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An Expose' on unbelief
The power of unbelief
Many people today may use the word doubt or unbelief in a casual way because it does not seem that big of a deal. The truth is that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). When God is not pleased, the responsible party will not be pleased also because God can only work on a believing persons behalf . In Mark 6 we can see the power of unbelief as displayed by the people of Nazareth. Nazareth was where Jesus grew up and the people there knew him well, but they did not believe in him and because of this unbelief, he could there do no mighty work except he laid his hand on a few sick people and healed them. It was not that he did not want to help the people of his hometown, but he could not because unbelief stopped him. Unbelief stops God from doing what he wants to do! think about that...most people would say God can do anything, but he cannot work where unbelief resides so one must examine their life to see whether they are in the faith or miss out on his best.
7 Facts About Unbelief
Jesus marveled at the unbelief of Nazareth and it stopped him from doing what he wanted to do there (Mark 6)
- Unbelief is contagious if you hang around it:
Jesus went to the surrounding villages because Nazareth would not accept him. He separated himself from unbelief. Also when he raised Jairus daughter from the dead he had to put the unbelieving scorners out of the room (Mark5:22)
- Unbelief cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6)
- Unbelief causes the worst to happen and it is too late to do anything about it:
A person who dies in their sin because of unbelief will find out that it is too late to do anything then (Luke 16:19-31)
- Unbelief never gives God what he requires:
Faith without corresponding action (works) is dead (James 2:17). Corresponding action is the responsibility of the believing person, but if the person is in unbelief they cannot give God what he requires. Hebrews 11:4 declares that by faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain because his faith gave God what he required while Cains unbelief did not.
- Unbelief never prepares in advance because it denies the reality of what can happen:
By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear prepared an ark to the saving of his house (Hebrews 11:7a)
- Unbelief comes whenever the word of God is not understood (Matthew 13:19)
Faith cannot come when the word is not understood, for example imagine listening to your boss on the first day on the job and not understanding his instruction for your job duties. You would not believe in your ability to do it effectively. Unbelief would stop production until understanding and faith came.
- Unbelief can be found where people view themselves as failures:
The father who had a suicidal son cried Lord I believe, help my unbelief because he had failed in his previous attempts to get help for his son (Mark 9:23). Faith always requires responsibility from a person because faith without works is dead being alone (James 2:14-26).
Unbelief stops the Lord from doing what he wants to do...
In Mark 6 we also find that Nazareth did not honor and respect Jesus because Jesus said that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and among his kin. Unbelief can stop family and friends from believing in one another, and Nazareth knew Jesus by his occupation (Carpenter) and not by who he really was (Son of God). There were only a few out of many that received what he had to offer.
Are you in denial?
Denial is simply another word for unbelief because people who deny the realization of something may procrastinate, make excuses and not do anything until its too late.
One of the dictionary meanings for denial is a refusal to accept or believe something, such as a doctrine or belief. People in denial not only do not believe, but they refuse to believe. This explains why evidence does not mean anything to a person in denial because everything can be laid out but that persons mindset will choose what they want to see and believe over the physical evidence. Many times a person in denial may know something is true but refuse to acknowledge that truth based upon their motives and reasoning.
For example Peter denied knowing Jesus but his motive and reasoning for doing so was because he was afraid that he would die also. People deny truth for a number of reasons such as pride, revenge, fear, peer pressure, selfishness to name a few. Thomas one of Jesus' twelve Disciples refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead in spite of evidence provided by others. Thomas made demands "which is what many people who are in denial do" by saying... But he said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe (John 20:25).
Notice he said I will not or I refuse to believe. The problem with personal demands for believing is when do those demands end? left up to the human heart they could go on for a lifetime. Jesus shows up giving Thomas his requested demands but still says something life changing! Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing (John 20:27). This statement proves that even though evidence is presented unbelief can still be present. It is the condition of the heart that is the foundation and point of reference from which something is viewed.
People who are in denial over the inevitable
People may be in denial over the inevitable because they don't believe they are at risk. Even though they have heard it all before, it is always the next person that it will happen to and not them. Sorry to say but many times reality must come in the form of a wake up call and scare before they become a believer.
People who are in denial over their reality
People who are in denial fail to see the realization of where they really are at the moment. They may lie to themselves to make things seem better than they really are, and they don't believe that the worst can happen. Denial also stops a person from doing what needs to be done because they don't believe anything is wrong. Getting a perspective from another source other than oneself can reflect another point of view and way of seeing things differently.