Unbelief robs us of our peace and robs God of His glory. It is a canker that eats at the very fabric of our souls. It is subtle and sadistic and is more prevalent than we realize. Consider the following warning concerning unbelief:
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
- Hebrews 3:12-14
This passage warns us that the only remedy against unbelief and the deceitfulness of sin is faith in Jesus Christ. If you place your faith in Christ to be your substitute and to exchange your sinfulness for His righteousness, then you will persevere and not be overcome by the deceitfulness of sin. Genuine faith is lasting faith and can never be lost (John 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:4).
Unbelief, however, is not just a danger for those without faith. It is not just a tool that Satan uses to keep people from heaven, but it is also his weapon to keep Christians from enjoying the fellowship of their Savior. The gospel of Matthew gives us a perfect example:
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
The disciples who had spent time with Jesus, who had witnessed His power, and who had seen his miracles were afraid of a storm. I have no doubt that had you or I been there, we would have been just as afraid as the disciples, but therein lies our comfort and our caution. If the very 12 men whom Jesus chose to carry out His work struggled with unbelief, then we should not be surprised to find that we also share in this struggle. It is common to all Christians regardless of their station.
If unbelief is the cancer then faith must be its cure. Every time we are attacked by satan with unbelief, we must counter with faith. This is a surefire way to glorify God and see His provision realized in our circumstances. The great Puritan pastor Thomas Watson states the case thus:
“He that believes flies to God’s mercy and truth, as to an altar of refuge; he engarrisons himself in the promises, and trusts all he has with God (Psalm 31:3-4)…This is a great way of bringing glory to God, and God honors faith because faith honors Him.”
You may be going through some difficult circumstances that have shaken your faith but rest assured that little faith is great faith when it rests in a great God. Jesus is tender and merciful to act on the slightest evidence of faith. We know this from what is recorded in Mark 9:22-27.
In this passage, a man brings his son to Jesus to be healed. Look at what he says to Jesus:
“…But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Anyone else might have taken offense at this mans statement and sent him on his way, but not Jesus look at His response:
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Jesus confronted this mans unbelief because He knew that this sin was robbing the man of his peace and God of His glory. After Jesus admonition the man responds by saying:
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
This is a very weak but very real admission about his faith in Jesus but it is enough to see the mercy and grace of Jesus realized. Immediately following this confession, Jesus goes and heals the man’s son. The little faith of this man was enough to satisfy Jesus and result in a great miracle. This should give us much hope.
The sin of unbelief is real and potent but it can be conquered by a little faith. If you have never trusted Christ as your savior exercise a little faith and call on Him today. If you are a Christian whose joy is being stolen by doubt, worry, or stress weak as it may, be exercise your faith and call on Him today to be your protector and deliverer. Don’t be a victim of the sin of unbelief.