Have you come to the realization yet that life can be full of disappointments, painful trials, hurtful moments and unexpected difficulties? Attacks from the enemy, that while you know he exists, you just weren’t expecting? Just like God’s people in the wilderness, we too can make the decision to follow after Him, desiring His rest, but never truly finding it because of our own dissatisfaction with the journey required to get there. Truth be told, I often find myself willing to trek on behind Him, eagerly expecting what lies ahead and keenly aware of the enemy that lies around me. I don’t doubt His presence as much as I doubt His willingness to deliver me from the trials and the painful moments that confront me. It’s the fear of being disappointed in what His will is going to be over mine. Somehow I BELIEVE my own desires and control over this journey towards His rest will offer me a better experience. What pride and what areas of unbelief still lie within my heart when I think that way. What about you? What enemy, or trial, or temptation are you facing today, that while you say you believe in Him, causes you to not believe in His ways? Can we recognize our struggle and cry out honestly to Jesus just like the father in Mark 9 who says, Help my unbelief? Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)
Hebrews warns us against the heart that refuses to do that and instead falls away from the living God. Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12) And why does it fall away? Because of unbelief. In spite of all that it has seen the LORD accomplish, not only in this world, but it’s own midst, the cares of this life along its journey, consume it. The dissatisfaction of what it really requires and cost us for a future promise, turns our hearts towards what the here and now offer. Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all of the signs I have performed among them? (Numbers 14:11) You see, unbelief to God is the exact same thing as rejection. There is no difference. When you or I share big dreams and plans in our life with others and they don’t have confidence in our ability or even believe that we know how to make the right decision to accomplish it, it feels like rejection. Unbelief is really what causes them to reject what it is we are saying to them. Of course we know we have made some difficult sacrifices to accomplish our goals, or taken a difficult path that someone else wouldn’t dare stumble onto, but it doesn’t mean we didn’t know what we were doing. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t come out stronger because of the process.
It’s no different with our LORD. He has great plans for our future, and yet He never promised us that it would be an easy journey to arrive there. He has made us aware of the sin that can so easily try to entangle us, and the enemy that lurks around trying to destroy us. He has warned us of the persecution and rejection that awaits us and the losses we will experience along this journey. But He has also called us to encourage one another. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13) Why? Because sin will deceive us into believing that God doesn’t know what’s best for our journey towards His rest. It will cause us to reject His ways and to plan our own. It causes us to retreat in bitterness and fear when God leaves the enemy encamped around us, instead of believing that God has given every one of those moments into our hand and not one of them will be able to overtake us. He has already won the victory and assured us of the outcome. Let me encourage you, in the midst of your trials, while it is still called Today, your only weapon is belief!