Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”
Matthew 14:31, “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
John 4:48; 12:37, “Then said Jesus unto him, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him”
Fear, doubt and unbelief has many different forms by which it shows itself. We know that there are some who don’t believe there is a God. Others believe that there is a God, but say that no one can really know for sure who He is or what He is about; but that He is whoever you see Him as being. Although this may appear to some to be a degree of faith, it really isn’t because it leaves God as an abstract, and basically without any real meaning. When we worry we doubt God’s goodness and His promises. We choose to believe that He is not who He says He is. In essence, a lifestyle of worry makes God out to be a liar. Worry is sin, because it is rooted in a lack of faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). But with faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed, all things are possible (Matthew 17:20).
There are so many illustrations of fear, doubt and unbelief recorded in God’s Eternal Word. God promised Abraham and his wife Sarah that they would have a son; Abraham laughed in unbelief and replied, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17). Later, Sarah laughed for the same reason: “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (18:12). However, perhaps the most profound example comes from the generation of Israelites who failed to reach the Promised Land. These faithless ones saw only difficulties and defeat. Yes, the giants were great, but wasn’t their God greater? How could they so easily forget the way God led them through the wilderness? These Israelites were the same ones who experienced the brutal oppression of slavery. They witnessed God’s plagues upon Egypt, watched the Red Sea part for them, trembled at God’s power revealed at Mount Sinai, tasted bread from heaven and drank water from a rock.
It’s easy to say we trust God and yet we try to handle things ourselves without turning to Him and His Word. Although God is constantly working, He allows us to set a limit on the degree of work He does on our behalf. You can see this truth demonstrated in Mark 6 when Jesus tried to do mighty things in His hometown. They persisted in denying His deity, in spite of His obvious miracles because the people saw Him merely as a carpenter’s son and not as God’s Son, thus, they limited what He could do for them (v.5). Many people demanded from Jesus “a sign from heaven” (Luke 11:16). Jesus refused their arrogant and insulting demands, because their real problem wasn’t a lack of evidence; it was their stubborn unbelief.
My friend, things haven’t changed very much because such fear, doubt and unbelief exists today, even though God has provided ample evidence as a basis for our faith. Our responsibility is to believe the testimony that God has provided, to trust in His Son, and to obey Him (John 3:36; 1 John 2:3-6; 5:1-13). When we do these things, He gives us an inner assurance that we are His, which makes further signs unnecessary. Lastly, there are so many distractions that exist in our world and daily life and these distractions can blind us to what it means to know the Son of God, the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the power that He has provided for us (Ephesians 1:181-19). Father, forgive us for our unbelief. Take away our unbelief and open our eyes that desperately need to see the inexpressible riches You have given us through Your Son Jesus Christ.
(1) What fears, doubts and unbelief do you have?
(2) What should you do with those fears, doubts and unbelief? (1 Peter 5:6-7)
(3) What does the Lord promise to do for you? (Hebrews 13:5)
Fear, doubt and unbelief see the obstacle; faith sees the opportunity.