We all struggle with our faith in different areas of our lives. The reason we struggle with a lack of faith is that we follow our perceptions, our feelings rather than what God’s word says to be true. At least that is my experience. We struggle because we don’t see. We are prone to live by sight. It is hard for us to believe in what we cannot see. The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for (proof of God’s promises), the evidence (the convincing proof) of things not seen.” “Faith” means to be certain, to believe in, to trust, and to rely. Faith comes from the root word “to unite, to bind”. We are united with God by faith in Christ!
Struggle with a lack of faith is not something new. The most committed and godly leaders in the Bible also have struggled with doubts, fear just like everyone else. Elijah experienced such struggle even after the great miracle with the prophets (1Ki. 18:36-38, 46). After that event he was depressed, wanting to die in a cave (1Ki. 19: 3-5). John the Baptist also struggled with faith at the lowest point in his life when he was sentenced to death (Luke 7:20). He doubted Jesus’ identity, wondering if he was truly the One sent by God. Jesus did not rebuke him; instead He sent Him a message of hope (Luke 7:22). We also know Abraham and Sara’s story of doubt and fear (Gen. 16-21). There are many more stories in the Bible…
We see from these stories that God is patient with us (Ps. 147:11). The only cure for doubt and fear is God’s Truth. In addition to this, you can read the biographies of faith heroes, listen to sermons on doubt and fear, or pray with a friend. When God looks at our lives today and sees our fears, and doubts, He sends us the same message of Hope through His word. When I am in doubt, I challenge myself to turn to God’s Word. It is not always easy. But I open the Word even when I do not feel like reading it. My flesh wants to turn the TV on and numb my pain but it does nothing to build up my faith. Only His Truth calms the storm and builds up my faith. There are times when I cry out as the man cried to Jesus, “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Jesus did not rebuke the man for his lack of faith. Instead, He healed his child. Jesus was pleased with this man’s desire to grow in faith. We can cry out to Him! It is Ok. He did not judge those, who were with Him and saw Him, and still doubted Him. Instead of rebuking them, He sent them a message of Hope (Lk. 7:22). God understands our inability to exercise the faith we need at times. We can take great comfort in this that we are not alone in this struggle. It is a part of life!
We need to continually keep in mind Paul’s exhortation to walk by faith rather than by sight (2Cor. 5:7). We see a contrast here: truth and our perception—what we believe to be true and what we perceive to be true. When we struggle with faith, the real truth is that we do not know God. Can you trust somebody that you do not know? You won’t trust him until you get to know the person. It’s the same with God. If we do not spend enough time in His Word getting to know Him more, we won’t be able to trust Him. We need to remind ourselves what Christ has done for us daily. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Our faith is built up as we continually remind and preach ourselves the Gospel. It is in difficult times that we can easily forget all that God has done for us, because we are blinded by our emotions. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Genuine Faith is to believe the Word of God and act upon it, not responding to our perceptions, or our feelings. God knows that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38). That is why He said “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Mark 14:38). We are encouraged to fight the good fight of faith until the end (1Tim. 6:12).
Let us live in the reality of God’s promises!