Mark 16 Lesson

Three Things We Can Do To Strengthen Our Faith

FAITH IS A DELICATE THING

Everyone struggles with their faith from time to time.

InMark Chapter 16, we see how even some of Jesus’ own disciples did not believe that it was Him when He appeared before them after His resurrection.

In the closing chapter of his Gospel, Mark documents two occasions where those closest to Jesus did not believe that He had risen:

  1. “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.  She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.” – Mark 16:9-11,
  2. “After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.  They went away and reported it to the others,but they did not believe them either.” – Mark 16:12-13.

How could they not believe after all that they had seen and heard?

Why was it so difficult for them to believe that Jesus had risen, just as He told them He would?

Because faith is a delicate thing!

It needs to be nurtured and cared for.  

If those closest to Jesus could fall into unbelief, so can we!

HOW TO STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH

Fortunately for us, the Bible tells us how we can increase our faith and make it less delicate.

Specifically, it mentions three things that we can do to strengthen our faith when it becomes weak:

  1. We can read the Bible,
  2. We can pray for a stronger faith,
  3. We can act on our faith.

We will look at each of these in more detail in today’s lesson.

READING THE BIBLE

If we want to grow our faith, the first thing that we need to do is study the Bible. 

After all, how can we obey God's commandments if we do not know what they are? 

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

  • “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

The first thing that we need to do if we want to strengthen our faith is to commit to reading the Bible every day.

PRAYING FOR A STRONGER FAITH

The second action that we can take to increase our faith is to pray about it

There is a compelling story found in Mark Chapter 9 where the father of a boy filled with an unclean spirit asked Jesus for help. 

Jesus asked the father:

  • “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” – Mark 9:21-23.

Notice how the father responded to Jesus:

  • “I do believe; help my unbelief.” - Mark 9:24.

The father’s response contained six words of wisdom that we can all learn from and apply in our own lives. 

While we believe, sometimes our faith is not as strong as we want it to be. 

In these situations, we can do exactly as the father did in this example, we can ask Jesus to help us overcome any doubts that Satan puts into our minds. 

ACTING ON OUR FAITH

We can have all the faith in the world, but if we do not act on our faith, it will become stale and stagnant.

James wrote about the importance of acting on our faith in the following passage. 

It is a beautifully written passage worthy of reading and rereading until we fully understand the message it contains:

  • “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.  But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God.  You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” – James 2:14-26.

Unless we act on our faith, it is worthless. 

Conversely, the more we act on our faith, the stronger it will become!

CONCLUSION 

Satan is a worthy opponent!  

He would love nothing more than for us to turn away from our faith and get caught up in sin.  

As Christians, we cannot allow that to happen!

According to the Bible, there are three things that we can do to increase our faith:

  1. We can read the Bible,
  2. We can pray for a stronger faith,
  3. We can act on our faith.

As God’s children we can take comfort in knowing that when our faith gets shaken, God's love remains steadfast. 

When we are weak, He is strong.  

When we are struggling with our faith, we must persevere and understand that better days are ahead if we remain faithful!

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture about faith from the Book of Hebrews:

  • “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” - Hebrews 11:6.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Click To Join The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Reply
James A Guillory

A very good question and some very wonderful insights!!

Reply
Jmack3388

Isaiah 55:8-9 is a powerful scripture. I heard a Christian comedian (apparently that's a thing!) reference that scripture, and say how he didn't want a God that he completely understood. We are so limited. He talked about how he always loses his car keys, and can't remember where the remote control is, etc. Our God is superior to us in every way, as it should be. We don't need to know, "Why" He does things, we just need to submit to His will and follow Him.

Reply