The theme this week in my Facebook group/Facebook page has been around trusting God, specifically how our trust in God can actually support health, healing and well-being. On Monday I shared a short video outlining why and how trusting God does this, and on Wednesday I shared an infographic outlining the 5 common barriers to us really trusting God.
Today I want to talk about an area that I know I have struggled with personally and something which I believe is a challenge for most people if not every Believer if they were to really look into their hearts, thoughts and actions. This is the challenge of unbelief.
What is Unbelief?
Unbelief is actually one of the 5 common barriers that I listed in the infographic, so I think it’s a good starting point to clarify what I mean by unbelief and talk a little bit about how it arises first.
The word ‘unbelief’ is only found in the New Testament (G570) and means un- or non- belief/trust. It is linked to another word in the Greek which means incredulous – not being willing to or even able to believe something. Other words for incredulous are:
The Root of Unbelief
There are times during my life I wanted to really believe God for something in my life but I couldn’t. I realised that there was something blocking my ability to do so. Maybe you have experienced this yourself and it may or may not be related to your health. But doubt and disbelief have a particular origin that makes it different from some of the other barriers that block our ability to trust God.
I think the story of the father who cried out to Yeshua ‘help my unbelief’ can shed a lot of light on this issue. In Mark 9:14-29 Yeshua happens across a crowd of people who all seem to be talking and arguing about a boy who is seized and tormented by a demonic spirit. We later learn that different people including the disciples have tried and failed to heal the boy.
When Yeshua came onto the scene the boy’s father asked Him to help them if it was possible. Here is the exchange of words between the boy’s father and Yeshua:
And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9: 14-24, ESV)
Now there is so much here to pick apart but one of the first things I want you to notice are those last three words, help my unbelief because they are very telling. At some level the boy’s father didn’t believe that it was possible for his son to be healed. This is also supported by his earlier words, “but if you can do anything”.
This poor father desperately wanted to believe, after all, he allowed his son to be constantly prayed over and brought into the temple yet, something held him back from fully believing.
What was it?
Let’s look at these words right here.
Yeshua: How long has this been happening to him?
Boy’s father: From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.
The father endured seeing his son like this from childhood, probably taking him to different doctors, faith healers, priests and the like believing God for healing. But with every fail a seed of doubt was planted and began to take root in his heart until it became an opposing belief “maybe, I’m just asking for the impossible?!”
The Wonderful Counsellor
If each action is the result of a thought, even the words that pass our lips are a result of some thinking and deep-rooted beliefs that we may not even be fully aware of. The very fact that the father then says, “but if you can do anything” shows how these words were a consequence of having seen his son live like this from a young age with no help.
Yeshua the great therapist or better still, wonderful counsellor picks up on this and says and taking it up from the AMP (verse 23 and 24) it says:
“[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.”
The father was convicted, he realised that the past experiences up until then was limiting his ability to keep on trusting God to intercede on their behalf. What Yeshua wanted the man to know was that anything is possible when you believe that anything is possible. The very fact that you believe opens up the realms of possibility to you which in turn gives you hope and keeps you going. We can never know when, where or how God will answer our prayer, there may be many failures along the road to that prayer being answered. One way to protect the belief that we have and maintain our level of trust in God is to continually ask God to help us break down any walls of unbelief that have been erected in our hearts from past experiences.
Just two days ago I experienced this for myself. God wanted me to practice what I teach and I really had to lean in on Him even though what I was seeing and had more or less experienced around this area went in opposition. I opened my heart to believe and God showed up and still is in amazing ways.
I want to conclude by re-visiting the importance of trusting God for health benefits. My own personal experience and this scripture example tells me that we move into a totally different place of being when we trust God which totally transforms our physiological and psychological health.
If you are struggling in this area and need some support, don’t be afraid to reach out and contact me.