One of the Biggest Obstacles That Prevents Christians From Being Happy

(Charisma News archives)

One of the biggest things that keeps us Christians from being happy is ourselves. In my case, I know it's the fact that I can never do enough for the kingdom. Coupled with that are the things that I just didn't do—for whatever reason.

Jesus addresses this fear in this passage:

"And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees.' They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, 'He said that because we did not bring any bread.' But Jesus, aware of this, said, 'You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees.' Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Saducees." (Matt. 16:5-12, NASB1995).

They had forgotten to bring food, and Jesus reminded them of two recent times when they'd had food but it wasn't nearly enough. No problem. God multiplied what they had. Always believe God that you have enough, that things will always work out all right.

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Or maybe I should say that things will always work out right for you if you believe they will.

What would be the point of chiding them for little faith if it didn't matter anyway?

Four times in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus talks about people with little faith, and each time He addresses a concern that they have.

In Matthew 6:30, He is talking about people who worry about their daily needs: "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!"

In Matthew 8:26, He is talking to experienced fishermen who are afraid of drowning in a sinking boat. He says to them, "Why are you timid, you men of little faith?" (my paraphrase). Then He gets up and rebukes the winds and the sea, and it becomes perfectly calm.

In Matthew 14:31 (NASB1995), Jesus is talking to Peter, who just attempted to walk on water and is about to drown. "Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, 'You of little faith, why did you doubt?'"

In two of these cases, the people were in difficult straits, but Jesus was physically present with them. What if He hadn't been there? What if you were the one on a sinking boat or drowning?

Does faith make a difference?

If it doesn't, then there's no point of even bringing it up. If everything that happens is God's will, then you don't need faith. What will be will be. They all would have drowned.

And no, that wouldn't have been God's will.

Don't try to overthink things here. Just learn to believe God for more things.

Jesus wants us to not worry when we forget things, when we think about our needs and when our lives are in danger. Always walk in the confidence that God is not only able but also quite willing to do what needs to be done to remedy the situation.

Larry A. Craig went to school to go into the ministry (Moody Bible Institute, Mundelein College, Loyola University M.A. Biblical Studies) but spent his career in the meat business. Now he is retired, so he writes on politics and religion, both separately and jointly. He has written two books: The Importance of Healing and The Importance of the Lord's Prayer. He is working on a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew and hopes to publish a book of his articles on politics and one of his articles on the Bible. He teaches the Gospel of Matthew in a weekly Zoom Bible class and emails out his articles on politics and religion. He can be reached at lacraig1@sbcglobal.net, and you can read his political blog at poligion1.blogspot.com.

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