Why is it so difficult to believe in God? Why do we have such a tough time having faith? And how can I overcome my unbelief in God?
I read this online recently, a gentleman said: “I’m having trouble in my faith with Jesus. I turned to Christianity when I was younger, but recently it’s been really difficult to keep it up. Is there any advice or prayer?”
Trusting in God when you can’t see him can be very difficult. We can’t really hear him. And we don’t know for sure that he’s there. But there are ways to do built trust. I’m going to go over that in a little bit.
But Why doesn’t God reveal Himself to us? That’s a big question and I have asked that.
Why doesn’t he? Why doesn’t he just show us that he’s here?
I’ve thought about that. Angels and demons know that God exists. They live with God, they see him. And yet there are still fallen angels (Satan is one of the lead fallen angels). And so, knowing that God is there may not strengthen our belief at all.
I was told once that Christianity was both a test and a testimony. This is when I was a new Christian, and I don’t know if it’s exactly Biblical or not, but it may be.
Because if we look at:
Matthew 7:13- 14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
And to me, that’s the difference between going to Heaven and going to Hell. If you haven’t listened to it, go to my last episode, number 11. The title of which is: Why Serve in Heaven When You Can Rule in Hell? I talk a little bit more about Hell in there. I’m not going to really talk about that today.
But I do believe that maybe being here on earth is a bit of a test. God only wants people who are ready to give their lives to Him. The angels were with him the whole time and some of them still fell, because we know that Satan isn’t the only demon.
Look at Matthew 17:20, the disciples had met up with a man whose child had been possessed by a demon, since I believe since he was born. And they tried to cast the demon out but they couldn’t.
So, Jesus went there and he did cast the demon out. He said to the disciples, because they asked, why can’t we? Why couldn’t we do it?
Matthew 17:20 – He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed (a mustard seed is tiny), you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
And these were his disciples, these were people that were walking with Jesus on a daily basis, and they still didn’t have the faith that would fill a grain of a mustard seed.
They didn’t have that faith 2,000 years ago when he was with them. Maybe it is more difficult today, but that also tells me that us as human beings have a tough time with faith.
Mark talks about this same situation in his book, and one of my favorite passages of the Bible is there because it this passage really is about me as well. When Mark talks about it in 9:22-24. And this is the father talking to Jesus he’s already told Jesus what was wrong with a boy. And the father says:
Mark 9:22-24 – “…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.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Sometimes I My belief is just in God is just so solid in then one small thing happens and it crumbles. Or I believe in God for one area of my life and completely don’t in another area.
Or one morning I will give something to God, and not 10 minutes later I take it right back again and try to control it myself.
It is difficult. Faith is difficult. But there are ways to grow your faith.
These are not simple, but they’re not meant to be simple. Jesus Himself said: “The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Are you one of the few? That’s your decision.
And again, listen to my last episode, if you haven’t yet, because it talks about Hell a little bit, and some things that I found out about that.
Anyway, growing your faith. Here are some things that I believe that you can do to grow your faith. And these are biblically based:
I know with COVID a lot of churches shut down and many of them shut down permanently. But that doesn’t mean every church is shut down. And that doesn’t mean that they won’t open back up. If you’ve got a good church, hopefully they’re at least online and are planning to open back up soon if they’re not already.
Go to a local church every week. Now, you might say: “Well, I don’t have a local church near me that believes the way that I believe or does the things the way that I do” Or like a person that I know, who keeps moving churches because they won’t let him in the choir.
Go to a local church. Don’t worry about where you can serve. If you can get to a local church, and you can empty the garbage every week, then go to that church. Forget that pride, forget that vanity. Just go to a local church every week; that is biblical.
Acts 2:46 – And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
That was on a daily basis. So, you really should be at your church more than just once a week. I’m going to talk about that a little bit more, but go to a local church.
And I’ve had people tell me, well: “There’s just not a church that that resonates with me in my local area.”
I live in Pierce County, Washington. It is known as being the least churched county in the least churched state in the entire United States.
If you haven’t found a church that resonates with you, you haven’t gone to enough churches. Give each church four weeks minimum. Yes, go there for four weeks. And tithe to them. I’m going to talk about that a little bit in just a second here. But go there for a minimum of four weeks. If after four weeks it still doesn’t resonate with you, make sure you have your next church on your list, make a list of 10-15 churches to go to and keep going until one does resonate with you.
Start praying to God. Maybe it doesn’t resonate with you, but maybe it’s where God wants you. Maybe God wants you to be there to help change that church; that’s always a possibility. Pray to God when you go to each church and ask God if that’s where he wants you to be.
So first, grow your faith. Go to a local church every week, you need to start learning more about God and what other people say about God. Online is not the same, it isn’t. But it’s understandable if you have no choice right now. If every church in your area is still locked down, and you have absolutely no choice, then watch online for now.
But if you’re in America or Europe, churches are opening back up. Go to a local church every week. Grab your mask and wear your mask if you want to. Ask people around you to wear their masks when they’re there if that’s important to you.
Churches are not going to look down on you because you’re wearing a mask. And this is one situation where you don’t have to go for four weeks: If you go to a church and everyone scoffs at you because you are wearing a mask, then you can go to a different church. No church should do that.
Find out how you can volunteer at your local church. You should be volunteering at your church and outside your church.
This is one of the biggest things that COVID has done; the amount of depression has skyrocketed 10-20 fold around the world.
This is situational depression because of what’s going on. I’m not talking about clinical depression, that’s something different. If you have clinical depression, get help. Go to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Go to your doctor and start getting some help.
But if you have situational depression, the easiest way to get rid of that is to help other people; especially help other people that are worse off than you are, because it’s kind of difficult to be depressed about what’s going on in my life if I’m looking at somebody that do doesn’t even have a job; someone that has absolutely no money at all.
Start volunteering in and out of your church.
Now, I say that because 95% of people who go to church don’t tithe 10%, they say the Bible doesn’t require it. And that is true.
Back in the Old Testament, in the time of the Jews, it was required that you give 10% of your money to the church, and you could be excommunicated (thrown out of the church and colony) if you didn’t. Jesus did abolish that requirement, but he didn’t abolish tithing.
In fact, if you look in the New Testament, on average people tithed 20% or more. In Acts, there’s even places where it talks about people selling their homes and giving all of the money to the church. In today’s market in America, that can be $100,000, $50,000 you just gave to the church.
That was that happened back in the New Testament. Tithing 10% of your money is nothing compared to what they tithed in the New Testament.
God gives us a lot of promises throughout the Bible: He gives us the promise of going to Heaven if we have faith and there are a lot of other promises there. People think that tithing is one of the only times where God says test me on this or try me on this; it’s not. There are many places, but in Malachi 3:10, God also says: “Try me on this.”
Tithe 10% and see what starts happening in your life. That doesn’t mean that more money is going to come into your life necessarily. But I when I started tithing 10% every week, my life just started getting better. And not necessarily the things around me started getting better. But things around me just didn’t affect me as much anymore; I wasn’t as worried about things that were going on around me.
It’s weird I actually like to tithe now. And don’t worry about where the money goes. Some people won’t tithe because they say well, the pastor drives this kind of car does this thing or goes out all the time.
My pastors is a big outdoorsman, and so he’s got serious outdoor stuff. So, I could say, Well, he spends all this money on outdoor stuff, this is this is what he’s doing with my money.
What the pastor does with it, the pastor is going to have to explain to God when he dies: It’s that simple. Our job is to tithe 10% to our local church. And yes, our local church. If you’re giving money to online ministries, when your local church is open, that’s not tithing, that’s an offering, which is different.
You should be tithing 10% to your local church. So many churches have closed because people aren’t tithing to them. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should be tithing to a church that you don’t believe in. But like I said, if you’re going to a church for those four weeks to see if it’s the right church for you to go to, tithe to that church while you’re going there. What does it matter? So, it’s not the right church for you; that doesn’t mean you can’t help them out.
Think of it this way: You’re trusting God with your eternal soul. What’s so difficult about trusting him with 10%? of your money?
“Oh, it’s so difficult.” No, it’s not. Spend 10 minutes doing it. “I don’t have the time.” I’m going to call BS on that. We have the time for the things that we think are important.
So, what you’re telling me is that you don’t think reading the Bible is important.
It is one of the most important things that you can do. You’re listening to this podcast, so you obviously either have a computer or a mobile phone (I call them mini-puters now because they’re not even barely phones anymore, are they?). But especially if you have a cell phone or mobile phone, grab the YouVersion app, it’s fantastic. There may even be a Bible podcast that you can download and listen to. But the YouVersion app has an audio version as well, so you can even listen to it. But what I like about the YouVersion app is that you can schedule plans, and you can tell it that you want to do a certain plan like reading the Bible in a year. Then it reminds you every day to read a bit. At If you miss a day, no big deal, you can go back and catch up.
They even have some days that are catch up days if you miss a day or two. You have no excuse not to read your Bible every day. But don’t just read it and then put it down and walk away and do your own thing for the rest of the day. So many people go to church each week, and they check that box: I went to church. Start thinking about what God’s trying to tell you through your church messages. Think about what God’s trying to tell you in what you’re reading. Allow God to work more in your life. Remember, you’re reading this message because you want to have more faith in God. These are ways to do that start doing them.
You don’t have to do every one every time but I hope that you’ve been writing these down, and if not, grab a pen and paper, get out your notepad on your computer, get out your audio recorder on your phone, whatever it might be.Grow your faith.
1. Go to church every week.
2. Start volunteering.
3. Start trusting in God by tithing a minimum of 10%.
4. Read your Bible every day.
5. Join a Bible study group.
Acts 2:46 – And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
This is after Jesus died, they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. You don’t have to join a daily group, a weekly group will be fine.
And I think an online Bible study group, if you can’t find one locally, is no problem, There are many of them.
And yeah, you may have to go through and find one that works best for you and resonates with you best. And again, give each one at least four weeks, see how it does for you in a four week period of time. If after four weeks it doesn’t work for you, go on to the next group.
Those are my five ways to help you grow your faith. And I give these to you because those are five ways that I grew my faith; I started going to church every single week.
This was a while ago, but for the first year or two after I became a Christian, I went to church when I thought about it or when I decided to, or when I wasn’t too hung over to go: That’s when I would go.
I didn’t volunteer. I didn’t tithe. I would tip, meaning, I would give a couple bucks in the offering so that people would see me give money into there.
I didn’t read my Bible. And I of course did not join Bible study groups. When I started doing these things on a consistent basis, my faith started growing so much more. And even talking about this. I’m not part of a Bible study group right now. I’m going to get back into that. Because that that’s going to help me even grow my faith more.
So you’re not alone in this, I need to join one too.
Take care, and God’s Blessings!
-Dr. Ty Belknap