on finding meaning and the hard work of belief

This post was first shared as issue 12 of These Sacred Words

When it comes to my walk with God, most of my doubts and spiritual struggles come down to the question “Am I really believing that God is who he says he is?”

This question seems to come up again and again as I struggle through the ups and downs of life.

Some days it is hard for me to see God’s character rightly. But, as I step back and really think about it, I am able to remember several things that I know to be true.

God is infinitely good. He is extravagantly merciful. He is abundantly kind. He is a loving Father. He does not withhold things from us to be hurtful. He does not walk us through hard things to be unkind. Everything he does is out of a desire for our good and his glory.

I must believe these things to the core of my soul. I must rehearse them so they stay at the top of my mind.

Because even though my heart wanders from the truth, I really do know these things to be true. And these truths are worth fighting for. They are worth struggling to believe. They are worth the wrestling and the fighting and the forcing myself to understand.

Because if these truths about God are not true – that he is good and kind and merciful and works only out of love and for good – then everything falls apart. If these things are not true about God, then my suffering (and all suffering) is meaningless.

The brokenness of the world: meaningless.

The beautiful and good things: meaningless.

Like Solomon in Ecclesiastes. Meaningless. Meaningless. Meaningless.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

But instead I must pray that the Lord would not allow me to stay in this place of disbelief and doubt. To not let me feel hopeless when I’m faced with the seeming meaninglessness of it all.

I must ask the Lord to help me rehearse. Help me remember.

While I do believe, I must ask him to help me in my unbelief.

If God is good. If God is kind. If God is a loving and merciful Father.

If I am believing these things, then I MUST believe that the horrid brokenness of the world will be made right. I must believe that every ugly thing will be made beautiful. I must believe that every heartbreak will turn to rejoicing.

I must believe that everything will work out for good – in the truest sense of that word.

If I believe these things to be true about God, then I cannot quote Romans 8:28 as a trite phrase.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Instead I must rehearse these unshakeable words of God until they reach down to my core. I must believe.

Oh if we would only believe.

It changes everything.

The meaninglessness of it all suddenly finds meaning. The hopelessness falls away and we are able to find hope. The despair lifts into an unexplainable joy – a joy that can exist even when we are still wrestling. Even when the darkness does not lift. Even when the prayers are unanswered.

To you who are reading this, I can’t claim to know what you are walking through. I have my own burdens, but I know yours are weighty too, probably heavier than I know. But let me press you towards belief.

This belief that changes everything. This belief that brings hope and light and joy – unexplainably and even in the midst of it all crashing down.

God is restoring. God is redeeming.

God is kind. God is loving. God is merciful.

There is meaning and goodness and hope.

May your belief of the character of God grow as you learn to know and trust him more. May you trust that God is infinitely good, extravagantly merciful, abundantly kind, and truly loving. May you rehearse the truth and remember the hope that God is restoring and redeeming every broken situation and bringing meaning to our dark and desperate world.

4 thoughts on “on finding meaning and the hard work of belief

  1. brother craig says:

    Blessed and true and encouraging observations, thank you for sharing! I (and I suspect any believer who suffers) struggle with this very issue.

      • brother craig says:

        My pleasure. Of all the blogs I follow yours is one of the best. Well written, faithful to scripture, edifying and kindhearted. Excellent.

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