I know I’ve mentioned the book Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore in previous articles and recently, I’ve found myself reading through it again. Some days, life feels like one battle after another and I start to wonder where the joy and abundant life God promised are. Sometimes I doubt I will ever get to live such a life, but if God promised it, then it must be true, right?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (John 15:11).
In Praying God’s Word, there’s a section of prayers about overcoming unbelief. In the introduction to that section, Moore asks a very interesting question:
Do you believe God?
This question isn’t whether or not you believe in God. The question isn’t asking if you believe God exists or whether you have given your life to Jesus Christ and received salvation. The question is whether you believe what God says, what He promises.
I’ll be honest: Since reading this, I’ve been struggling with wondering whether I’ve truly believed God. I’m certain that I believe in God and that I’ve received His salvation and forgiveness, but I know that I haven’t believed some of the things He’s promised.
As I write this, one of our cats is very ill and has been for about two weeks. We’ve taken him to the vet several times, done everything we’re supposed to do and he doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Right now I don’t feel like Christ’s joy is in me and it doesn’t seem like my joy has been made full; it seems like my joy ran away.
How do we overcome the realization that we have a hard time believing God sometimes? There’s a great answer in Mark 9 verses 14 through 29. A father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing; the father had asked the disciples to cast the demon out, but they tried and failed. The father says to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” and Jesus replies “’IF you can?’ All things are possible to him who believes” (emphasis added).
Jesus recognized the father’s doubt. I can’t say I blame the father; he’d asked Jesus’ inner circle to help and they failed. How was he supposed to be confident that Jesus would succeed?
After Jesus corrects the boy’s father, the man cries out “I do believe; help my unbelief!” The boy’s father wanted to believe and probably thought that he did believe, but Jesus saw his doubt. When He pointed that out to the boy’s father, the man realized it was true and asked for help.
When we come across promises of God that we have trouble believing, we need to ask God for help overcoming our doubt. He can see our hearts, He already knows when we doubt and all He’s waiting for is to see whether we will ask for His help with our unbelief.
Are there any promises of God that you struggle to believe? Are you asking God to help you overcome your unbelief?
Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually (1 Chronicles 16:10-11).