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Help! I’m Having a Faith Crisis

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable moments in a Christian’s life is when you come to the conclusion that your faith is much smaller than it should be. Usually this moment occurs when there is a challenge so enormous that it opens the door for doubt in your heart and, once Doubt enters, he brings with him his wretched sidekicks—Fear and Anxiety. These three make themselves at home in the living room of your heart, while Faith retires to the back bedroom for the night.

In my experience, faith and doubt are always battling it out within my heart. Faith says, “I know God can,” but Doubt shouts back “but I’m not sure He will.” If you experience this inward struggle, then you are not the first. We even have an example in scripture of this type of conflict of heart:

“If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:22-24

This panicked father cries out for two reasons: First, his desperation is seen as his son is demonically afflicted and the disciples were unable to expel the hellish intruder from the boy. Because of this failure on the part of the disciples, the anguished man was losing hope that his son might ever recover. He speaks to Jesus with open, honest words that were seasoned with doubt. He questioned Him as to whether or not He was able to do what the disciples could not. Jesus gently places the responsibility back on him and addresses his level of faith (and ours also), when He asks, “IF I can do anything?! IF? Anything is possible if you can trust Me!” {my paraphrase}. Then, the father of the boy, realizing that his own faith was not sufficient for the crisis, cries out in desperate moment and confesses that he has faith but likely not enough. He humbly asks for divine assistance from the Son of God when he pleads, “Help thou mine unbelief!” What a request!

Ask for help with your faith-struggle. Boldly invite God to empower your belief to match the level of your need. I strongly believe that He will honor that request. Your faith is not limited to your feelings of confidence, but it is not entirely absent of those feelings either. The assurance that your Heavenly Father is involved in your challenging situation is much more an issue of your Spirit-controlled mind than it is of your wavering emotions.

Over the last few years, I personally have been forced to combat my own doubts and fears as never before in my Christian journey. In times past I rarely doubted God or feared life. Now God continues to saddle me with weights that I’ve not previously carried and, in doing so, proves His faithfulness to supply all that is needed to endure and eventually overcome. He metamorphosizes my unbelief into confidence. I’m no longer operating in the quantity or quality of faith that defined me in the past—He has grown me by forcing me to increase in my desperate dependence upon Him alone.

God is changing us and answering all those prayers we have forgotten we prayed. We asked for strength so He sends heavy burdens to build our spiritual muscles. We asked for faithfulness so He ordains seasons of struggle that threaten to never end. We asked for joy and peace so God removes our self-interests that provide a counterfeit joy and peace. We asked to know Him more deeply, so He entrusts to us a cross to bear just as He did His own Son. We prefer a holy zap from on high to give us strength, faithfulness, joy, peace, and experience. God chooses a different route for us.

Christian friend, you DO believe. Don’t let your enemy tell you otherwise. The presence of doubt is not necessarily evidence of an eviction of true faith. The reason you sense the weight in your life is because God is graciously replacing your unbelief with further belief. It often feels like you are dying but, in actuality, you are being made more alert to the greatness of Christ in you, the hope of glory. What is dying is the part of you that gravitates toward placing trust and confidence in things that never should be the objects of your assurance. As we cooperate with this unavoidable process from God, we gain experience which diminishes the remaining unbelief in us. How powerful is the promise that in Glory, no one will ever again have to cry out, “Help thou mine unbelief!”

Until then, may Romans 5:2-5 be your inward hope and comfort: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”


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