Monday, January 1, 2018

40 Days of Prayer - "Help My Unbelief!"

On this first day of 2018, the Hope Community Church family is beginning a journey together titled, 40 Days of Prayer.  On this first day of the journey, we are called to avoid the tragedy of unbelief.  Upon reading the devotional for today, I was reminded of the Mark 9 passage, where a man’s son is besieged with an evil spirit and Jesus assures him that he can be healed if he believes.  The man’s answer is honest and noteworthy, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Oh, how I identify with those sentiments.  Yesterday, I shared something with our entire congregation that I have to this point, shared with a limited number of people.  Many years ago, I learned that I have a chronic kidney disease.  It is a condition that progressive gets worse and will eventually lead to some significant steps to assist the function of my kidneys, including dialysis and ultimately, transplantation.  As that time nears, I find that I often wrestle with doubt regarding some basic truths: “God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As I process the challenges ahead, I also must reflect on the victories behind, as well as the testimonies of countless others who have trusted the Lord in every conceivable situation and found Him faithful.   I am also crying out in the uncertainty of my personal situation, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Friends, we all face challenges, or will face them, that test us and stretch us beyond our normal daily expectations.  Don’t fear taking your doubts to the Lord. Deal directly with the worries that may hound you.  Take your burdens to Him as you pray, and allow His comfort to surround you, sustain you and give you peace. Let us press on together, in spite of our doubts and fears, in prayer and faith!

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