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Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich!

"And He could do no mighty work there...because of their unbelief."

Time and time again as we read through the gospels we see how demonstrations of God’s power were directly linked with faith. Eg. Jesus told the distraught father of an epileptic boy – “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) – and on another occasion, when two blind men came to Him seeking healing He asked them – “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They did believe and as Jesus touched their sightless eyes He said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” We see too, that at Nazareth where the people did not believe, Jesus could do no mighty works.

I wonder how often in our own Christian lives we limit God because of our unbelief? Jesus said He came to:- preach good news to the poor – do we believe it? Proclaim release to the captives – do we believe it? Give sight to the blind – do we believe it? Set at liberty those who are oppressed – do we believe it?

As children of God we have been given a new life to enjoy and a new kingdom to live in. We have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light. As we entered initially into that kingdom by faith, so we enjoy the blessings of it day by day by faith. So often we try to live our Christian lives the other way round, looking at our experiences before we will believe God and trust His promises.

Do you remember the incident on the Lake of Gennesaret? Simon and some other fishermen had been toiling all night and caught absolutely nothing. Then Jesus came along and calmly told Simon to take the boats out again and let down the nets for a catch. I wonder what our reaction would have been in that situation and I wonder what thoughts went through Simon’s mind? Let’s look at his answer.

“Master, we toiled all night and took nothing.” (Luke 5:5). But then, quite simply Simon adds – “At Your word I will let down the nets.” Although everything about the situation led to disbelieving, to not trusting Jesus, this disciple was prepared to believe. He held on to what Jesus had said, and acted in obedience to that, and as he did so we are told, “they enclosed a great shoal of fish… so that the boat began to sink.”

If Peter had trusted in his own judgement of the situation or waiting to see the fish around the boat before casting the nets the miracle would not have happened. He believed God’s word. So with us we have the choice to believe or not to believe, but it is by that we will see the fulfilment in our own lives of the promises of God. We enter into them by faith, which is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

John

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