“And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:6, NIVPosted January 28th, 2010
by Pastor Rich Carlson
Jesus practiced what He preached. He went, as He told His disciples to do, to His hometown first. And as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and taught them (Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16). But as surely as the disciples had success following Jesus’ instructions, Jesus met failure! Or so it seemed. He preached and shared His good news, and all the people of His hometown could do was look at his family heritage and decide that He must not be worth much. He couldn’t do many miracles there. It was like His divine powers had been curtailed.
Just because I do what Jesus wants, and serve Him with all of my life, that does not guarantee that everything will turn out well. Leave it to a good leader like Jesus to set His disciples up for success and then show them by His personal example how to handle "defeat." He went back to the "lost sheep of Israel" in His hometown and they rejected Him! He did what He could and left "amazed at their lack of faith," but it did not discourage Him or stop Him from the mission His Father had called Him to.
It’s easy to be a Christian when all I see are blessings. It’s not as easy when life kind of seems like it’s running in neutral or when things are going flat-out bad! But no matter how life is going, I need to focus on my mission, not on the results.
Hard times don’t usually strengthen me, they show me where I am weak. I need the successes and the good times that God gives me to prepare so when the tough times come I don’t give up. I must stay focused on what I have learned in good times, and that brings me through the rejections.
Rich Carlson is campus chaplain at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. “God Is Faithful” is adapted from the email devotionals he writes regularly for the Union College family. Rich enjoys filling his life with God, his family, and especially his five grandchildren.