“Many of us had desires for 2012 which may not have materialised, but that doesn’t change God’s Word. Never stop believing. I have decided that, until it’s over, I will believe that my change will come.”
HELP OUR UNBELIEF IN 2013
Esther Williams writes how doubt can keep us from believing the promises of God and that, as we enter 2013, we should ask God to help quash our unbelief, so that we can enter 2013 full of faith and expectation
I love the Bible teaching about the boy who had a mute spirit, because his father reminds me of myself sometimes. Jesus asked him how long his son had lived with his sickness, and his dad said, “From childhood, and often it has thrown him both in the fire and in the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” He was desperate.
Jesus went on to say that if you can believe, all things are possible to those who believe. Now, this is the part that gets me every time: the father’s response was so familiar. With tears in his eyes, he cried out to Jesus and said, “I believe; help my unbelief.” We know how the story ends: Jesus rebuked the deaf and dumb spirit from that beautiful young boy, and he received his healing (Mark 9:14-29).
But his father’s cry to help his unbelief is a constant reminder of how easy it is to just get tired. We believe that Jesus is Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Son of the living God. We believe He rose from the grave and conquered sin and death, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. We believe that He has forgiven us of our sin, and brought us into His awesome Kingdom for such a time as this. We get that. But sometimes, when it comes to day-to-day living, and we are confronted with the pain of unanswered prayer that weighs heavily on our hearts, believing and trusting can seem like a huge mountain to climb. But, despite the unanswered questions, climb it we must.
And, like the father in this passage of Scripture, even if we cry out to Him with tears in our eyes, we need to hold on to the fact that we are more than professional churchgoers; we are believers and, in moments of uncertainty, we need to ask God to help our unbelief. He will then work with our faith – even if it is mustard seed faith – and meet our needs, because that’s the kind of Father He is.
I say this to remind us of the reality of His Word, as we transition from one year to another. Many of us had desires for 2012 which may not have materialised, but that doesn’t change God’s Word. Never stop believing. I have decided that, until it’s over, I will believe that my change will come. This year, I have watched people have babies who have waited years for a child; I have seen people get married, who have been single for a long time, and I have watched people, who were made redundant, start their own businesses and get new jobs. I also continue to stand with a dear friend who is believing God for healing in her body, and other friends who desire the kind of blessings that only God can bring – including myself.
The key to our change coming is in realising that God really does make everything beautiful in His time, and in understanding that our timing is not His. It’s also about remembering that without faith it is impossible to please Him. Remember when Jesus tried to do miracles in His hometown? In Matthew 13:58, the Bible states that He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. The big problem here was that this was Jesus’ neighbourhood, and the people there regarded Him according to the flesh. To them, He was the carpenter’s son: “Is not His mother called Mary?” They quietly taunted and rejected Him in their hearts, and did not see Him as the Son of God. Essentially, their unbelief prevented them from accepting His power – although it did not limit His power. And that is what unbelief does when we allow it to seep into our world: we forget that Jesus is Lord and the Name above all names, and start to see Him through the prism of our own strength. This will cause us to unintentionally reject the promises of God for our lives, when they are actually much closer than we think.
So, as we all get ready to step into 2013, let’s deal quickly with unbelief when it creeps in, and remember that God is so faithful; we have no reason not to trust Him.
Finally, and I have said this many times here, be careful of distractions. If you’re walking closely with people who don’t believe like you do, think about whether this situation is really working for your good, as ultimately the people we do life with should be people who believe in our dreams and will stand and trust God with us.
I pray that you have a peaceful joy-filled Christmas and an awesome New Year. And in 2013, be more than a churchgoer, be a believer, because if the dream’s big enough, the facts don’t count.
You can follow Esther Williams on twitter @mew36