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Tag Archives: unanswered prayers

Consequences of Unbelief

In my days as a coach and teacher, unbelief is like an invisible cloud that stalls out and begins to affect and influence minds.  This negative vibe spreads through doubt, fear and a lack of confidence.  After the main contributor is eliminated or removed, those remaining have a hard time of being convinced that success and victory is attainable.

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief, Hebrews 3:19.

According to the author of Hebrews, this is what Moses faced as a growing number of Israelites took their eyes off of God on the way to receive the Promised Land.  Thus, one of the consequences of unbelief is rebellion.  Apparently, several individuals wanted to return to Egypt, afraid they would die in the wilderness.  This wave of emotions prevented an older generation from being able to enter and experience God’s promised land.

“ ’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes,” Mark 9:23.

Today, one of the greatest consequences of unbelief is unanswered prayers and health conditions that do not improve.  Even trained disciples succumb to the power of unbelief after an unsuccessful attempt of casting out an evil spirit.  For most people, each day is like a test, waiting to see if God improves their situation.  The longer one goes without any tangible signs of improvement, the greater unbelief becomes.  When you reach this point, hold on to the promise of Mark 9:23, so that belief will make that which was once impossible possible.

by Jay Mankus

The Blind Side

Based upon the real life of Michael Oher, the Blind Side reveals a feel good story.  Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy take in a large homeless African America boy whose life had been a living nightmare prior to their meeting.  Seeing Michael’s potential, their love, guidance and motivation helped pave the way for a career in football.  This dream became a reality as Michael was chosen in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft as a left tackle, protecting the blind side of the Baltimore Raven’s quarterback.

Psalm 124 refers to a spiritual blind side.  The author, King David, reflects upon his life, looking back on how he survived the attacks of King Saul and other nations.  What he discovered was life altering as the hand of God had been an invisible force watching over him time after time.  This chapter serves as a tribute to the Lord, a reminder to all that God is in the back ground protecting our blind side.

Unfortunately, most individuals like me doubt God when things appear to be going against them.  Somehow the miracles of the past get lost, escaping my memory, erased by time, trials or a wavering faith.  Therefore, the next moment you feel like God is leaving you out in the dark, clueless about your future, read Psalm 124:1-8 to calm your fears.  Although your sight might be blurred by unanswered prayers, the Lord has your back!

by Jay Mankus

Tiring Hands

If you have to be honest, I think every soul goes through phases of doubt.  These periods are highlighted by an absence of God, with moments of agony, distress and frustration.  Many have come to this edge, on the brink of throwing in the towel, walking away from blind hope.

Like the words of the Asaph in Psalm 77:2, lifting up your hands in faith can become tiring.  When prayers come back unanswered and the wicked prosper, one may sound like an Old Testament prophet, crying out for answers.  Whenever these ruts continue, voices like, “what’s the use” or  “God doesn’t care anymore” creep into your mind.

So what do you do, when your strength to tarry on abandons you?  Why repeat the same pattern with similar unsatisfying results?  As for my faint soul, I cling to the promises of Psalm 77:7-11, restoring confidence and a sense of peace back into my exhausted body.  The path of God, Psalm 77:19 takes my tired hands, breathing life via the Holy Spirit which keeps me holding on.

by Jay Mankus

Beyond the Clouds and Darkness

During the extended hours of darkness each winter, depression can arise in the form of seasonal affective disorder, better known as SAD.  When the sun is suppose to shine, grey clouds sprinkled with an occasional flurry often dim the light of day until evening turns the sky black.  Beyond these clouds and darkness, a promise is revealed within Luke 1:78-79.

In the silence of his vocal cords, Zechariah was given 9 months to consider the wonders of the Almighty God.  Amidst this foggy period, a childless father and barren wife struggle with the reality that their joint prayers has gone unanswered by God.  A stationary front hovers over their cries, dashing any hopes of seeing a lifelong dream come true.  Just when age seemed to make this impossible, the Son broke through their darkness.

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Lamentations 3.  Jeremiah writes about the hardship he endured in the first 20 verses of chapter 3.  As bad as I thought my 2012 went, Jeremiah’s year appears to take the cake so to speak.  Yet, like the promise of God’s tender mercy in Luke 1:78-79, there is hope beyond the clouds and darkness according to Lamentations 3:21-24.

One of the biggest mistakes Christian’s make is when they tell a hurting person they know exactly how this person is feeling or understand what they are going through.  Each individual handles trials and tribulations differently.  Thus, instead of opening up our big mouths, the best response is a silent hug, with open ears of support.  In the shadow of death or fear of isolation, God’s tender mercy is just a prayer away.  Once the clouds of darkness dissipate, God will guide your feet onto the path of peace.  As Solomon once said, “God will make everything beautiful in His time,” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

by Jay Mankus

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