What To Do With UNBELIEF (And a Huge Prayer Request!)
What do you with unbelief? Perhaps you’re in a season of praying for something very important. You know God is faithful to fulfill His promises. With all your heart, you believe He has the power to do immeasurably more than you can imagine or think. (Eph. 3:20-21)
And yet beneath your shield of faith, you’re bothered with a element of unbelief. You don’t understand it. You know He is able to do this thing. And yet you can’t help but wonder. What if it isn’t God’s will?
Well, my friend, this is exactly where I am today. Wondering what to do with my unbelief. So I do the only thing I know to do that works. Pray about it and go to God’s Word for answers.
The Situation: This summer, our grandson Curtis has been raising support to go to Sweden on a Cru stint for a year. His team of prayer and financial partners is growing. And yet, he still needs to raise $18,000 before August 1st!
Jay and I know about raising support for ministry. We did it for 36 years and God’s faithfulness never ceased to amaze us. And yet, from the human viewpoint, there is no way Curtis can raise that much in such a short period of time. And yet, the truth is we aren’t supposed to face challenges with a human viewpoint, are we?
I keep thinking of the man who approached Jesus to cast a demon out of his son. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” he begged.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
In desperation the father replied, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
In answer to my own prayer for God to overcome my lack of faith, this is what I’ve learned. I pass it on to you concerning what to do when you struggle with unbelief:
1. We take our request to Jesus and trust Him for what He can and will do. It isn’t the amount of our faith that counts. Rather, we focus on our dependence upon the author of our faith and the source of our wisdom and power.
The other day, our daughter invited us to come over to pray with the family concerning Curtis’ need. Our granddaughter Haley prayed something that jumped out at me. “Lord, if we don’t pray, we’re selling you short of what you’re capable of doing.”
2. We acknowledge our unbelief but we determine not to allow our circumstances to nullify what we believe about God’s Word.
When against all human odds, Abraham chose to trust God’s promise to make him the father of many nations:
“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:19-21)
3. We believe God for the impossible.
According to the NIV notes on Mark 9:23, “a person who truly believes will set no limits on what God can do.”
4. We reflect on and affirm why we believe our request is God’s will. (When this idea came to me, I was surprised I hadn’t thought of doing this before. It has been the key to lifting me out of my unbelief.)
For example, this is my reasoning toward truly believing it is God’s will for Curtis to go to Sweden:
I believe it is God’s will for Curtis to go to Sweden because:
I know it is God’s plan to further His kingdom by sending His people into all the world to make disciples for Him. (Matthew 28:18-20)
I know Curtis loves God and is continually seeking His will for his life.
I know God has put a burden on Curtis’ heart for Sweden, a country where only .2% of the people claim to be Christians.
I believe this call on Curtis’ life is one of the many ways God is fulfilling the promises we’ve claimed over the years for our children and grandchildren. Promises like Proverbs 20:7 (to bless the children of those who love God and live their lives for Him) or like Psalms 127-128 (to bless and multiply the fruit in their lives.)
This may seem strange for me to reach out to you through my blog. And yet, I’ve never hesitated to share my heart with you. And this is where my heart is right now. Besides, I suppose nothing ventured, nothing gained. By faith, of course. Right?
Curtis on Graduation Day at Wheaton College in May 2016