Hello all, it has been a while since I have written a post about my walk with Christ and I know it’s because I have had to go back to the drawing board (Back to Basics). Recently, I have been convicted about my understanding of having faith through my circumstances.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
So we all know that Hebrews 11:1 defines what faith is but what I will say that this concept is easier said than done especially through hard and trying times. You never think you have a faith problem until you get tested and put through the storm. It seems that no matter how hard I am trying, the issue of lacking faith can easily pop up. The story of Jesus calming the storm comes to mind as described in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25. However, I want to specifically highlight the account in Mark.
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him; A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped; Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)
I can be real and admit the times where I have felt the same as the disciples in a sense that things are going wrong and I’m wondering does God actually see the mess I am in. However, I am then reminded of the fact God deeply cares for me and that he will never leave or forsake me. In doing so, God steps in and calms the storm and then it makes me wonder where my faith was. Why didn’t I 100% believe that there was a way out? The past couple of weeks at my church, the central theme of the messages preached all trace back the matter of faith and unbelief/doubt. It is very easy for your faith to waiver when things aren’t exactly the way you want it to be. Not getting that job or PhD? Not sure how you will have money to pay for the things you need? Not sure about your purpose and how exactly the gift within you can be used? Not sure how you will be able to overcome and tackle your personal issues? Times like this is when both doubt and fear begin to creep in and cripple you from doing anything. Kudos to Paul for encouraging us that trials and tribulations will come to make us stronger (James 1:2-5). However, Paul did give us a word of caution as well.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind; That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord; Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
James 1: 6-8 (NIV)
The idea of being double-minded with my belief is a huge no and in fact is detrimental to my relationship with God. So why do I believe in God for something however start to have fear and be anxious about it when the Word says I shouldn’t? (1 Peter 5:7 and Matthew 6:31). Sometimes the problem isn’t that you don’t have faith but the issue is with the elements of unbelief. When you are hoping for God to do something and you know that he is more than able because His word says so (Ephesians 3:20 and Romans 8:28) however for some reason traces of doubt appear making you question if and how will this thing happen. During my time at university, I used to remember hearing something along the lines of not keeping God in a box when it comes to matters concerning your life. This currently resonates with me because sometimes I feel like I have faith in most areas of my life but other areas of my life (in my case career and love life) I get weary and begin to doubt when and if a breakthrough will come when in fact God knows ALL the details of my life so why should I really doubt? No matter what has happened in the past God can and will always come through right on time.
I do believe that the more you do something the more you learn and the easier it gets. This applies to my walk with God as well. Casting your cares and burdens unto God is a way for me to let go of any doubt I have. If I have prayed about it and left it at His feet then I don’t need to spend my time and energy worrying about it. Instead, I should shift my focus to other things that God may need me to do. Why dwell on the negatives when all the times I have needed God for something He was there to hear my cry and needs? I think about all the times that God has come through for me before and even that stirs up encouragement that my current circumstances are not temporary.
When you don’t trust someone you tend to have reservations about their intentions. I know that when I don’t necessarily trust someone I tend to close off and push them away. I also get very sceptical of the words that they say. Sometimes you don’t trust that an idea is going to be pulled off maybe because previous attempts resulted in disappointment. That’s a way that one can allow the past to dictate the present thus shaping the future. However, God is not a man that will lie so this notion shouldn’t be applied in terms of trusting His promises? Sometimes having a lack of faith in someone or something indicates that you don’t necessarily trust in them/it. But with God it should be different! God can see us no matter what even when we can’t see and we are lost. No more trusting in our own ability and believing the things said about us that cause us to doubt ourselves and sometimes doubt God. Instead, meditate on his word and precepts daily constant thing so that you can keep constantly remembering what exactly the Word says about you and your circumstances. We should also walk knowing the fact that God is truly for us and is on our side (Romans 8:31). In the meantime, I need to be building a firm foundation in God and deepening my roots to the point that my faith I am unmovable and unshakeable (1 Corinthians 15:58). I strive to make sure my faith and foundation is as solid as the house built on the rock as Jesus taught in both Matthew 7:24-27 and Luke 6:46-49. I listened to a sermon by Pastor William McDowell titled “Prayer: The Language of Faith” and it was honestly something that I needed to hear. The more you know him, the deeper your faith is to the point that when you are praying don’t worry if it can be done because that is doubting God’s ability. Therefore, pray because you believe and know it is possible; it’s not our job to figure out how and when but just to be assured in knowing that He can and will.
I hope this can help you (and me) to begin to banish unbelief and doubt but instead put all of our trust in God and have stronger faith!
Until next time