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)
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 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.