It can be frustrating when someone won’t believe you. There have been a few times over the years when Wendy hasn’t believed that I know how to get to whatever destination we’re driving to. Before you jump to conclusions I need to confess that she’s been right at least as often as I have. But I used to get very frustrated when I knew I was right and she wouldn’t believe me. Not so much anymore. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s easier to be gracious when I’m right than it is to be humbled after being adamant only to discover I’m wrong.
Gratefully God’s attitude towards us is always one of graciousness. Not that God is ever wrong, but there are many times when we don’t believe him, and though he may scold us for our unbelief, it is always gently and for the purpose of leading us into belief.
In Mark chapter 16 Jesus reprimanded the disciples for not believing the witness of those who had seen him after his resurrection. But then he commissioned them and they went out and turned the world upside down in their witness of him.
What do you struggle believing? Maybe you’re like the disciples and are having a hard time believing that Jesus rose from the grave and has extended grace and forgiveness to you.
Or maybe you identify with what a few people, who in my mind are spiritual giants, have admitted they struggle believing:
“I have a very hard time with believing that I don’t need to worry about money. Nothing – not even disease – stresses me out more than when I don’t think I will have enough money.”
“’Husband, love your wife as Christ love the church/Wives respect your husbands.’ Deepest struggles over the years have been to believe that I can or even should initiate love toward my spouse when words or actions have hurt or disappointed time and again and I feel like my spouse doesn’t deserve my love.”
“I struggle with forgiving people who have hurt me. My head can have all the right answers about loving and forgiving, but when I get in that persons presence I feel the walls going up and a strange awkwardness.”
My own struggle to believe has been that I don’t need to feel appropriately guilty for an appropriate length of time, like some sort of penance, before God is satisfied that I’m truly repentant.
The key to overcoming unbelief begins in the head and then moves to the will. I decide that I will believe God and then choose to act on that belief in obedience to God. The “feelings” of belief will follow.
This is faith. And faith comes from God.