This is not so much a debate question as an honest plea for real thinking. Christians have struggled severely over their faith and lack of it. Jesus emphasizes it over and over again. The Old Testament cites severe punishment of lapses of faith. Israel was sentenced to 40 years in the desert. Esau lost his birthright even when he pleaded with tears. These are severely discouraging, yet Christ emphasizes hope. Could we in this board forge out some perspective using the breadth of the Bible in thinking about this. Most of us, if not all, have had a crisis where some loved one, a child, a spouse, a parent was afflicted with an illness or some trial, and our prayers seemed to be "unanswered." Jesus certainly catches our attention when the father of the demoniac boy brought him to the twelve to be healed, but the twelve could not heal him. Jesus exclaims "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" (Mk 9:19, KJV) This father was fortunate in that his prayer was "answered." But the fact remains is that Jesus plainly tells his disciples that they could not heal the child because of their unbelief. This is severe to us who pray for the life of a child that dies in spite of our prayers. We need some perspective on this severity, which can be as severe as having to spend a decade attending a spouse dying slowly of Alzheimers. Or even that cripple who sat for 38 years waiting for an opportunity to get in the pool when the angel stirred the water. The punishment for lack of faith is severe, but God works all things for good for those that love Him. Let us in this thread work out our salvation with fear and trembling and fulfill the law of Christ by bearing each others burdens honestly. Think.