In chapter six of Mark’s Gospel, we read that Jesus was unable to perform mighty deeds in his native place. We are told that Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. Is our own limited faith hindering the mighty deeds the Lord has planned for our life? Let’s take a look.
Some people say God does not talk to them. Others say they have never felt Jesus work through them. Still others say they have never received a miracle. Finally, some insist, they have never heard God’s calling in their life. Maybe you have had some or all of these feelings.
Before going further, we must never forget this verse from John 20:29 which states, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” None of us should require proof that God is working in our lives, but neither should we miss the times He is.
In His hometown, people failed to have faith in Jesus. They trusted their sight not their faith. To them, He was merely a carpenter and the son of Joseph and Mary. Maybe we sometimes fail to see Jesus for who He really is.
Since faith is the necessary ingredient to experience God’s presence in our life, we need to know and understand the characteristics of faith. Forgive me in advance, but it is hard to address faith without becoming a little theological and philosophical in tone.
Faith is a gift from God. Peter responded to Jesus in Matthew 16:16-17 and said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” God’s grace must first move in us in order for us to have faith.
It is important to note that although faith is not possible without the grace of God, faith also requires our cooperation. Filled with the gift of divine grace, we must be willing to cooperate with that grace. We must choose to believe. Believing ultimately requires an act of intellect.
Our faith should not be based solely on truth and reason. We should believe because God Himself is the source of truth and reason. Throughout history, God has granted some people visible signs of His existence. However, our faith should not be based solely on signs but rather on the Word of God who can never lie. God is truth.
We are often tempted to place our belief in observable facts revealed by our senses and intellect. We sometimes falsely assume faith is believing in the unknowable. The reality is that faith is more certain than reason because faith is founded on the Word of God and nothing in nature is more dependable than God.
Faith inspires in us a desire for knowledge. Faith beckons us to a deeper understanding of God. Grace and faith work in concert to set our hearts on fire. After Jesus revealed Himself on the road to Emmaus the men exclaimed, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”
There has long been a false narrative that faith and science are in conflict with each other. When we have faith, we realize God is the source of faith and He is also the one who reveals to us the mysteries of the universe. Since the same God reveals both faith and science, and since God is truth, these two can never contradict each other. We should never trust science over God, we should instead, seek to understand science through God.
God never forces faith on us. It is a gift freely given but it must also be a gift freely accepted. Faith requires our free act. And while faith is a free choice, we must also be fully aware that believing in Jesus and the One who sent Him is necessary if we want to obtain salvation. No one has ever, nor will anyone ever, receive eternal life with God without faith in Jesus Christ.
Equally important to having faith in Jesus is to persevere in that faith. Just as we can choose to believe, we can also reject that belief. Faith is a priceless gift that needs to be cared for. If we want to live and grow in faith, we must continually nourish our faith with the Word of God. We should strive to live as Jesus lived. In Hebrews 12:1-2 Paul tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
When we are blessed with true faith, we are given a foretaste of Heaven. Our faith is already the beginning of eternal life. St. Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.”
Having now reviewed the topic of faith, let’s go back to the beginning. We are told Jesus was unable to perform mighty deeds in His native place because the people lacked faith. We all probably wonder if our faith is strong enough. We would all like to see Jesus performing mighty deeds in our life. If we are struggling to see God’s mighty deeds or struggling to hear His voice, maybe our faith life needs a little attention. We should ask ourselves these questions: What is the state of my faith? Is it alive? Is it growing or dying? How much time do I invest in nurturing my faith?
On this side of the river of life, we walk by faith, not by sight. As our faith grows and deepens, our eyes are opened. As this happens we begin to see God’s presence in our life and the mighty deeds He performs around us every day.
Heavenly Father, grant me the grace of a deeper faith. Open my eyes to see your presence in my life. Grant me the ability to witness your mighty works. Draw me closer to you every day. Amen!
If you are in the Central Florida area, please join us for the
BLESSED BROKEN AND SCARED MEN’S RETREAT
Saturday February 17, 2024 St. Theresa Parish Belleview Fl.
9:00am –3:30 pm
Call Parish Office for details (352) 245 2458
As always, I love to hear from you. You can email by clicking here.
Please take a moment and share your thoughts on today’s message below: