“’Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered” (Mark 11:22).

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I woke up this morning tired, with my stomach in knots. I spent the better part of another night wrestling with sin, as I did a few nights ago, and as before, I sought refuge in the Lord; I sought refuge in the Word. I am still brokenhearted and feel uneasy, but I rejoice, nonetheless, because I know that God draws near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalms 34:18). God delivers the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalms 147:3). And those are but two Psalms regarding the brokenhearted. Scripture is full of God’s kindness and mercy toward those whose hearts ache, and so, the Spirit lead me back to the Gospel of Mark’s account in which Jesus cursed a fig tree.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:22-25[26]).

I looked up verses 25 and 26 in the Believer’s Bible Commentary:

But one of the basic requirements for answered prayer is a forgiving spirit. If we nurse a harsh, vindictive attitude toward others, we cannot expect God to hear and answer us. We must forgive if we are to be forgiven. This does not refer to the judicial forgiveness of sins at the time of conversion; that is strictly a matter of grace through faith. This refers to God’s parental dealings with His children. An unforgiving spirit in a believer breaks fellowship with the Father in heaven and hinders the flow of blessing.

It cannot be by coincidence that the Lord led me to this very place this morning, because much of my trepidation last night involved wrestling with anger and unforgiveness. I also asked the Lord to help me with verses 23 and 24, not for my own glory but for His, not out of rebellion but out of obedience. I realize that if I do not understand, even if I do not yet have the faith to believe, it matters not, because the promises of God are not subject to my futile understanding, nor is God’s faithfulness subject to my inability (at the present moment) to fully believe; He will get me there. Praise God, for the answer to verses 23 and 24 is found in verse 22: “’Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered.” What’s more, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6), but my heart must be aligned with God’s will; I must seek His will, even for that which I should pray (James 4:3).

I realize that whatever discomfort I experienced last night has not been in vain. The enemy has, yet again, opposed me in my family life, my church life, and my work life, and yet again, his efforts have been thwarted. Therefore, when I don’t know how to move forward, I will rejoice! When I want to run away, I will rejoice! When I feel anxiety’s grip tightening all around me, I will rejoice! God is faithful; I will rejoice! (Philippians 4:4-7). I will forgive! I will believe! He will get me there!

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