And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13).
I can imagine the father’s excitement as he prepared to take his son to be healed. His faith was overflowing knowing that the disciples would cast out the demon causing the seizures. His son would be able to live a normal life and the father-son normal activities would be restored without fear of seizures.
There were many people surrounding the disciples and included in the group were scribes. Jesus and the scribes did not see eye to eye. Jesus called them hypocrites because outwardly they appeared to be generous in their teaching and instruction, but inwardly, they were greedy. There was a tendency for them to take advantage of people in order to collect excess fees for their services.
As Jesus, Peter, James and John approached the crowd; they heard arguing and disputing. As the people saw Jesus, they ran to greet Him. In reality, Jesus already knew the issue at hand, but He still asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?” (Mark 9:16).
At this time, the scribes were probably not too happy when Jesus appeared, but without a doubt, the disciples were happy. When Jesus asked the scribes what the discussion was about, the scribes did not reply. By the same token, the disciples did not respond, but a man in the crowd did respond. This man was the father who brought his son to be healed.
This was the father who had a great deal of faith, but when the disciples could not cast out the demon, his faith turned to doubt. To make matters worse, the scribes pitched in and began to take advantage of the fact the disciples failed in their endeavor to free the boy of the demon. This brought about discussion, arguing, and words that belittled the disciples making them look bad and feel bad in the presence of the crowd.
This same thing happens to all of us. Each one of us has faith, but there are times when something doesn’t occur or something doesn’t happen as we think it should that we begin to doubt. This is the moment the devil is waiting for. It is at this time Satan is planting negative seeds in our mind.
Jesus said, “….if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
When a seed is planted, God causes changes in that seed so that the power of life springs up through the soil and extends upward in the form of a plant.