Numbers 21:4-9/John 8:21-30
Hebrews 11 defines faith as a guarantee of what we hope for. Faith is the assurance of the things we do not see. In verse 6, it says that one cannot please God without faith. Anyone who comes to Him must first of all believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him and come to Him. Therefore, when we do not have faith means when there is no true conviction in the presence of God and what He can do.
Do you know that sometimes we say we believe in God that is Almighty but when problems and challenges come, you discover that you do not truly believe? Faith goes beyond mere professing the words to actions. What we do to God and how we relate to God are enough to define if we have faith in God or not.
Therefore, Faith is simply having that full confidence that God I am going to pray to, loves me, hears me and can do everything for me. So, the way we live our lives and how we pray is enough to define if we have faith or not.
Hence, a lack of faith is not only when you do not believe in God. It is when there is a lack of confidence and trust in what He can do in your life. It is also when you do not believe in His words. You hear the word of God but deeply in your heart, you feel this is not real or this is not going to work.
We always boast about how we believe in God, but when we hear the word of God we often neglect and relegate it to the background. We forget what it is “the word of God”.
If the word comes from God then it demands nothing but obedience and acceptance. If someone gives you advice and you follow it the way it is maybe because of what you want to achieve through it, it surely means that you believe in the words of the person.
So, when we fail to keep God’s word or when we doubt how true and authentic it is, is a sign that we do not have faith in Him. This type of attitude is what God detests.
The problem today is that what God hates is what we always do and what He loves, we refuse to do. This is how it is when we do not have faith in God.
The Consequences of Lack of Faith.
1. In the First reading, as the Israelites were moving to the promised land through the land of Edom, they became tired and lost patience. Because of this, many of them began to accuse God of bringing them out to destroy them.
The isrealites lost faith and complained as much as they could. They spoke against God, against Moses, against the food they eat. They began to complain about everything. Instead of coming to their rescue, God sent a fiery serpent against them.
The people lost faith in the time of challenges but instead of encountering solutions, they encountered more problems. When we do not have faith during challenges, it worsens our conditions than it saves them.
Only a faithful mind can go through difficult moments. Only a person who has the mind of David when He says “even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for you are with me” can pass through defeats.
When we do not have faith in God during trials and temptations, it creates more problems than it helps. God also detests the heart that cannot show how much he truly loves Him even in the time of challenges.
Who knows if the reason we remain where we are and our prayers seem unanswered is because we have lost faith. The grace of God does not come from a lack of faith. It comes from intimate relationships and faith in God.
2. In Matthew 13:58, because of the lack of faith of the people, Jesus did not do mighty works in His hometown. Hereby, we may throw away the blessings God has in store for us, when we do not have faith in Him.
3. In the gospel, Jesus tells the Pharisee that they will die in their sins if they fail to believe In Him. They did not believe in Jesus. They neglect His words and often attack Him. Because of this, they refuse to accept Him. Therefore, when we neglect God’s words is a way to tell God we do not believe in Him.
As Jesus speaks to them today, the Pharisees could not understand what Jesus is talking about even. As Jesus was talking to them about who He is, many came to believe but the Pharisees did not.
Therefore, when we refuse to accept and believe in the word of God, it goes a lot to reveal how strong and shallow our faith in God is. Inability to live on God’s word cannot make God happy.
God cannot be smiling when we show Him our back and neglect Him entirely. So, when we do not have faith and refuse to believe in His words, is also a way to make God angry. God loves those who do His will.
Signs That We Do Not Have Faith.
From these readings we can delineate the signs that show that we do not have faith and they are;
1. When we lose hope in the time of trials.
2. When we complain a lot about our problems and difficulties, instead of believing in God’s presence in those moments.
3. Like the Israelites, when we accuse and blame God for every misfortune. Many people are tempted to curse Him even. What we say in the time of challenges are enough to tell us if we have faith in God or not.
4. When we neglect His words like the Pharisees. We come to the church for the sake of coming and nothing more.
5. When what we do does not tally with what we say. We profess “I believe in God Almighty” but when challenges come, we assign the “almighty” to problems instead of God. Problems are not Omnipotent only God is.
6. Like the Pharisees, when we refuse to accept the word of God as what it is “word of God”. The word “of’ means possession, hence the word of God means that it belongs to God and not a man and hence must be treated with respect and obedience.
7 Like the Pharisee and the Israelites when we doubt everything about God and do not obey a single of God’s word. Then we doubt His presence in the time of suffering. If you believe in God, you would never complain because deep inside your heart, you know He is fully guiding you.
8. When you doubt God’s presence. For example, Catholics believe that Jesus is the Blessed Sacrament. If Jesus is the Blessed Sacrament, then why do we neglect the Presence in the chapel? If Jesus is there, then we are supposed to visit Him daily. This is why the saints do not joke with constant visitation to the Blessed Sacrament.
The question is “when was the last time we visited Jesus? The answer is enough to say if we believe or not. How can I know that whenever I go to the chapel, it is Jesus that I visit and refuse to do this every day? Daily visitation to the Blessed Sacrament should become our daily activity if we truly believe.
9. When we do not like praying. If we believe that God is the person we always talk to during prayers, there should be this deep hunger to do it every day and every moment, since it is the way we communicate with Him.
How can we believe that we talk to God during prayers, yet during prayers and masses, you are busy on social media? You answer calls even when the prayers are going on? How can you be discussing with God and yet discussing with your friend? This is to show we do not know what we are doing.
When Problem Comes.
Amid crisis, many people lose their faith. Many are tired of praying. Many are questioning and complaining. We now do like the Israelites. Instead of activating our faith, we are activating our fear.
Where is Our Faith? Where is the God we have been talking about? Is Elijah’s God different from ours? Why do children of God live in fear, worrying and complaining as if God is dead and wicked? Why have we lost hope at a time we are supposed to activate our faith and seek the face of Jesus.
In the first reading, God told Moses to tell the people to look up to the bronze serpent hanging on a tree. And we have Jesus who died on the cross. He died for us. Let us look up to Him when our problems challenge our faith.
May God help and save us in our darkest moments. God bless you.