Many times in people’s lives they struggle with faith. Sometimes something happens to them that shakes their faith to the core. Is it wrong to sometimes have doubts? Does God love you less if you sometimes question your belief in Him? The answer is no. Sometimes I think we are told that we are not allowed to struggle with our faith, but I have found that even those who are truly committed followers of Christ sometimes struggle with doubts just like you and I.
In Hebrews 11:1 we see a great definition of faith. In fact the majority of us have memorized this verse. It says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is an active trust and belief displayed through obedience. This verse speaks of a faith that is in the unseen. This is something that we as people struggle with. We tend to try and place our faith in tangible things, things we can see and touch but that is easy, what isn’t easy is having spiritual faith. This is something that is outside of our senses and this is also why we all have moments of doubt and why sometimes we struggle with our faith.
When we read further in Hebrews 11 in verse 6 we read, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” This is the biblical purpose of faith, to bring us into the presence of God. Faith entails believing that God exists. In Hebrews 1:2 it says that God has revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus. We see in this verse that faith also entails believing that God will reward those who seek Him. We see this expression of seeking the Lord throughout the Psalms, it is speaking of those who seek God and those who trust in His promises. The one thing I love about Hebrews 11 is that it is so encouraging when I have struggles with my faith. I sit and I read about so many of Old Testament “heroes” of the faith and try and see how it draws me to my present day and this generation we live in. I think about Noah and Abraham and how they may have had doubts and they may have not understood exactly what it what that God wanted from them but they had faith, they trusted in God and they knew that because they did have that faith and trust that God would see them through.
God does understand that sometimes we would struggle with faith, that sometimes we would have doubts. I was reading the gospel of Mark the other day and one chapter that stuck out to me that made me think about the struggle of faith was in Mark chapter 9. Starting at verse 14 we read about a boy who has an unclean spirit. There was some ruckus going on when Jesus came and He found the ruckus was because the disciples were unable to cast the demon out of the boy. The father brought his son there expecting to find Jesus bit instead found His disciples. Jesus speaks and says, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” I can’t help but imagine that Jesus was not only talking to the crowd that gathered but also to His disciples… Let;s look at what the father said in verse 24. He said, “I believe, Help my unbelief.” Have you ever felt that way? I believe Lord, but please help my unbelief. This father admitted to Jesus that he wanted help in his unbelief. He believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he still had that little doubt and wanted help in that unbelief that he had. This is how we should approach those times that we struggle with our faith. Look at what happened after this. Jesus did not rebuke the father, He did not lecture the father on how he should have stronger faith, not He healed his son, He honored this father and knew that his faith would increase because the father asked Him to help his unbelief. So even when we have those moments of unbelief or when we sometimes struggle with our faith, we need to keep Jesus and the object of our faith and we need to continue to read His Word and continue to fight for that faith in Him that we have. Keeping our eyes focused on Christ will help us through our struggles and relying on the Holy Spirit is our greatest power that we have that will help us overcome any doubt or struggle we may have. We can cry out just as this father did, Lord I believe but help my unbelief….and He will.