This is from a reader – it was one of the comments on Thursday’s post “What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?”
This helped me get over a big hump that seemed to be blocking my faith. I’m not saying that I’ve completely overcome that hump, because a lot of what you said sounds so familiar, but this is one thing I’ve tried to do:
– “Stop asking ‘why?’ Try to “fake it till you make it.”
(FROM PEACEFULWIFE – I am not advocating “fake faith”- but I do love the approach this wife shares below)
This was essentially the advice of my mom and another godly woman who counsels me, both around the same time (God thing?! I’d say so). They said,
Just for, say, a month, see what happens if you act like you believe everything God says about Himself and about you is all true. On the days when you’re tempted to stop and question how/why it’s true, live as if it is anyway. Choose to believe Him. Live as if you believe it with your whole heart, not just little bits and pieces, here and there, or only when it seems like it makes sense in your own head.
This is I suppose what 2 Corinthians 10 refers to in “taking every thought captive for Christ.” It’s a process of disciplining your own thoughts, to where they are obedient to God and aligned with His Word, no matter what you feel like doing or dwelling on. I think David does a lot of this in the Psalms; he seems to wrestle with trying to figure out where God is, and then all of a sudden in the next line he praises and thanks God for being there. Did God change from being absent to present? I don’t think He does that.
God has said and promised that His love for you is real and infinitely vast and covers all your sin and unworthiness. He loves you as He loves His own Son. You are His precious child!
- Is it hard to believe that? Yes it’s hard! Choose to believe it anyway. Do you believe Him? Has He ever lied? I know that God is only truth; lies are never from Him. So if He has said this, do I believe it? I can choose to obey Him and believe it.
Your thoughts and feelings and “happiness” are constantly being barraged by Satan (yes, that is absolutely his tactic), and if you focus on what they tell you, you are not focusing on Christ. He is the only thing you can truly put all your trust in. You can NOT put it in yourself, strange as that sounds.
Thinking through this issue, I was reminded of something I printed out and put up on my wall, because I need to read it often. It sounds a lot like what April wrote, but I’m going to repeat it anyway. Charles Spurgeon wrote a beautiful piece of commentary on Hebrews 12:2, which says in part: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”
“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus, but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon. You have no faith… you have not the joy of his children. You have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.”
“Therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ. Look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope. Look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings – it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking to Jesus.’ Keep your eye simply on him. Let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon your mind. When you wake in the morning look to him. When you lie down at night look to him. Oh! Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus – follow hard after him, and he will never fail you.”
I hope that none of this sounds like I’m giving you some trite answer: that you just have to do this simple thing, and if that doesn’t work then you’re hopeless. That is the opposite of my intention!! We all struggle with our faith!
- The man in Mark 9 cried out, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”
- Paul laments his own destructive sinful nature in Romans 7 (and to me it sounds a lot like he’s crying, talking about doing what he does not want to do, and calling himself a wretched man), but then Romans 8 immediately recognizes that as believers we are NOT condemned, because of Christ’s work. “If Christ is in you, although the body [this includes our thoughts, heart, feelings, words, and deeds, everything that is part of our sinful nature] is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of [Christ’s] righteousness.”
You are absolutely not alone in this. It will continue to be hard while we are in this body, but the grace of God is about changing our earthly bodies to be like His glorious body, in every way.
I am praying for you, dear sister. I hope that God shows you more of Himself to where all the negative voices are drowned out by His loving voice, and you sing for joy.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.