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Written Reflections

Looking at the Heart

This series looks at some of the instructions and promises concerning our hearts that are found in the Bible.

Looking at the Heart A Doubting Heart

Mark 11:23

I tell you the truth if anyone says to this mountain Go throw yourself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

We are all familiar with the experience of the disciple called Thomas, who was absent when Jesus first appeared to his disciples after the resurrection. He was unable to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he himself had seen him. A week later Jesus appeared again to the disciples and Thomas was able to see Jesus for himself and the marks of his crucifixion. Jesus told Thomas to ‘Stop doubting and believe.’ (John 20:24-30)

Many of us will resonate with Thomas as we too have doubts and uncertainties at times concerning our faith. Yet here in Mark’s gospel Jesus is speaking about what can happen if we do not doubt in our hearts. While doubt may seek to gain entry to our hearts, activities that build our faith can strengthen our defences. One such way is through prayer and especially as we see God answering prayer. There is a sense in which prayer is like a muscle. It is there, it is available for our use and as we use it, it becomes stronger and stronger and fulfils its role with increased efficiency. However if seldom used or not used, its capacity diminishes and weakens. So too with prayer the less we engage with it the harder it becomes.

Let us now remember those known to us who are currently experiencing doubts and uncertainties with regards to their faith, particularly those who have grown up in the church and whose faith has been whittled away by the pressures from peers/work/ culture, to the extent that they are no longer within a community of believers. Pray that they would once again turn their hearts towards him and experience afresh his healing and peace.

Written by Dorinda Miller; © D Miller 2016. For full credits please see the site credits page

Next Reflection:

Healing of the heart