When Faith Wavers

  • July 25, 2015
Saturday 25

Matthew 21:21

One of the main obstacles to effective prayer is lack of trust. If we believe God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, why do so many of us habitually waver in our prayers? Instead of exercising bold faith, we come to the Lord “hoping” He will hear us and answer our requests, but we’re just not sure He will. With this kind of thinking, we cannot expect to receive anything from Him.

One reason we are so prone to doubt is that we fail to see God at work in our circumstances. We asked, and nothing happened. But the Lord is not some cosmic bellhop who jumps in response to our requests. He sees past, present, and future and knows the right time for every answer. His invisible hand is already at work on our behalf—arranging situations to accomplish His will, opening hearts, and preparing us to receive what He wants to give.

Another cause for uncertainty is ignorance. If we don’t know God’s ways, we will be disappointed in His response. All too often our prayers are accompanied by expectations of how He will work. When He fails to intervene according to our anticipated method, we start to doubt. But placing our faith in the Lord and trusting in His good and perfect ways gives us stability as we wait for His answer.

To overcome doubts, spend time in the Word to learn God’s principles and ways. Then you’ll begin to grasp what He wants to achieve in your life and how He goes about it. Examine your past from a biblical perspective—faith will grow as you see the unexpected ways He’s answered your prayers.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 11-14 

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21 And Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.

1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.

7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.

9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.

10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.

11 Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea.

12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim.

14 They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; Together they will plunder the sons of the east; They will possess Edom and Moab, And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.

15 And the LORD will utterly destroy The tongue of the Sea of Egypt; And He will wave His hand over the River With His scorching wind; And He will strike it into seven streams And make men walk over dry-shod.

16 And there will be a highway from Assyria For the remnant of His people who will be left, Just as there was for Israel In the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.

1 Then you will say on that day, I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.

2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."

3 Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.

4 And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted."

5 Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.

6 Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

1 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

2 Lift up a standard on the bare hill, Raise your voice to them, Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles.

3 I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To execute My anger.

4 A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle.

5 They are coming from a far country, From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land.

6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

7 Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man's heart will melt.

8 They will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of them; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame.

9 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light.

11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.

12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir.

13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger.

14 And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather them, They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land.

15 Anyone who is found will be thrust through, And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.

16 Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces Before their eyes; Their houses will be plundered And their wives ravished.

17 Behold, I am going to stir up the Medes against them, Who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold.

18 And their bows will mow down the young men, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, Nor will their eye pity children.

19 And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans' pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

20 It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.

21 But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.

22 Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.

1 When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

2 The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.

3 And it will be in the day when the LORD gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved,

4 that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, How the oppressor has ceased, And how fury has ceased!

5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of rulers

6 Which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, Which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution.

7 The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy.

8 Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, `Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.'

9 Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.

10 They will all respond and say to you, `Even you have been made weak as we, You have become like us.

11 Your pomp and the music of your harps Have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you And worms are your covering.'

12 How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!

13 But you said in your heart, `I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

15 Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.

16 Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, `Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,

17 Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?'

18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, Each in his own tomb.

19 But you have been cast out of your tomb Like a rejected branch, Clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit Like a trampled corpse.

20 You will not be united with them in burial, Because you have ruined your country, You have slain your people. May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.

21 Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter Because of the iniquity of their fathers. They must not arise and take possession of the earth And fill the face of the world with cities."

22 I will rise up against them," declares the LORD of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity," declares the LORD.

23 I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

24 The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,

25 to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder.

26 This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations.

27 For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"

28 In the year that King Ahaz died this oracle came:

29 Do not rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For from the serpent's root a viper will come out, And its fruit will be a flying serpent.

30 Those who are most helpless will eat, And the needy will lie down in security; I will destroy your root with famine, And it will kill off your survivors.

31 Wail, O gate; cry, O city; Melt away, O Philistia, all of you; For smoke comes from the north, And there is no straggler in his ranks.

32 How then will one answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, And the afflicted of His people will seek refuge in it."

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Publish Date November 21, 2017
Causes of Rebellion

Believers are not immune to the dangers of doubt and pride.

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