The Question

The Question

“Why were we not able to cast him out?”
Matthew 17:19

It is a question which arises from truthful hearts; hearts with a quest for substance. While many would accept the outcome and simply move on unaffected and unchallenged by their lack of results, those who desire the reality of His power will embrace these pivotal moments in their pursuit of Him.

Jesus replied with this penetrating answer:

“Because of your unbelief”
Matthew 17:20

To grow in truth, the child of God must receive truth. If we refuse the Words of our Master and the actualities of our faith, we choose a path of excuses and religion. The inability to recognize our need of Him is the dividing line between disciples of Christ and the religious adherent. One desires truth at any cost; the other seeks consolation and comfort. One desires the truth while the other seeks explanations and excuses.

Jesus can deal with the unbelief of His Own who will receive truth regardless of its personal impact. Jesus cannot help those who choose the way of hypocrisy and pretense. Falsehood is not a foundation upon which He will build. Confession without substance and teachings void of the demonstration of His power culminate in an unremarkable and impotent Christian experience.

The desire to know the truth must exceed our desire to not have our own feelings hurt or to hurt the feelings of others. Facing our own inadequacies is essential to our growth and development in Him. True ministry must be able to “speak the truth” to another in the same spirit of grace by which He has confronted our own failings.

Grace and Truth are never separated. Only the pretext of a religious “grace” sacrifices truth upon the altars of humanism, more concerned with the “feelings” of an individual rather than the truth.

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,
but that ye sorrowed to repentance:
for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…”
2 Corinthians 7:9

Godly sorrow is the path to victory, confidence and a true life in Christ. The gift of repentance is the greatest of all gifts and proof of the goodness of God.

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
Romans 2:4

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Unbelief and the Good News

Thought for Today

Unbelief and the Good News

“Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief”
Matthew 17:19

God’s movings and the shining forth of His salvation are proportional to our faith. It is in the crucible of the realities of life that the true condition of the church is revealed. Truth is the vehicle and the means whereby His thoughts concerning us are expressed. We often speak of truth in terms of His love for us, in terms of His promises and His plans and purposes; but Jesus is always “laying the axe to the root” of our lives. His words can be sharp and to the point. We must see that these words in truth are also the proof of His love.

“Because of our unbelief”

This child would have gone on in the condition in which he came. The agony of his father would have remained unchanged, the situation unaffected by the prayers of the unbelieving disciples. It is here that Jesus presented the truth of the matter. It was not a word given to condemn; it was given to them to arise from where they were into where He had called them to be.

Unbelief is not something about which we should feel condemned. It is His desire that we face our unbelief with the certainty that He has something better, fuller and more blessed concerning our walk in Him. His sharp word spoken to our unbelief is filled with the heart of One who is calling us to better things. It is our response to His word wherein lies the crisis. Do we turn a deaf ear to this reproof or do we acknowledge it. The truth is that the our powerlessness is in the condition of our heart and not in His power? Are we offended by this word or do we feel the promise pulsating within it?

There is always a cure for unbelief, but there is no cure for a heart that refuses the verdict of Jesus. His exhortations are always given to us in order that we may lay these things to heart and not make excuses; to let His words cut asunder our hardness of heart and turn to Him for the fuller measure of all that He is.

“Ye have sown much, and bring in little…
Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
Consider your ways”
Haggai 1:6-7

We must consider our ways for unbelief is the fruit of how we walk, how we think and how we live. Let us hear these words of exhortation and count them as promises of greater things. His heart is full and His call goes out to any who would hear.

“Unto you first God,
having raised up his Son Jesus,
sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities”
Acts 3:26

It is called the Good News for in turning from our ways we will find His!

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness
and forbearance and long-suffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God
leadeth thee to repentance?”

Romans 2:4

Brian Troxel