Too Little Faith

Do we really believe that God is able to take care of our needs? How many times does God have to prove Himself to us before we stop being amazed that He is able to provide for His children? Perhaps we can give ourselves a little grace; after all, the disciples who walked and talked with Jesus personally struggled to learn this lesson too!

In Mark 6, we observe Jesus sending out His twelve disciples. By this time, they have watched Jesus teach multiple lessons, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, cast out demonic spirits, and even raise the dead. He gives them His authority and power to do the same, and commissions them to go out into the villages and cities in pairs. They take nothing with them for the journey except a walking stick – no bread, no bag, no money in their belt, no hotel reservations, no scheduled speaking events. They were simply to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and trust God to use His people along the way to support their mission.

The mission is successful. They went out and preached; they healed the sick; they cast out demons – just as Jesus had commanded.

After this, the disciples experience the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. At the end of a long day of teaching, Jesus tells His disciples to give this huge crowd (5,000 men plus women and children) something to eat. What? Impossible! There wasn’t enough money in the collection box to buy even a small serving for everyone. Jesus asks them to give Him only what they had. He blessed the loaves and fish and begins filling baskets by breaking off pieces. They all ate and were satisfied. Nothing is wasted; as good stewards, they gather up the leftovers – a full basket for each of them.

The mission is successful. The people were fed and satisfied – just as Jesus had commanded.

Immediately after this exhausting day, Jesus gave a simple directive to the disciples: Get into the boat and go ahead of Me to the other side to Bethsaida. He goes alone up to the mountain to pray. Hours later, He comes walking on the water as they are straining against a strong wind. He intends to keep walking right past them. After all, He told them to go to the other side, and He expects to meet them there. They see Him, however, and after the fright of thinking He’s a ghost, He gets in the boat with them, and the wind immediately stops. Mark says, “They were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened” (6:52).

Jesus had given them a mission to preach, teach and heal, and the mission was accomplished.

Jesus had given them a mission to feed the people, and the mission was accomplished.

They had seen Jesus do miracles.

They had experienced miracles themselves.

Yet they were astonished when Jesus walked on the water and calmed the sea?

They were afraid they weren’t going to make it to the other side because of a little wind?

No wonder Jesus often said, “O ye of little faith!” How many times would He have to prove Himself?

If we are walking in obedience to God’s commands and following closely after Jesus, we can trust Him to provide, equip, and empower us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do. Jesus has proven Himself able to overcome any obstacle; He rose from the dead! There are no obstacles big enough to keep God from doing what He wants to do, both in and through us as we serve His kingdom purposes.

What’s our part? As disciples of Jesus, we are to walk with Him daily, obey Him immediately, and be good stewards of whatever resources He gives us to accomplish our mission (our time, our money, our homes, and our very lives). Worry and anxious thoughts are a sign we are doubting.

As the days grow closer to Jesus’ return, we are going to need deep, abiding, unshakable faith to finish our mission. Now is not the time for hard hearts that panic or doubt. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily needs so that we will be utterly dependent on His provision. Let’s keep walking by faith in our trustworthy God. He’s got nothing else to prove.

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