God, Heal My Unbelief

The biggest struggle of Christians is unbelief.

Yes, we Christians are born again and attend church and pray and read the Bible.

But. . .

in day-to-day living — between paying bills, helping with homework, and finding time to laugh — we Christians doubt God more than we care to admit.

Did God really say we can cast our cares on him? If I believed him, why this worry? Was he joking about consider it joy when you face trials of many kinds? If I believed him, why do I balk when life goes awry?

Thank God there’s hope for us.

“If You Can?”

Without confidence in God, it is impossible to worship unless, of course, I am asking our God to strengthen my belief like the father described in the Gospel of Mark.

Do you remember the biblical account?

A father’s son was possessed by a demon, causing the boy to convulse, foam at the mouth, and gnash his teeth.

Desperate, the dad asked Jesus for help. A crowd had gathered. “How long has he been like this?” Jesus asked.

“From childhood,” the father replied. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus.

(Let’s pause. Jesus knew he could. The father had gently questioned Jesus’ ability – possibly he recalled the disciples’ inability to drive out the demon – but Jesus knew he had the power. The more important question: the dad’s belief.)

Jesus continued, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-24)

Embracing Honesty

The man’s raw honesty warms me like a bowl of chili in January. I want to hug him. I hope I’ll get the chance in heaven. But until then, I’ll settle for knowing that I’m not the only one who struggles with belief.

The type of belief I’m talking about isn’t the one-time decision of belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord of her life. This one-time decision secured the new believer’s eternal destiny: heaven. (Past tense!)

We who’ve made this decision are declared children of God. Chosen, blessed, forgiven and redeemed. You cannot do, think or say anything to cause God to love you any more. Or any less. God completely loves you.

Continually Believing

Continually believing is tough. It’s moment-by-moment belief.

Do I continually believe God will provide what I need today? Do I continually believe he is good even if one of my kids gets badly hurt? Or worse? Do I continually believe God’s Word that he hates divorce? Do I continually believe he has my best interests in mind?

What if I get cancer? Or we go bankrupt? Or my neighbor shows off her brand-new Audi while my Civic pushes 120,000 and needs a brake job? What if my Bible study sister can’t kick her drug addiction for good?

What if I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong with me? That I’m not a good-enough mom? Or a good-enough friend? That what I do and think don’t really matter?

What if I’m afraid I can’t handle the ugly stuff of life? That I’m not strong enough?

Then God reminds me: He can. He can handle the uglies.

When I am weak, he is strong.

Oh Lord, help me overcome my unbelief. I am needy.

photo caption: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seyyed_mostafa_zamani/5771861523/

Question: Where do you struggle with unbelief? Your finances? Your job? Your family? Your health? God loves you.

Hopefully Yours,

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About Lucy

Lucy Ann Moll counsels hope to the heart. A certified biblical counselor and seminary graduate in Pastoral Care, she counsels women, couples, and families in person and by Skype. Lucy also speaks to groups, blogs, and writes books as well as practical resources. She and her family (and a frisky feline named Polly) make their home in in northern Illinois on the edge of a cornfield.

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9 Responses to God, Heal My Unbelief

  1. Steve Sawye January 18, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Love it. Do you relate “belief” in your post to “trust”? That’s the hardest part for me. I struggle with trusting Him to handle things for me daily. I guess trust is what you mean when you write, “Do I continually believe God will provide what I need today? Do I continually believe he is good even if one of my kids gets badly hurt? Or worse? Do I continually believe God’s Word that he hates divorce? Do I continually believe he has my best interests in mind?”
    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lucy January 18, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Trust and believe are often used interchangeably, Steve. I suppose trust is the best word because even Satan and demons believe God is God. In fact they have one up on atheists in this regard. Strange but true. I appreciate your comment. God bless you.

  2. Sharla Fritz January 18, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Great post Lucy. I struggle with doubt in my professional pursuits. Sometimes I think that because God called me to something, that it’s going to be easy. Doubt rises when things get hard. Thanks for your encouragement.

    • Lucy January 18, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      Thank YOU for your encouragement, Sharla. I’ve struggled with unbelief all my Christian life. I need to always put God first but too often I am selfish. Selfishness is a sin and I know it.God, heal my unbelief.

  3. John Edward Blake January 18, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    You know what I really like your web site or blog.I compliment your very practical approach to ones faith.I guess over the last year I have been overwhelmed and sometimes lose sight of hope.My forward drive took a big step back and then when I reached one day and cried Lord Forgive me I am to selfish.Please give your wise council to pull myself out of this rut I am in.For I have things to do.I felt a genuine warmth thru my body and I knew he was there.So God forgave me my selfishness and I am back.Thank Lord for allowing me to serve you further.Yes I doubt myself sometimes yes I am overwhelmed but God always reaches me.Thanks I see things a little different.You give very wise council.Take care and thanks again.

    • Lucy January 18, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks, John, for your kind words about my website and blog. True HOPE is believing God has your best at heart and has a good future for you, wherever he leads. I, too, felt a warmth and peace when I said, “Yes, Jesus, I need you. Please forgive me,” and became his follower. May our great God continue to bless you as I know he will. Eph. 1:3

  4. Carolyn C. April 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I have struggled with unbelief ever since I became a Christian forty-plus years ago. After undergoing a series of tragic, personal losses, I find myself seriously questioning whether Christianity is valid or even true. This a torturous place to be, feeling like I am a phony in the presence of other Christians who seem not to struggle like I do. I just do not have their kind of sentimental “love for Jesus”. I am not meaning to imply that I think that they are insincere. I wish I had their level of faith, but fear that I never will. I feel like I am fundamentally flawed in some way. Can you address this, please?

    • Lucy April 29, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      Carolyn, this struggle of unbelief is more common than most Christians care to admit, so THANK YOU for you honesty. It’s refreshing. Jesus is real, he is true. Think back on the days when you first became a Christian. Chances are, you felt excited, relieved, refreshed, at peace. Then life happens.

      Loss, pain (physical, emotional, financial), bad choices — these hurt. I could give you a pep talk on when this suffering is okay, even godly. (Read the first part of James.) But I won’t. Not now. Now I want to give you a big hug and let you know you are loved. God loves you so so much.

      Believe me, all Christians struggle. Only a few here in the West are willing to be as brave as you. God bless you, my sister in Christ.

      I’ll email you.

      Blessings, Lucy

      • Carolyn C. April 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

        Lucy, thank you! You were the BLESSING!

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