The Battle To Believe

I tell you, you can pray for any­thing, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
— Mark 11:24 NLT

The year 2011 was not a good year finan­cial­ly for many peo­ple. The reces­sion con­tin­ued, peo­ple lost their jobs, and some lost their hous­es. Giving to church­es, mis­sion­ar­ies, and oth­er char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions were down.

As was the case with many oth­ers, so it was with us: our income dropped con­sid­er­ably last year. As I thought about this, I became very dis­cour­aged. A dark cloud of unbe­lief set­tled over me. I found it very dif­fi­cult to believe that God would con­tin­ue to provide for us. For a while, things looked bleak, almost hope­less.

I con­sid­er myself to be an opti­mist.  I believe that God will take care of us, and I try to encour­age oth­ers to believe the same. However, on this occa­sion it took every ounce of strength that I had just to believe. In the mid­dle of a spir­i­tu­al bat­tle sim­ply believ­ing what you know to be true can be a great chal­lenge.

When every­thing is going well and you feel very close to God, it is easy to believe. It seems fool­ish to think you would ever doubt.  But dur­ing times of test­ing or times of spir­i­tu­al attack, it can be very dif­fi­cult to believe. Spiritual war­fare is real.

Luke speaks of the time when Jairus was strug­gling to believe.  He received word that his daugh­ter had died. “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed’ ” (Luke 8:50 NIV).

I am remind­ed of anoth­er father who had to wrestle with unbe­lief.  His son had an evil spir­it that robbed him of his speech. It caused him to have seizures and some­times would throw him into the fire to try to kill him. The dis­ci­ples could not cast it out. When the boy was brought to Jesus, the demon “threw the child into a vio­lent con­vul­sion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foam­ing at the mouth” (Mark 9:20 NLT).

The father said to Jesus, “Have mer­cy on us and help us, if you can.”
Jesus respond­ed, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?”  “Anything is pos­si­ble if a per­son believes.”  Then the father cried out, “I do believe, but help me over­come my unbe­lief” (Mark 9:22–24)!  This father had to fight to believe.

Believing is not only the bat­tle that we must win, it is the work that we must do.  Jesus says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29 NLT).  We all have been called to believe, and not just in His promis­es, but also in the per­son of Jesus, “the one he has sent.”  Even when we find it dif­fi­cult, we must believe.  For “all things are pos­si­ble to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJ).

8 Comments on “The Battle To Believe

  1. Why is faith so impor­tant to God? It start­ed with Abraham when “He believed, and it was count­ed as right­eous­ness.” Jesus said, in John 5, “My father has given to me the right to give eter­nal life to all I choose, I choose to give it to those who believe in my Father.” Faith hon­ors the Father, it is how Jesus chose to hon­or the Father.

  2. Chuck,

    This is a real­ly good word for me! That believ­ing is work — I just nev­er thought of that. It is my job! When I think of how I approach work, or a job, it makes a huge dif­fer­ence in how I approach faith. To set aside my self­ish­ness and just do it!

    Thanks!

    Jim

    • Yes, Jim, let us work the works of God by believ­ing on the One He sent. I believe that our faith releas­es the pow­er of God to affect or to “work” in the sit­u­a­tion.

  3. It real­ly builds faith mus­cles to believe even when you can’t see the fruit!

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