What doubts about God the Father do you have? These are undermining your faith, and today we’re going to find a way to overcome them.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:57-58 NIV)
So far in this book, we’ve been digging up the misconceptions we have about Abba-Father that originated in human failures. Now let’s look at preconceptions. Preconceptions originate in prejudices that we’ve been influenced to believe. How affected are you by spiritual prejudices?
Imagine that Jesus arrives in Nazareth and you rush out to see him because you’re sure that he’s going to work miracles like you had witnessed in Capernaum (there’s one preconception). But nothing supernatural happens (reality has contradicted your preconception). You hear a rumor that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them (see Mark 6:5), but you hadn’t witnessed this yourself. How do you feel about Jesus now? Did the clash between preconception and reality confuse you? Do you feel angry? Disappointed?
How do you feel now about the conversations you had when you returned home from Capernaum and told people about Jesus? Do you feel embarrassed? Belittled? Inferior? Wrong? Are you doubting yourself?
Jesus is walking down the street, passing by shops, probably on his way to the town well. It’s a busy place. Will you go to Jesus and ask him for an answer to your prayers? Or will you shy away, afraid that the townspeople will scoff at you again. Do you even believe that he will give you what you ask for? Or has your confidence in him changed?
Look, there goes a crippled man who’s brave enough to approach Jesus. Hope exhilarates you, because now you and your neighbors will see proof that Jesus really does do miracles! But no, what’s this? The man is arguing with Jesus, and Jesus turns away from him. Jesus looks sad. Surely it’s because he’s unhappy about the man’s condition. So why is he walking away from him? Apparently, Jesus doesn’t really care about him. This would explain why people are rejecting him.
Today, all of us have sought help from Jesus without getting it. If Jesus could walk away from a crippled man, why would he answer your prayers? Isn’t that one of the reasons why you struggle with doubts?
The world says that Jesus is not divine. Many of those who do believe in his divinity proceed to live as if God doesn’t really care. It seems like he sees our pain and walks away. The alternative is more disturbing: He sees our pain and stays, but apparently he’s okay with our suffering, so he does nothing.
And if Jesus doesn’t care, then neither does the Father who sent him.
We know that this is not right, but we struggle with it. We too readily conclude (in our hearts and in our actions if not also in our thoughts) that when our prayers are not answered, it’s because God doesn’t care. Or he doesn’t care enough. Every disappointment, every long waiting, every novena and marathon of prayers reinforces that God’s caring only goes so far as to say, “It’s better for you if you don’t get what you’re asking for.” He’s the stern father who makes us mow the lawn in the hot sun when our friends are inviting us to go to swimming in their refreshing, crystal clear pool.
Day 7 on the journey includes:
- The influence of spiritual prejudices
- Overcoming doubts
- Abba wants to relieve your suffering
- Be reassured that God cares about your concerns
- Finding proof that God cares
- The importance of good friends who have strong faith
© 2021 by Terry A. Modica