In times of hardships and unrest we can find ourselves asking, “Where is God?” or “Why is God allowing these circumstances to continue?” If left unchecked, an unhealthy attitude toward God and His Word can develop. Doubt, unbelief and even bitterness can take up residence in our hearts. As I feel the weight of life’s trials and the reality of my own weakness and inadequacies bearing down, I can feel far from God. My quiet times seem rote and shallow, and my prayers feel forced and weak. What has happened that has caused such negative feelings? Unbelief. When my mind is consumed with my bank account, I’m believing that money provides my security rather than my Savior. When I grow flustered over the mess left behind by young children, I’m believing that my comfort comes from an orderly house rather than from God. When I become despondent over the uncertain future and lack of stability in our world, I’m failing to believe in God’s sovereign hand of control and the hope of the new heaven and new earth we will one day enjoy.
Jesus confronts unbelief in our text for this week (Matthew 15-16) as the disciples struggle to see how Jesus will provide for the multitude, and as the religious leaders refuse to see Jesus as their Messiah. Regardless of the two extremes (followers vs non-followers), both had their eyes fixed on the physical rather than the spiritual. The Pharisees and the Sadducees, in particular, rejected Jesus because the message of Jesus ran contrary to their prideful agendas and sinful inclinations.
As I walk through the valleys of my week, I’m confronted with how easy it is to be blinded by unbelief. My “walk-by-faith” lifestyle can quickly turn into an ugly “walk-by-sight” mentality. The reality is, our problems go far deeper than our present hardships. Understanding that unbelief is often the hidden root underneath a variety of different sins is the first step in weeding them out of our souls. The grace that Jesus supplies meet’s our deepest need and ultimately helps our unbelief. Like the Gentiles in Matthew 15, may we readily sit at the feet of Jesus and partake of the life-giving nourishment only He can provide. –Pastor Nate
Sunday at Liberty
- AM: Pastor Nate- Matthew 15:32-16:12–The Messiah’s Gentile Grace (sermon notes)
- PM: No Service