I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
This week’s SS lesson is about the fruit of the Spirit and faith. When Jesus came down from the mount of transfiguration, he was met by a man who begged Jesus to heal his son. He told Jesus his disciples could not do it. Later Jesus told them they could not do it because of their lack of faith. Lack of faith is seldom a lack of faith in God’s power. It is a lack of faith in God’s love. This is how sin started. The serpent did not make Eve doubt God’s power. He told her God did not want her to enjoy a higher existence and life and thus made Eve doubt God’s love. The disciples that were not invited to the top of the mountain with Jesus felt left out and doubted God’s love. That is why they could not heal the boy.
Faith is contagious and so is doubt. The disciples lack of faith then caused the father to doubt God too. He asked Jesus, “if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” (See Mark 9) The father added a big “if” to his request. Since the disciples, who were to be like Jesus could not do it, how could he know if Jesus could do it? The father asked for help with his unbelief and Jesus healed his son. Did you catch that? Jesus even helped him to believe. With faith all things are possible but Jesus is the One who gives us the ability to have faith and believe. Surely we can do nothing without Him.
The disciples were to represent Christ to this father and they failed because of their lack of faith. Instead of feeling left out of getting to go to the mountain top, they should have been preparing for the task that was presented to them. If only they had not doubted Christ’s love they would have had a very exciting story to share with Jesus, James, John, and Peter when they returned!
Like the father, Let’s ask Jesus to help us with out unbelief. He will help us to believe and our faith will ignite faith in others. When we doubt we cause others to doubt too just like the disciples zapped the faith out of that father. (See Chapter 47 of The Desire of Ages)
By the way, God is not the only person we are to believe in. “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20. The same logic and arguments that people use to dismiss Ellen White as a prophet are the same logic and arguments others use to dismiss the Bible altogether. We are to believe in the Lord and His prophets. Let’s not lead others to doubt God’s love or the writing of His prophets. If you lead a friend to not believe in the Spirit of Prophecy don’t be surprised when they stop believing in the Bible and God too. That is where that logic leads to. Those writings are there to help us to overcome unbelief and have faith in God and His love.
You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.