Open Hand or Clenched Fist? — A LifeWords Devotion – Hope 103.2

Open Hand or Clenched Fist? — A LifeWords Devotion

Faith is like having an open hand, ready to receive what God offers us. That open hand may be trembling and hesitant, but it is at least open.

By David ReayFriday 15 May 2020LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

Mark 6:4-6

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. (NLT)

There are numerous Christians who have been deeply wounded over the years by being told their own or others’ suffering is due to their lack of faith. As if we have to fulfil a certain quota of faith in order to wring any concessions from a demanding deity.

Jesus tells us mustard seed faith is enough to move mountains. He asks us to apply the faith we have not withholding blessing because it is not enough. After all, who can define what is “enough” faith? The faithfulness of God matters far more than our own measure of faith.

However, faith does matter, as our text suggests. Jesus was hindered from doing much work because of the lack of faith by the locals. So does our lack of faith mean we are denied the great works of God? It all depends on our understanding of faith and belief.

To illustrate: sheer unbelief is like having a clenched fist as God offers to do his mighty works in us and through us. These locals seemed to have clenched fists, utterly dismissive of the grace of Jesus. Faith is like having an open hand, ready to receive what God offers us. That open hand may be trembling and hesitant, but it is at least open.

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God can and will do his work in us and through us. Our faith, however weak, is the context within which he can and does work. Struggling with our weak faith is not the same as deciding to have nothing to do with God. Just as the open hand is not the same as a clenched fist.

Blessings

David