And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
I think that most of the time we just want too much. We look directly past what is good for us and focus solely on the things that aren’t really necessary in our lives; always wanting what we haven’t yet been able to obtain. Not that there is anything at all wrong with wanting things or wanting good things to happen in our lives. The problem comes when our faith in God is tangled up only in what is tangible and able to be seen by others as a show of God’s presence. It’s a problem when we can’t be content simply having more of a feeling of peace and less of a feeling of pressure when we entrust our lives to God. That, for some reason, isn’t enough for most people to set aside their earthly pursuits and diligently seek Him. I think that’s a shame because there is no way to put a value on the relief that comes from handing every worry and care over to the One who is always watching your back and who sees the bigger picture; all of our flaws and shortcomings, but who still wants to provide that constant and unfailing support to us. You can’t buy what He provides, you can only obtain it through a sincere and consistent effort to walk in step with the One who loves you unconditionally.
It’s so easy to settle for the things we can put our hands on; the things we can see, hear, feel, taste and touch. When what we are trying to grasp with our hands can only be felt in the heart and soul, it is almost impossible to convince ourselves that it is really there. All of the messages we get in our culture tell us to reach for the next big thing and to be in constant pursuit of the new and improved. Jesus doesn’t come to us in cooler, more modern versions of Himself and so often it’s like we write that off as His being obsolete. He doesn’t improve because He is already everything we could ever want or need. You cannot improve on perfection. Yet, because of His understated presence and our society’s constant attempts to make Him seem as unimportant as the ground we walk on, we can’t see His value until we have come to a place in our lives where there has been dire need and that need has been met in some miraculous way. Even then, we don’t always acknowledge that it was God who brought provision. We credit luck or some amazing and mysterious talent we have for getting ourselves out of bad situations.
In a way, it is almost like we are conceding to inevitable defeat. We behave as though we will never really achieve happiness or peace because we can’t quantify these feelings. We are cheating ourselves because we’ve been convinced that we must be able to see and prove that these things exist in order for them to be worth having. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really not willing to talk myself out of the happiness and joy that I deserve. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to acknowledge all that He has done and is doing in our lives and in return, He gives us happiness, peace, joy and love. This doesn’t mean we won’t have other feelings or that we won’t go through periods of disappointment or angst. It means that we will always have access to our hope if we just believe that He can and will do what we need Him to do in our lives. It’s almost too easy. But even in its simplicity, it is the one thing that most people most often choose not to do. Saying we believe and actually believing bear very different kinds of fruit and it is evident from looking at the lives of those around us which of the two they are practicing regularly.
There is nothing wrong with employing the “fake it till you make it” principle in most cases, but don’t make this harder than it is by faking something you know you will never be able to fully commit to. God sees through our attempts to convince others that we believe in Him when, in reality, we have no faith. Unless you let it get deep into your soul, God’s love will never be able to heal you or to comfort you in the way He intends it to. If you block Him at the gates because you really don’t think He can do anything for you then expect that your professed belief in Him will bear little to no fruit in your life. And don’t be surprised if you never experience the kind of peace and happiness that I assure you can be had if you truly believe. There really is no good excuse for anyone to feel that He wouldn’t help them. If you let Him in, He will be your comforter, your protector, your healer. It’s as simple as that.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
~John 6:28-29 (NIV)~