“Stan,” I began one morning, “have you ever struggled with your faith?”
“Like wondering if I really believe what I say I believe?” he replied.
‘Yeah, that’s it,” I said. “You ever experience that?”
“I do,” was his quick response.
“Can I ask you what you do about it?”
‘’I’ll address what I do about that in a minute,” he replied, “but I think the more important question is what I don’t do about it.”
“Okay,” I said, “what don’t you do?”
“For me,” he replied, “the number one thing that I have learned not to do when I’m struggling to believe is to deny that I’m struggling. I don’t think my faith is going to increase if I deny I’m struggling and choose to run away and try to hide from God. I have to admit to God that I’m struggling to believe.”
“But don’t you get kind of embarrassed to have to admit that to God?”
“That surely was the case at one point in my faith walk,” Stan said, “but as my walk with God matured, He made it clear that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, He does not want me to bring before Him. He made it real clear to me that He can help me best when I ask for His help. And that includes asking Him for help with any unbelief.”
“It seems to me,” I replied, “that there was someone in the Bible who said that exact thing to Jesus, that he needed help with his unbelief.”
“You’re right, my friend,” he said. It had to do with a father who had asked Jesus to help his son with some things that were going on with him. When Jesus told the father that all things are possible to him who believes, the man said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief’.”
Continuing, Stan added, “You asked about being embarrassed to admit unbelief to God. I think a bigger source of embarrassment would be for God to say, ‘why didn’t you ask?’”
“One other thing,” Stan concluded, “when you run across someone who says he or she never struggles with their faith, I suggest that you avoid buying a used car from that person!”
Bible verses to consider:
And Jesus said to him . . . “All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24.
Jesus said to her (Martha, the sister of Lazarus), “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40.
Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for understanding all of the times I struggle to believe. Please forgive my lack of faith and for all of the times I have been afraid or embarrassed to admit to you my struggles. Thank you for wanting to help me in everything, especially in my growing faith and reliance on you in an ever-deepening relationship. Please open me to all you have for me. Help me in wanting to know you as deeply as humanly possible. And please help me in wanting to follow you wherever you want to lead. Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: We all, at one time of another, struggle with belief. If you haven’t, you will. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? When you struggle with your faith or belief, what do you do about it? Do you admit your struggle to God? Do you think He wants to hear from you about your struggle even though He already knows all about it? Why or why not?