Series: What About James?
Message: What About James?
Preacher: Mic Thurber
Daily Walk: David Smith
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 68:24-31.
Read: Acts 12:1-19 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?
Reflect: Perhaps the unifying thread throughout all of the things we’ve been reading about this week is that of belief. Do we believe God? Do we believe in God’s faithfulness when others seem to have more interventions from Him than we do? Do we believe God answers prayers when we don’t get the answers we want?
In the Christian faith we talk a lot about belief, but active belief can be one of the hardest aspects of our journey. How do you believe someone you can’t see? How do you believe when God seems silent? For me, one of the Bible passages I identify with the most comes from the story of the father and the son with the unclean spirit. Prior to healing the son, Jesus states that all things can be done for those who believe. We’re told that the man immediately cries out in response, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). This resonates deeply with me because my belief doesn’t always feel very strong, and in those moments of doubt I’m not sure what can be done to increase it. It’s not as if you can simply will yourself to believe more. All you can really do is cry out to God to “help my unbelief." It seems to work in the story. Jesus acts. The son is healed. In moments where we struggle in our belief, we can always lean on Jesus to sustain our faith.
Respond: Pray for God to increase your belief.
Research: What is the Greek word for belief in the New Testament and how does its definition broaden your understanding of the idea of belief?