NEVER GIVE UP FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE (2) (Mark 2:1-12) – 4th August, 2019.
We concluded in the first part of this message that when life brings us the unexpected and the unbelievable, sending shock waves through every part of our lives and causing us to wonder if there really is a loving creator who cares about our plight, It is in those moments that genuine faith, hope and love are tested, and we are required to NEVER GIVE UP FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.
In the text before us today, we will learn how to overcome three things; I call locked doors that CONSTANTLY seek to threaten OUR FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE:
(a) THE DOOR OF DISAPPOINTMENT,
(b) THE DOOR OF DOUBT, AND
(c) THE DOOR OF DISCOURAGEMENT”.
(a) THE DOOR OF DISAPPOINTMENT vv. 1-5: God allows disappointments for the purpose of testing, strengthening, and purifying our faith, hope and love. We see the four friends in the passage attempt to get the paralytic to Jesus, but were confronted with disappointment. v3 “…No room left, not even outside the door.” They were not weakened by the fact that they can’t access Jesus through the door because of the crowd.
(b) THE DOOR OF DOUBT vv. 6-9: We read in v6, “Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus’ act of forgiveness elicited doubt from the teachers of the law. They didn’t need to speak out, Jesus responded to their thoughts. This suggests that we can’t hide our doubts and disbelief. The teachers of the Law would usually use such provocation to discredit Jesus, and if they had succeeded his friends who lowered him down would have been forced to carry him back home and the four friends might then be charged for digging the roof and probably fined to fix back the roof. However, the story didn’t end that way, the forgiveness of sins and the reaction of the teachers of the law gave birth to the next locked door, which is discouragement.
(c) THE DOOR OF DISCOURAGEMENT vv. 10-12: v10 reads, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . .” Discouragement might have set in for the paralytic and his friends. Sometimes we are discouraged by God’s actions, but we must acknowledge that God always bypasses our wants to deal with our needs. After the need of the paralytic was met, Jesus only uttered a command and the paralytic was required to obey (vs. 10-12). We must note that it was not the faith of the friends that secured the healing of the paralytic, however, what the friends did got him forgiveness, and what his Haters, the teachers of the Law, did, elicited the command that got him healed.
The obedience of the paralytic brought him healing. Thus, we can assert that our miracles are packaged in responsibilities (simply obedience to God’s word), but because obedience to God’s word seems simple we are tempted to seek for bigger things, thus miss out of our miracles.
God’s power to sustain our faith, hope and love is most times found in the common things of life as common as obedience, trust in God’s knowledge, goodness, love and his might. What are the things you have allowed to weigh you down? Those are precisely the things God wants to use to shape your faith, hope and love.