Fighting Unbelief

Fighting Unbelief

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Mark 9:23-24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Are you struggling with unbelief?

How do you know if you are? Those who are struggling with unbelief often show symptoms of a hardened heart. This is where my desire for the things of God grows cold, where my love for Jesus and His kingdom becomes stale. I ho-hum my way through worship services and drift off during prayers. I don’t bother praying much because I don’t think anyone is listening.

Dr. Rob Reimer describes the hard heart this way in his book Pathways to the King:

“As our hearts grow cold and hard, they grow hungry.  We start to desire sin. Someone once said, “an ungrateful person is one step away from attempting to get their needs met in illegitimate ways.” First, you complain, then you start looking to someone or something other than God to meet your needs. Our hearts aren’t connected intimately to the life source. The flow of the Spirit is slowing down in our lives and as a result, we start to look to other things to draw life. We begin to wander. False love begins to enter. You turn to your comfort sins. These are all telltale signs that you’re in a downward spiral.”

My Unbelief

I remember well how hard my heart was, back in the bad old days. I was constantly complaining about those who had failed and hurt me. Unhappiness was my way of life. God felt very far away, my faith became a duty rather than a joy, and I looked for escape from my pain.  I spent hours burying myself in books, movies, and other activities that would keep my mind off my misery. But it didn’t work. I was unable to love or receive love from others.

Living In Unbelief

So what is the cause of a cold, hard heart? I can tell you from my experience that the person who experiences these symptoms is not believing God, but swimming in unbelief. They do not believe that He will forgive and heal them. They don’t believe that they are loved and that God is kindly drawing them towards repentance (Romans 2:4). This person does not see that God is just and will repay the evildoer (Romans 12:19) and reward the righteous (Hebrews 6:10).

Living in unbelief means we don’t know that there is joy, peace and healing after we repent of our sin and forgive others. We cling stubbornly to the belief that people who have wronged us must be paid back, and that revenge will satisfy. This is a lie, and we must be aware of what we’re thinking and believing.

What God’s Word Says

John 16:24 says, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” We are promised that if we repent of sin and ask the Lord to help us believe, that He will restore our joy!

Another promise is Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

We must know what God’s Word says and believe that it is true. It is true for all of us. Every day, in every situation. And we must encourage our brothers and sisters who are struggling with unbelief. Remind them that they are loved, and that Jesus is gently drawing them to repent and believe.

I can testify to you that after repentance comes joy. I have been healed of my deep hurts. There is relief from the shame. I am free to love others, even those who repeatedly hurt me in the past.
So let’s run to Jesus and ask Him for help. May we join the father who prayed “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Linda Graf About Linda Graf

Linda Graf is the author of  Bitter Truth: My Story of Bitterness, Grace and Repentance. She wrote it after the Lord freed her from a lifestyle of anger and bitterness. She is a musician, a mentor and mother. Being an author was never on her radar, but during her journey from bitterness to joy in Christ, she was compelled to write about it. Check out her website where she blogs regularly.

Comments

  1. Linda Sammaritan says:

    I’m praying that those who are stuck in their unbelief will have a breakthrough moment when reading your post.

  2. So true, Linda. We don’t realize how hard our hearts can become when we turn to the world for answers. This post shows the reason for the hardness that can penetrate the heart and the way out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Linda, thank you for writing about “unbelief” and what it looks like. Many Christians don’t have a category for this and simply go on in life thinking they are justified in their anger. So destructive. Blessings, friend!

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