My faith is not perfect, but God I wish it was. I wish I could say that I have it all figured out, and I never have doubts. I wish I could say that I have found the perfect formula to having a flawless “quiet time.”
I wish my smile was always genuine, and my thoughts always pure.
I wish I represented Christ more accurately and frequently and loved as deeply as Scripture teaches.
But I seldom do. I used to be okay with faking it till I make it, but that grew old and I grew tired.
I would stand in a worship setting, or church service, surrounded by people and feel completely alone. The words came out hollow when I tried to sing them. They felt forced. Sermons became predictable and went through one ear and out the other. I came to church cynical. Yet despite my inner angst, I missed Jesus. I missed singing to Him. I missed seeing His miracles.
It had once come so easily, so simply, so effortlessly. What happened?
The last couple years I have wrestled with doubts. When I entered college, I began to question everything I believed. I gradually lost the reverence I once had for the Bible and Jesus. I became desensitized to the Holy Spirit and I struggled with disbelief.
The people of Nazareth also doubted Jesus. In Matthew 13:58 it says,
“He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”
This wasn’t just any crowd. This was His hometown. The people who watched Him grow up. They couldn’t believe that this ordinary man could do such miraculous things. They said, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (v 55). They were skeptics. And because of it, Jesus withheld performing miracles in their lives (v 58).
Reading this text does a few things to me. It saddens me that they, seeing Christ in person, would doubt Him and miss the opportunity to experience His miracles. It also makes me wonder how many miracles that I miss out on daily because of my disbelief.
So what are we to do with our disbelief?
In Mark 9:14-29, Jesus encounters a boy who is possessed by an unclean spirit. The boy’s father is troubled and says,
“If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us,” in which Jesus replies, “’If you can!’ All things are possible for the one who believes.” The father then cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus then cast the spirit out, and the boy was healed. Later on the disciples asked Jesus why they were not able to cast it out, in which He replied, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
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The man struggled with believing, and he had to pray that Christ could help him in his unbelief. When he did so, he experienced the miraculous healing of Christ.
It’s not abnormal to struggle with doubts and with disbelief. Scripture notes it and shows us what we can do to overcome it. We must pray, “Jesus, help us with our disbelief.” When we do so, we find healing, we find hope, we find Jesus.
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