60 Seconds – Faith and UnbeliefAuthor: Dave Arnold
Helen Keller, shortly before her sixtieth birthday, expressed pity for the real unseeing, for those who have eyes, yet do not see. Her long years of physical blindness had given her a spiritual insight which enabled her to enjoy life in all its fullness. She said, “If the blind put their hand in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see, but have not faith or purpose.”
It is most interesting that we are only told twice in the Gospels that Jesus “marveled.” In Matthew 8:10, concerning the faith of the Roman centurion, we read that “He marveled.” In Mark 6:6, we are told that in the synagogue at Nazareth, “He marveled at their unbelief.” He expected a different reception at Nazareth than He received. And He was disappointed. In both occasions, the word “marveled” means, “to wonder, to be amazed.” Two things so stupendous that they created “marvel” in the mind of the Lord, the faith of the centurion, and the unbelief of His fellow-townsmen at Nazareth.
Hebrews 11:2 declares, “(By their faith) the elders obtained a good report.” The Greek word for “obtained” here means “to bear witness, to become a testimony.” They had a settled, anchored, and unwavering faith that became a testimony to the world of God’s faithfulness in the midst of troubled times. Sir William Osler stated, “Nothing in life is more wonderful than faith – the one great moving force which we can neither weigh in the balance, nor test in the crucible.”
Matthew writes of the Nazareth experience, “Now He could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (13:58). Dr. A. C. Dixon, once a well-known pastor in Boston, found his church needing a large sum of money to settle accounts. He and his deacons prayed about it. One deacon rose and said, “Brethren, God has answered our prayers. He will send the money in next Sunday’s collection.” That Sunday it was raining heavily, negatively affecting the attendance, so another deacon suggested not to take the collection. The other replied, “I did not trust the weather, I trusted God!” The offering far exceeded the total needed.
“For feelings come and feelings go
And feelings are deceiving.
My warrant is the Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing.”