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Saturday, January 29, 2005

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Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Luke 1:69-75
Mark 4:35-41

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crisis of faith

"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see." —Hebrews 11:1

Would you be afraid if "waves were breaking over the boat and it began to ship water badly"? (Mk 4:37) When the apostles felt afraid in this situation, Jesus considered it a lack of faith (Mk 4:40). When the apostles could not free a boy possessed by a devil, Jesus again saw it as a lack of faith (Mt 17:20). We would likely see it as just a physical condition not responding to treatment.

Jesus seems to expect faith when we don't. Jesus also looks differently at the faith-condition of our world. We admit we are often weak in faith and need more faith, but we assume a lot of faith is already in this world. Yet Jesus asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find any faith on the earth?" (Lk 18:8) Jesus does not ask "How much faith?" but "Will there be any faith?" Faith seems an endangered species, rare, and in danger of extinction.

Despite these sobering Scriptures, the Lord calls us to have faith. If He has His way, faith will be abundant over this earth.  We will be men and women of mountain-moving faith, which is still only mustard-seed faith (Lk 17:6; Mk 11:23). "Lord, increase our faith" (Lk 17:5).

Prayer:  Father, may I grow in faith every time I pick up the Bible or use this Bible teaching booklet.

Promise:  "A great awe overcame them at this. They kept saying to one another, 'Who can this be that the wind and the sea obey Him?' " —Mk 4:41

Praise:  Albert has been a daily communicant for forty years.

Reference:  (Grow in your faith by helping others grow in their faith by counseling others using the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004