For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in church. I remember my mom waking me up a way too early for a weekend, dressing me in a frilly dress with uncomfortable stockings and slippery, glossy heels. Then she and my father would take us to a place where the music was a little too loud and the man in the nice suit talked a little too long.
My young mind couldn’t comprehend the treasure that was being spoken of each week. It wouldn’t be until I was 15, that a savior named Jesus would meet me right where I was, in a broken suicidal state and save my life, like He did on the cross 2000 years ago when He died for my sins and rose again three days later. It was then that I understood how important He was.. how important faith in Him was.
When I first got saved, I was filled with so much fire and zeal for the Lord. I wanted to tell everyone I knew about Him! I would take my bible to school, and carry it like my life depended on it. I would share the gospel at lunch, in the hallways, in class. I would pray for my friends in study hall or in the lunchroom. I got ridiculed, mocked and teased but I didn’t care. Nobody could take away the peace I felt just being His.. just being accepted, wanted, loved. It was something I never experienced before and wanted to stay with me forever.
But then.. life happened. I grew older and experienced the not so friendly side of the world we live in. I faced heartbreak in so many more ways than one, and the fire that once burned so passionately for my faith soon turned into a small ember.
After nearly 15 years, I found myself in the middle of a faith crisis. That love and passion I once felt for the gospel became a distance memory. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know why I believed.
Was it just because I was a church girl? Was it just because I found God in a broken hearted state? How do I fall deep in love with God again when my heart is in stable condition? How do I believe when everything is merely okay?
What I learned is that when you have questions, the bible is what you turn to for answers. At first, I couldn’t think of anyone that struggled with a faith crisis like me. Then God brought a story in Mark to my mind. A father, desperate, sought out the Disciples of Jesus to heal his son who was possessed by an evil spirit. Lacking faith, the Disciples could not call the demon out of the boy. Jesus, upset, scolded them by saying “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” – Mark 9:19, NLT.
Ouch. I felt how upset Jesus was, and I wasn’t even there! I felt like He was talking directly to me. “Tiffany! How long must I be with you? How long must I show you that I’m never leaving your side? How long must you walk with me to understand the power that rest on the inside of you? That if you believe in me, you’re capable of so much more than you think! That this treasure I have given you, is always at your fingertips. I do the hard work, you must simply believe!” Whew.
That was a rough rebuke, but the story doesn’t stop there. The boy is brought to Jesus, and at the mere sight of Him, the spirit inside of the boy goes into a fit. Jesus saw how crazy the spirit was acting up inside this small child and went to his Dad like “Yo?? How long this been happening, this is nuts.” Paraphrasing, obviously. I like to read the bible like its happening in current day lol.
The kid’s dad told Him he had been possessed since he was little, and that the spirit often throws the boy in fire or water, trying to kill him (crazy right?!). He then goes on to reveal where he stood in his own faith crisis. The disciples weren’t the only ones struggling here.
“Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” Mark 9:22, NLT.
Dude didn’t know who he was talking to. Jesus quickly checked him in the next verse.
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Whoa! Jesus with the clap back! You see how He used the man’s own doubt to teach him a valuable lesson. Jesus basically said, it isn’t on if He can do it. Of course He can heal the boy. There was no doubt in Him that He could. He trusted the power of His Father that was with Him. It was up to if the boy’s father believed that Jesus could, as well.
What was so beautiful is how graciously the father took the correction of the Lord. Watch.
“The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24.
Wow. It was that simple. He just had to admit to where he was, and humbly ask for help. How relatable did he sound just now? He believed, like most of us. We have some faith. But the reality is, we have our doubts. It’s inevitable. And guess what, God understands that! He’s made provision for it. Constantly in His word, He reminds us if we pray and ask for anything from the Lord, if we believe we have received it, He will give it to us. This includes faith.
Faith is so important. It’s our foundation. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith, it is impossible to believe that Jesus died and rose again. Without faith, it is impossible to sustain this walk. But, we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). If you want the things of God, you have to ask Him for it. But you can’t ask Him, if you don’t believe He is capable of giving it to you.
If I wanted my fire to burn again for Jesus, I had to simply ask Him for it. He is willing and able to help me, He was just waiting on me to want it too. He was waiting on me to believe that anything I desire of Him, according to His will, He will grant. And why wouldn’t He want me to have more faith? It’s a requirement!
If you’re in a place where you’re struggling to believe, either like the Disciples who walked and talked with Jesus and still lacked faith, or like the boy’s father who had his doubts, just ask God to help you. And if you feel like you’re still struggling, ask again. God doesn’t get annoyed or impatient with us. He actually encourages us to seek Him continuously. He knows us, inside and out. He knows where we lack, and He knows faith will be a struggle for us. It may be hard, matter of fact, it willbe hard, that’s a guarantee.Yet, it’s not impossible. Nothing is impossible for those that can and will believe. No if’s, ands or buts.
This post is also available on https://www.newlifefantasy.com as I am now a contributor to their website! Go check it out!