What Hinders Our Faith
You never want to hear that word twice, let alone ever in your lifetime. But I did. Within a five-year span, cancer turned my world upside down. Again. I was a wife and mom, active in the church, and hosting a Bible study in my home. I wasn’t running away from God. I was running toward Him. Even though I know we don’t earn God’s favor by what we do, I admit I felt like I didn’t deserve this.
The doctor’s call left me paralyzed with fear. I didn’t have good memories of hospitals, surgery, and that whole recuperation process. I had been there before. It felt like everyone around me was going on with their happy lives while I was stuck in neutral. It’s so easy to fall into self-pity and woe-is-me at times like that. Our family went to God in prayer, the place we always go no matter what the situation, but I was still afraid.
After a sleepless night, I walked into the kitchen planning to read my Bible and pray. I stopped when I saw something on the counter. Our teenage son had left a note for me by his open Bible. It read like this.
“Mom, if you’re fearful, you must be listening to the father of lies. Believe the truth.”
Through blinding tears, I noticed he had marked John 8:44.
“(Satan) doesn’t hold to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The question was, whom was I going to believe?
It’s incredible when your son (the one you have trained up in the way he should go) points you to the truth of God’s Word. He reminded me of what I knew but was having trouble remembering. He encouraged me to believe God, not lies the enemy was throwing at me. I had believed in the power of God my entire life, but at that moment fear was masking my faith. Thankfully, God is full of mercy and grace. He understood my pain. There was no condemnation. But first, I had to be intentional. I tried really hard to take my thoughts captive and turn them toward truth.
We read in scripture that unbelief is a hindrance to God moving in our lives. I did not want my thoughts to be governed by fear. My faith would govern my thoughts, not unbelief. God saw me through those coming weeks with victory. Early detection, another complete mastectomy to remove any trace of cancer, and no need for chemo. Those were blessings in themselves! I still can’t stop thanking Him. That was nearly 24 years ago, and I am still cancer-free! He restored me to health and let me live! (Isaiah 38:16). Praise God!
Read Mark 5:21-23 and 35-42
1. What did Jesus do to the crowd before raising Jairus’ daughter back to life?
Read Acts 9:36-42
2. What did Peter do to the crowd mourning the death of Dorcus (also called Tabitha)?
3. What happened as a result of Peter’s prayer, and how did it affect the people?
4. Why do you think Jesus and Peter did this?
Read Mark 6:1-6
5. What hindered the miracles of Jesus in his home town? How can this apply to your life?
We read of many accounts in the Bible where the miracle-working power of Jesus was limited by the unbelief around him. How often do we read Jesus saying, “Your faith has made you whole.” Yet, we can never put Jesus in a box. Remember the story of the paralyzed man who was let down through the roof to get to Jesus. The man showed no faith of his own, but it was his friends who had faith for him to be healed. Sometimes it is the faith of the sick person that makes them whole, and sometimes it is the faith of others. These stories remind us that God works through faith in His absolute power to do anything. Mark 9:23 says it best. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Don’t allow unbelief to hinder your faith. Go to the Word of God. Read it. Meditate on it. Declare it. And believe for your miracle.