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Friday, May 1, 2015

Believing God: Unbelief

 

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief. (Mark 9:24 KJV)

Last week we started considering what it means to believe God, not just believe in Him but believe Him. When we know the Word of God, we can see how He remains faithful and true to Himself and His Word—He cannot do differently. There are many examples throughout history—of those who believed God doing great and mighty things, simply because they believed God. To review the first post in this series, see here.

This week, we will be considering unbelief versus struggling to believe. Struggling is allowable and not necessarily a negative thing—struggles help us to build strength in our spiritual muscles. It is when struggles give way to unbelief that we stray into an area that is ultimately not good. Believing God gives us strength to do things that we normally could not do.




On the flip side, NOT believing God is who He says is and that He will do what He says He will do makes Him angry. (See Psalm 78:21-22) God will answer legitimate questions as He did with Abram in Genesis 15. We see that again in Jesus’ interaction with the father of the demon possessed boy in Mark 9:14-24. Therefore, we can know with confidence that He will be patient and understanding with our questions.


It is unbelief that gets us into a world of trouble. May we like the boy’s father cry out: “I believe, help my unbelief”! Unbelief limits our experience of God. Unbelief keeps God from working in the ways He would work otherwise. Recall how Jesus could do little in the way of miracles in His hometown due to unbelief. Unbelief stymies our spiritual growth and the whole of our lives. It impacts those around us too.



Think about the behavior of the Israelites after God brought them out of Egypt through many signs and wonders. They had truly experienced the might of God! Their disobedience towards God brought about His wrath. Many lost their lives. They also were kept wandering in the wilderness for forty years due to not believing God, and not believing those who did believe God. We can learn much from their stories.

How much metaphorical (or literal!) wandering have we done due to not believing God?



However, time and time again we see God do the “impossible”…at least it is impossible in our finite human minds. In Genesis 12 we read about God calling Abram, an idol worshipper, out of Ur of the Chaldees to a land that God would show him; additionally God told Abram that a great nation would come from him. Keep in mind that Abram was at that time 75 and childless. Despite that he obeyed and left the life he knew. Later he took a “detour” to Egypt due to a famine in the land God called him to.

Picking up the story again in Genesis 15 the LORD reconfirms the covenant He made with Abram. He answers Abram’s question about who will inherit his wealth with a promise that he’ll have a son from his own body. (By the way, this was not fulfilled for over ten years.) We also read that the people who will come from Abram will spend 400 years in a country that is not theirs and be oppressed. 

This covenant God made with Abram is all one sided—God is responsible for fulfilling it. God is the only one who walks between the divided animals. All Abram needed to do was believe God. 

Likewise, the covenant we have with God is solely based on Him and His work. All we have to do is believe. We are saved through the work of Jesus on the cross. It was on the cross that Jesus gained victory over sin, death, and the grave.

What do you believe about Jesus?

Where are you struggling to believe God?

How have you struggled with unbelief? How are you currently struggling with unbelief?

Please join with me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for your sure promises to us, particularly the promises we have in Jesus. Strengthen us as we struggle to believe You. We cry out, much like the boy’s father in Mark 9, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Thank You for not giving up on us when we struggle with unbelief, encourage us to move beyond that to believing You for Who You are and what You said You can and will do. It is only with Your help that we can move from unbelief to believe. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim

To my readers: Be looking for additional posts in the future on the theme of believing God.




5 comments:

  1. How I've prayed in the past that God help my unbelief, Kim! He is patient and is working at all times within us, strengthening us in His goodness. Thank you for the inspiration so many need to hear!
    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. I've frequently prayed exactly the same thing, Martha! Yes, the Lord is so very patient with us and continues to work within us, even when we mess up. Glad I could provide some inspiration!

      Love and blessings!

      Delete
    2. I've frequently prayed exactly the same thing, Martha! Yes, the Lord is so very patient with us and continues to work within us, even when we mess up. Glad I could provide some inspiration!

      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Hi Kim! I really like that explanation of having faith there is a God vs. having faith in Him. Such an important distinction. I know that I always believed there was a God, but trusting that He will do always what he promised? That took longer. And I do still struggle with it sometimes. Thank you for pointing out that it's okay to do that. It made me feel so much peace.
    His patience with us is so tender. I hope I can pass that on too.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ceil! Thank you for stopping by! It really is a growth process, as we can see in Abraham's life, when it comes to believing God will do what He says He will do. Glad I could help you see your walk with the Lord in a new way. Yes, God is so patient with His children.

      Blessings!

      Delete

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