It’s humorous when it works out that way, isn’t it? Here I am astonished over the unbelief of others yet something happened recently and it is almost as if Jesus looked at me and said, “Oh you of little faith. Don’t you know who I am?” Now when I pretend to speak like Jesus, He always comes across in my head as sassy, but that is an unfair portrayal of Him. Jesus is kind, gentle, speaks lovingly and with truth & grace. So maybe it’s more of this, “Daughter, I love you. Why do you not believe I will provide? Why do you doubt me? I have loved you with everlasting love. I choose to love you with unconditional love. Lean on my will and my wisdom. Trust me with your future.” Shall I get into my story?
My unbelief in God is not related to the question of His mere existence but in the understanding of His character. I see the logic in the existence of God. I see a world with structure, order, and everything about the creation of the universe points to a Creator. Even if you believe in the big bang theory, think about it. I see the history and archeology that match the Gospels. I see non-biblical evidence that points to Jesus as Lord. I see the need for a Savior and His name is Jesus, yet the irony comes from the doubt I have in the character of Christ.
It’s actually a common argument for proof of the non-existence of God. “A good God wouldn’t do…” and you fill in the blank. As if we expect a sovereign, loving, immutable, gracious God to play by our rules. To believe God’s mind operates as ours does is quite offensive to God when you think about it. Luckily, He is a forgiving God and praise Him for it.
But that was not to make you feel bad, but that was to be honest about my current thoughts when I think about Jesus. Lately, God has been moving through my life in a way that does not make sense. It is like when you wake up in a bad mood and you can just tell you’re being a jerk. You’re short with people. You do not even try to put a smile on your face. You stomp around hoping that people catch on that today is not a day to mess with you when suddenly you receive a notification from Venmo that reads, “Go and buy yourself a coffee” and five dollars gets dropped into your account. It throws you off, doesn’t it? It messes with your head as a “free coffee” seems like one of the last things you deserve. That’s how I’ve been feeling with God.
Lately, God has been blessing me and it does not make sense. Though this is incorrect theology, roll with it for a second so that I can describe to you how I am feeling and what I am thinking. I tend to forget that the Christian faith is not about how hard you pray, how often you journal, nor how many minutes you spend thinking about Jesus throughout the week. God does not give you a “weekly report” of how well you did with these God-honoring activities and thoughts. God does not give you more blessings because you prayed harder this week. He doesn’t work that way and though I know that, I often forget it. Let me say that again, but differently: God does not promise you a life filled with health, wealth, and prosperity. It does not matter how holy you think you are. Biblically speaking, we are not all made to be rich in wealth and health. That is not the story of the gospel. That is not necessarily our purpose.
Though I know that, I still struggle to understand that. It’s like that dumb physics concept you have to just accept even though it makes no sense at all. For me, I believe it was the waves and diffraction unit in physics. The fact that God would bless me at times when I feel like I am not being a “good Christian” is not intuitive to me. These blessings occur and my first genuine reaction is to praise God. My second reaction is where my unbelief shows as I go from “Thank you, God” to “Wait, why now? I don’t deserve this and You know this.”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” is the verse in Matthew 14 that I find relatable. This is the dialogue that comes from the story of Jesus walking on water.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:26-32
Now though there are evident differences with this story compared to mine, one theme remains the same: unbelief. In my case, though it is not unbelief in the power of God, my unbelief resides in the grace of God. That fact that He chooses to bless me does not make sense. To be transparent with you, my prayer life can be described as weak. My Bible reading time can be described as monotonous. Because of that, I’ve convinced myself that I am not worthy of God’s blessings, which we know is ridiculously unbiblical. But maybe you can relate, Christian, surely, I cannot be the only one in this position.
I share this with you because regardless of what happens in my life I must always point to God and give Him all the praise and glory. I share this with you, to be honest about my doubt. I share this with you because maybe you can relate to my messy thoughts and scattered feelings.
There is a mystery to Christ which we fail to fully understand simply because we lack the capacity to. God does not always play the way we expect Him to. He chooses to give and take away as He chooses to fully love us even with all of our sins and shortcomings. If God played “fair”, we would all be dead, easily. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 To believe that God would give when we pray more or that He would take away when we forget to read our Bible is to disregard His character entirely. That’s not how God nor how Christianity works.
God doesn’t make sense. The fact that He would send His Son to die so that we could accept Jesus as our Lord is stupid at face value, no offense, God. But diving deeper into it, understanding the significance and value of Jesus dying on the cross creates a wonder. Jesus, why? Who are you and why did You die for our sins? Even with the tiniest spec of understanding, we may have, this barely scratches the surface to the love that Jesus has for us, for you, me, and the whole world. Jesus loves us because He chooses to. It’s not based on our works but by His grace. His love is eternal and that is captivating: to be fully known and still fully loved. That’s one of our deepest desires, isn’t it? Nothing in this world compares to Jesus. Nothing in this world beats God. Would you consider the greatest gift you could ever receive?
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 10 This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:9-10