I have decided to believe. This time around, I have determined that my belief in God’s capacity and willingness to see me through will remain resolute. I’ve tried it the other way—doubting the whole time, worrying myself sick, all the while desperately trying to figure out how it all will end. A nonsensical and rudimentary way to live one’s life. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7. I must have recited this verse a thousand times, but I am not sure I have put much faith in it; and, tell me, what is the point in memorizing a verse and reciting it over and over if I am not going to back it with my belief? Another one I love to say and doubt simultaneously is Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours.” I remember writing the verse on a piece of paper and then writing next to it is this true? “‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you.…’”
I mean, seriously, what is the point in praying to a God that I do not believe can or will deliver? I would never have said it quite like that, but isn’t that what my disbelief communicates at its core? I don’t believe that God is able or willing to do either what I have requested, or He has promised. Hmm, when I put it like that it is no wonder so many things in my life have gone amiss. I lack faith. It doesn’t always start out that way. I usually start strong and then I hit a bump here, something goes haywire there, and the next thing you know I start to sound like the Israelites, “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into the desert to starve this entire assembly.’” Exodus 16:2-3 What they forget is that while they had plenty of food to eat in Egypt they were also slaves who begged for their freedom.
God has explicitly told us that he is not a liar. He owes us nothing. So why would he make promises that he had no intention on keeping? “God is not a human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and then not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19 What is there really to say after that? Sounds like the conclusion of the matter to me.
With that, I have decided to believe. I believe that my steps are ordered. I believe that the Lord is intimately familiar with the desires that he has placed in my heart as he is with the desires that he has placed in yours. Why would he place a desire in our hearts that he did not intend to fulfill? That doesn’t make sense, does it? I believe that in his timing, as with all things, he will do exactly what he said he would. I believe him when he said that he would not withhold any good thing from those whose walk is blameless. What else is there to say? I have determined to believe. Are you determined?