RSS Feed

Tag Archives: disbelief

Falling on Your Face in Disbelief

Disbelief is the inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real. Most of the time, disbelief comes in the form of unexpected results like an accident, crippling condition or shocking outcome. From my perspective, most of the times in life that I’ve experienced disbelief has been due to disappointing events. However, sometimes there are positive moments of disbelief like when the Philadelphia Eagles finally won the Super Bowl in 2017.

And I will make My covenant (solemn pledge) between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly. Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, Genesis 17:2-3.

The context of the above passage appears to be brought on by humility as Abram is overwhelmed by the covenant God makes with him. This emotional display occurs when God’s grace and mercy is poured out upon you. I’ve attended several spiritual retreats where I couldn’t believe what God was doing in my life or in the life of a friend. Despite being an old man with a barren wife, Abran trusted God to figure out all the necessary details to make this a reality.

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God, Hebrews 11:8-10.

The author of Hebrews reflects upon Abraham’s spiritual maturity in the passage above. While Abraham struggled with telling the truth early in his faith journey, falling on his face in disbelief served as a spiritual turning point. This simple act of humility prepared Abraham for God’s test in Genesis 22 where he’s asked to sacrifice his promised son Isaac. While everyone experiences moments of disbelief, don’t forget that Jesus holds keys to God’s kingdom, John 14:3.

by Jay Mankus


When Your Mind Wanders…Worry Can Take Over

As someone who is dabbled in meteorology, I’ve always been fascinated by brewing storms in the distance. Sometimes these systems are unstable, breaking up before they reach your town. Yet, other storms intensify, catching residents off guard by its severity. When I take my eyes off of Jesus, my mind wanders and if I’m not careful, worry can and will take over quickly as another storm in life approaches.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do, James 1:6-8.

Since four of Jesus’ disciples were fisherman, the New Testament contains several references to water and waves. The passage above is from Jesus’ earthly brother. Perhaps this disbelief is a public confession as first century historians suggest that James didn’t believe that his brother was the promised Messiah until after Jesus’ resurrection on the first Easter Sunday. James’ words serve as a warning that when your mind wanders, worry can take over.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:6-7.

Up until recently, my motto was “control what you can control and let God take care of the rest.” Yet, as my confidence reaches an all-time low, I’m worrying about things that I rarely thought of in the past. As my confidence slides, my mind wonders “what’s going on and when will this bad streak end?” The apostle Paul gave advice to an anxious church in the passage above. The moment your thoughts wander out of control, pray immediately and spend time giving thanks to God for what you currently have.

by Jay Mankus

Fighting Through Doubt

I find that confidence and doubt are competing in a daily tug of war. The apostle Paul describes a similar process in Galatians 5:16-18 as this internal battle takes place in the spiritual realm. The older I become, the confidence that I’ve possessed most of my life has been shaken since moving to South Carolina. I even struggle with basic self-confidence as I find myself fighting through doubt daily.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said, Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus, Matthew 14:25-29.

Today’s selected passage is one of the best examples of fighting through doubt. Jesus’ own disciples experience a series of emotions from fear to awe and back to fear. As the disciples headed off on a boat, Jesus stayed behind to minister to needy individuals. To catch up, Jesus walked on water through the night, making it appear that He was a ghost. The disciples’ minds couldn’t process this initially.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God,” Matthew 14:30-33.

Rubbing his eyes in disbelief at Jesus walking on water, Peter willed himself to imagine the impossible. As Peter fought through doubt, he begins to play a game of Truth or Dare with Jesus. Jesus’ response to Peter’s request brought him to take a leap of faith. Peter exited this boat to stand on the water with Jesus. The only mistake Peter made was to take his eyes off of Jesus to dwell on the water, Hebrews 12:1-2. When your own waves of disbelief come crashing ashore, fight through doubt with a will to stand.

by Jay Mankus

Extraordinary Faith

One day, Jesus’ disciples were ease dropping, listening to him talk to a rich young ruler, Matthew 19:16-22.  Although books don’t often mention facial expressions like the movies or television, I get the feeling Peter was shaking his head in disbelief as this righteous man went home disappointed by Jesus’ response.  In fact, Matthew tells us that all 12 disciples began to question their own faith, wondering if they could be saved? – Matthew 19:25

Based upon this passage, without Jesus, everyone is ordinary.  The apostle Paul is even more blunt in Romans 3:9-12.  Yet, one verse changes the mood of all of those in attendance, Matthew 19:26.  According to Philippians 4:13, what was once thought improbable is now possible through Jesus, God’s son.  This sudden change or “Hail Mary,” a football term for last ditch effort at victory is illustrated by the song, When God Ran.

Tomorrow night, I am beginning a 12 week adventure, a Bible Study series called Extraordinary Faith.  I am not sure who is going to show up at my house from 8-9 pm, but I am trusting God to bring those individuals He has called.  This reinvention or revolutionary glimpse at discipleship will transform hearts ready to serve.  While demons of doubt are likely already at work, trying to spoil this event, I believe in an extraordinary faith that can and will demolish strongholds in the end, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  This Study will be made available through Google Docs for those interested in bringing it to your home town.  Contact me on Facebook if the Holy Spirit places on burden on your heart to lead or host this study.

by Jay Mankus

Remind Me of Your Miracles

Doom and gloom, pity parties and a spirit of doubt doesn’t exemplify the heart of a true believer.  Rather, one must ascribe to the Lord the glory and honor He deserves, Psalm 96:7-9.  Thus, one option is to recall the miracles God has done in your life.  This perspective should eradicate pessimism from your thought life by opening your mind to the ongoing transformation process overseen by sanctification.

In my own life, 3 miracles stand alone, things I can’t take credit for or rationally explain.  One is a medically related, another defies logic and the last was gradual.  When I was 16, I was told by doctors I would never be able to run again, limited to walking with a limp.  After the reconstructive surgery on my ankle, twisted 180 degrees in the wrong direction, no rod or screws were necessary.  Three months later I was swimming in a pool, competing in the state championships, with my 200 Individual Medley team earning a Bronze Medal.

The second miracle the Lord brought to my attention is my 21 battle with stammering and stuttering.  Thought to be untreatable by 2nd grade, I gave up hope of ever being able to verbally express myself.  Despite years of anguish, embarrassment and heartache, God used a series of events during my junior year of college to release me from these chains.  A decade long span as a high school teacher testifies to this work of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, self esteem, especially during my early years was a constant struggle.  Playing sports helped somewhat, yet depression drew me into years of isolation, hiding my pain.  Mood swings were common place, living with a peaks and valleys mentality.  Beside repeated intervention from close associates and friends, God worked his spiritual magic, gradually leading me to become confident in His strength, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

While I recognize not everyone has had life altering miracles happen directly to them, the Bible illustrates the amazing like Acts 12:5, 8-11.  When God senses an earnest spirit of prayer, He is moved toward action, ushering angels to intervene.  Though I can’t guarantee exactly when and where the next miracle of God will occur, I do believe its right around the corner.  Therefore, don’t allow disbelief to dictate or lead you to expect hollow expectations.  Rather, dig down deep to enable the faith of a mustard seed to prosper like miracles from the past, Matthew 13:31!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: