Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Do We (I) Doubt?

This morning I was reading in the book of Acts chapter 3. The headliner for this chapter is "Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar". Please read it:

Acts 3

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers
11While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. 12When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (bold and italics mine)

These verses really struck a chord with me. So many of us wonder (I assume I'm not the only one) why there aren't as many miracles witnessed these days. If that's true, then it has to be a lack of faith - right? Why do we (I) doubt that God can and WILL do miracles for us today? I know that I'm guilty of praying for someone's healing but in the not-so-far-back of my mind I doubt that they will be healed. So sometimes we (I) pray, "Please heal him/her, but if not, Your will be done" like that's some sort of disclaimer or something. Am I making sense? Is it because we haven't physically witnessed with our eyes the miraculous healings that the apostles did? Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". This was referring to salvation, but does it also refer to miracles? I wonder what it will take for my faith to increase to the point that I would have the boldness and confidence of Peter to approach a crippled person and say, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." WOW! What faith! I so want that!


Pam said...

I agree with you. I think miracles don't happen because we don't expect them too. Nothing has changed with God.

Terry said...

I have seen a few miracles and several dramatic answers to prayer, but like you, I have not seen them as often as they happened in the days of Jesus and the apostles. However, as I have read the Bible, I have noticed that most of the time the spectacular miracles were rare. Many happened in the days of Moses, Elijah and Elisha, and Jesus and the apostles. However, fewer happened in the days of the written prophets, Esther, and Nehemiah. While those people saw fewer eye-catching miracles, they still had faith and God was still working in their lives. They continued to have a bold faith even when God was not performing as many miracles. When we are not seeing as many miracles, we can still have a bold faith because we know that God is still with us.

Keep up the good work, Christy!

Brenda said...

Often you have some tough topics and I always want to comment, but sometimes I just can't get my thoughts together enough to make sense. I'll read your post and then come back 2 or 3 times and then finally type something and often delete it. This post is another difficult one to express my thoughts, but I'll try.

I agree and have wondered why God doesn't allow more instant miracles to happen in our lives. If I'm going to believe the first 4 words of the Bible, "In the beginning God...", then of course I believe He can instantly do anything imaginable. When I'm praying for someone to be healed, I actually believe it can be done if that's what God wants, but just like you, I mustn't really have the faith that is required. God must detect doubt in my heart. Although, I believe that He can do miracles even when no one has faith.

It makes me feel better to read Mark 9:17-29, where the disciples couldn't cast the evil spirit out of the child, and Jesus said that they needed to pray and fast. They must have had some doubt in their heart also, don't you think?

This can be a confusing issue for me. I can't help but think of the Word of Faith people who believe that you aren't being healed, or you're not rich, etc., because you don't have enough faith. I don't believe that's true. So many questions. Sorry this is all over the place and so long.