Do I really believe?

Eighteen months today since my sweet Sarah left.  As I’ve anticipated this day over the past couple of weeks my thoughts have repeatedly drifted to Sarah as a chunky little eighteen month old.  What a treasure trove of joyful memories those first eighteen months were.  How painfully stark in contrast they stand to these first eighteen months.

When my heart is longing for my child the recognition that it could be decades before I see her and hold her again is staggering.  When all the many facets of grief collide with the unique challenges and trials of the day I can easily slide into despair, questioning how I can possibly do this one more day, let alone for decades more.

“And blessed [is] she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:45 [NASB]

While reading Luke 1:45 recently I was immediately convicted.  Like an arrow through my heart, I was pierced by the question, “do I really believe?” I am confident the Bible is God’s Word, infallible and inerrant.  I believe each word to be inspired by the Lord, but am I actually believing each truth contained? I believe His Word to be truth as a whole, but am I actively believing there will be a fulfillment of everything that has been spoken by the Lord?

“For this reason also, since the day we heard [of it,] we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please [Him] in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” Colossians 1:9-12 [NASB]

I had just journaled Colossians 1:9-12 and meditated on it when I was confronted with Luke 1:45.  I was instantly convicted I had failed to truly believe the availability of all that is spoken of in the prayer of Colossians 1.  I was not believing, trusting, or resting in the truth that my God, the God of the universe Himself, would do for me all that He inspired Paul to pray for the believers at Colossae.

I was not resting in the belief that he will fill me with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  I was not fully believing that through His filling He would continually enable me to walk this treacherously painful path in a manner worthy of Him.  In my weariness and sorrow I was struggling to persevere, frequently feeling it impossible to press on to please [Him] in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of Him. 

What struck me most significantly, though, was the realization that I was failing to believe that through my God I can be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might.  The most beautiful part of this particular passage to me is understanding what He strengthens me with all power according to His glorious might for.  They are the very things I need most.  We are strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.  Steadfastness and patience, not magnificent displays of might or works, but “for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.” 

“but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 [NASB]

The steadfastness and patience that comes through Him is exactly what I need to face and live fruitfully through the days and decades ahead.  If I believe Him, through His glorious might I can be steadfast, immovable, firm, unwavering, constant.  If I believe Him I can be strengthened with all power for the attaining of patience to wait continually and expectantly upon Him.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 [NASB]

As I believe Him and His every Word throughout scripture, I can not help but joyously  give thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.  It is “in believing” that the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace, so that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).

“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,  obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”  1 Peter 1:8-9 [NASB]

And so, confidently believing He will answer and strengthen me with all power according to His glorious might, I echo the cry of a grieved father from long ago, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

“And blessed [is] she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:45 [NASB]

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5 thoughts on “Do I really believe?

  1. Oh, you believe alright. Your writings show that fact. You show you struggle with your faith after child loss. You do so well to tell us what you think and learned even though you’re life has been torn apart. Thank you for this. Hugs.

  2. Thank you for sharing so eloquently the very struggle that I too am in the middle of…after losing our 6 month old grandson. Coming face to face with that question of “do I really believe?” is very sobering. Thankful for the many ways that the Lord is continuing to show his love for me even with all my doubts.

  3. These are the same scriptures I hold tightly to through my struggles. I’ve said before, your writing is so poignant to speak to a variety of struggles and I so appreciate it!

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