I Believe, Help My Unbelief
“I believe, help my unbelief…” How many times have we, like the father to the child possessed with an unclean spirit, cried out these exact words? C’mon, humor me, how many?
If you’re like me, a sinner saved by grace through faith, and one who is being sanctified daily by the Holy Spirit, then I’m guessing your response is a lot like mine: countless times.
What do we battle to believe the most? I can tell you for a fact that thus far, for the six years that I’ve been in the faith, I’ve struggled to believe that God is a personal God; he cares about EVERY SINGLE thing concerning me. Yet the Scriptures tell me he is personal and intimate, even the hairs of my head are all numbered. Written on God’s palm is my name and that I cannot be snatched from his hand, that he knows, allows, and controls all that concerns me seems a tad bit far-fetched. (Oh Lord, please forgive my unbelief)!
God’s declaration of his love
Yet, he says the above and so much more. God says that he knew me even before I was conceived. He orders my steps, even before a word is on my tongue, he knows it. God is the all-seeing and the all-knowing one. As much as my finite mind struggles to understand this truth, it doesn’t negate its factuality. C. Spurgeon says that unbelief robs God of His glory. Believers, when faced with doubts, then it is time to armor up! It is time for battle! The battle to believe that God is who he says he is, that he perfects all that concerns us and that he is a personal God.
“This is a fight against our unbelief, our pride, our fear, and our sin. It is a fight to give glory to God.”
Are you not of more worth than sparrows?
Through Christ’s death, we see God’s love as he did not spare him for our sake. By sending the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, this is another lavish display of his love. We continue to see his love every day as he pours His mercies anew every morning and his grace that never runs out. It is always sufficient. We see a small fraction of his tenderness in Matthew 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.” Beloved, if God governs the world minutely, including the lives of sparrows which cannot and will not fall unless He permits it, how then can we distrust that he controls our lives, even the mundane happenings of every minute and every second?
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.”
I love how Jonathan Edwards explains and exhausts this verse. He says,
“Sparrows are of very little value; nevertheless God concerns himself so much with their existence that not one ever dies apart from His will; you are of more value than many sparrows; therefore, God will much more concern himself with you so that nothing befalls you apart from His gracious will. The reason we know God’s will for us is gracious is that He is called our Father: “Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”
God knows us, minutely. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He has counted every hair, even though they are of little value. And not one of them falls to the ground apart from his will. It is enough to know that our Father in heaven loves us deeply, knows us fully, cares, and governs us ultimately, and that, therefore, he is personal.
“Unbelief is the only thing that Christians should be afraid of because it is denying all that we are in Christ.”
— John Piper
What then shall we choose?
Beloved, what then shall we choose? Shall we choose to despair and despise Christ’s Cross hopelessly? Or shall we choose to cry out, “I believe, help my unbelief!” My prayer is that we will choose the latter. Practically, this may mean crying out every day, preaching to our hearts always, and clinging on the life thread through Jesus.
All in all, it is a battle that we should be willing to die for—fighting against unbelief using the Scriptures. For Christ did not leave us as orphans, he left us well-armored: with the Holy Spirit who lives in us, the written word of God, the Bible, and the church.
Praised Be He!