Many have surrendered their lives to Jesus. And when the relationship begins, they are excited about serving God. But there is a prevailing misunderstanding among believers–the imaginary perfect life in which all of our problems are eliminated when we serve God. Who can not relate to quickly finding out that serving God places us in a spiritual battle? Yes, we easily become discouraged by the never-ending hardships and challenges. Still, wavering faith is the precursor for doubt. We begin to question God, His love, and His promises. Isn’t our life supposed to become more manageable when we serve God? “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The requirement of living a faith-based life by trusting in God through an unknown waiting period for God to answer our prayers becomes our breaking point. We struggle with our dependency on God. The refusal produces a spiritual battle from within–obedience versus self-reliance. Impatience sets in as we begin to develop strategies to help God bring a faster solution.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
A child has blind faith in their parents. They run to tell them [trust] the problem and possess the belief [faith] that their issue will be resolved. For those who doubt that God created us with a measure of faith, children easily disprove that concept. Confidence causes children to run to their parents [who they know and trust] every time a problem arises.
The reason that we lose hope is that we do not know who Jesus is. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15. Realistically, who would trust a stranger? Trusting in self erases our childlike faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Faith is replaced by doubt and unbelief. How did it happen this quickly? Without diligently studying the scriptures and praying, we only know Jesus by His name, and the consequence is disbelief in the omnipotence of God, our Father.
Our relationship suffers as we become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Quickly our perception changes from believing and trusting in a caring Heavenly Father to distrust in a distant and unknown God. Like skating on thin ice, we see the warning signs of danger, but we take the risk anyway by trusting in our thoughts and abilities. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6.
The relationship fractures from self-confidence. We lose our connection to the God who sees and cares. The seeds of doubt and unbelief continue to grow into a forest, blinding our eyes as we stumble over the rocky terrain of hopelessness. Our mindset continues to change as we become disgruntled, blaming God for not keeping His promises.
Even so, God clarifies in the book of Jeremiah who is not doing their part in the relationship between humanity and God.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity. Jeremiah 29: 11-14. NKJV
We determine the growth and development of our relationship with Jesus based on our commitment to stay connected. Jesus will give us strength and spiritual reinforcement to overcome. Increase your knowledge of Him through the scriptures. Call out to God in prayer. And enjoy the priceless gift of having a thriving relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:5 Amplified Bible
Prayer: God, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. We desire to surrender our lives to you by doing our part in having an intimate relationship with you, built on faith, hope, trust, and obedience. We ask for strength. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry