Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years the Heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we continue to grapple with acquiring faith in the face of doubt.
Jesus said if we only had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains of difficulty. As we struggle with circumstances that don't appear to change, as we continue to suffer and pray, acquiring faith seems just as challenging as our difficulties. Oh how we want to believe in God's goodness and mercy. We long to break from our fiery trials, but the storms of life rage on. Our souls and minds are battered by the winds of disappointment and sorrow.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Struggle for Faith
"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark, Chapter 9, Verse 23
It stares into my eyes, piercing my soul like the cry of a seagull at early morn. Doubt has the audacity to confront me on an already troubled course. My first reaction is one of panic as the now familiar sickening lump rises in my stomach. The tightening sensation in my chest stands at the doorway that leads to the gateway of my mind and into my soul. The assault of doubt begins in earnest.
First, recurring thoughts crowd my mind like so many small tots on a merry-go-round, laughing as the speed increases. Soon these thoughts block out all other thoughts. Next, my concentration slips away and is replaced by an unpleasant feeling of uneasiness. In an attempt to conquer this doubt, I flee to my knees in urgent prayer, asking for strength and courage, wisdom and understanding, but mostly seeking to escape from the blinding pain.
Sometimes it requires stupendous amounts of energy to get in the prayer mood. I wonder
momentarily if He can make any sense out of all these strange mumblings of incomplete thoughts. I wonder if He can make anything out of these half-formed requests and fragmented assumptions. But in the very heart of my confusion, at the very bottom of my despair, the Savior rests confidently, knowing the true longings of my soul. He has no trouble at all understanding what appears to me to be utter chaos. Somehow, someway, the true longings of my heart are understood. My true needs are being met though I may not be aware for quite some time.
I have thrown myself on His everlasting arms. I have consecrated my will to doing His will. I have asked for guidance and spiritual leading. My prayers have ascended to heaven like so many toy soldiers marching, weary and worn. Laboring under this awful burden, I seek the spiritual meanings of my struggles. As I continue my petitions, I wonder just what is His will. And like the advisers of Job who questioned him seeking to reveal his inherent faults I, too, am bombarded by the doubters. Realization grows slowly and comprehension even slower: His will is contained within the journey of my struggles. Like a great stamping machine, He stamps His will on each of my trials and tribulations. He whispers His will, yet my spiritual ears have not yet developed to the point where I can hear clearly. Like the rising sun, beginning its ascent at the horizon and rising steadily until at midday it hangs directly overhead, the full impact of His will also grows in me until my will and His will are one. I know that as I go forth, I can increasingly be sure that I am doing His will no matter how terrible the struggle, for He has me by the hand of my soul. Where He leads, I am sure to follow. Everything is possible for him who believe.
This concludes today's message on the struggle for faith. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.