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When You Want to Trust but Life Won’t Let You
Bible Gateway ^ | August 6, 2018 | Craig Groeschel

Posted on 08/12/2018 11:59:20 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“I want to believe God cares about me; I really do,” she told me, wiping tears from under her darkened, bloodshot eyes. Under the harsh fluorescent lights of the hospital corridor, Marci barely resembled the vibrant girl I remembered, that kid I’d watched grow up in our youth group at church. When she was a teenager, Marci was outgoing, fun-loving, and full of life, even as she was growing more and more serious about her faith, coming early to youth group and staying late. No one loved to worship and talk about God more than Marci.

Then, in her early 20s, Marci met Mark, a great Christian guy with a charismatic personality. They fell in love practically overnight, marrying almost a year to the day after they met. Mark’s dynamic personality served him well, helping him land a great sales job. Before long, he was making more money than most other professionals his age. They bought their dream home, and as Mark and Marci served God together at our church, they just knew life couldn’t get any better.

But then it did.

After just two months of trying, they learned they were pregnant with their first child. When beautiful little Chloe was born, my wife, Amy, and I joined Mark and Marci at the hospital to thank God for his blessings. Celebrating with them was amazing, all of us thanking God for this wonderful family that he was growing in his presence.

Back then, none of us could see even a hint of cracks around the foundation of their lives. But as the years ticked by, Mark’s job had him working longer and longer hours and required ever more frequent travel. Even so, when he came home one day and informed Marci that he was leaving her—for one of her closest friends—she never saw it coming. Devastated, Marci found herself battling on two fronts, coping on the one hand with Mark’s betrayal and struggling on the other as a single mom trying to build a new life for herself and Chloe. She took small comfort in thinking that at least things couldn’t get any worse.

Until they did.

Chloe, by then in fifth grade, started rapidly losing weight and feeling tired all the time. When the headaches and dizzy spells began, a series of tests revealed the unthinkable—cancer. In just a few short months, Chloe shriveled from being a healthy, popular girl at school into a pale, bedridden patient on a ventilator. Cancer mercilessly ravaged her already weakened body. Chemo didn’t even make a dent. Her doctors decided to shift their focus onto doing all they could to make her last days as comfortable as possible.

As I stood there in that bleak hospital hallway, the tireless Marci I had once known was long gone, swallowed up by this weary, defeated woman. She was beyond exhaustion, past depression, dangerously discouraged. She grasped desperately for anything even remotely resembling that bottomless faith that used to come to her so easily. But her unshakeable trust in God was nothing more than a sad memory now. She drew a deep breath, fighting back the sobs. As her forlorn gaze pierced me, it took all the resolve I could muster to remain strong for her.

She sighed. “I really want to believe that God is with me right now. I mean, I want to know that he’s good, that he cares. I want that so badly, but . . .” Her voice trailed off. This time there was no stopping the tears.

“But, Craig, when I see my baby girl wasting away in there, in so much pain, how can I surrender to a God who allows this? And on top of everything else that we’ve already been through? I want to trust, but I just don’t know how.”

I Want to Trust

That one little phrase, “I want to trust,” put down roots in my own heart. Everywhere I look, I see people who understand exactly how Marci felt in that cold, sterile hospital. So many people want to believe in God’s presence and goodness, but they just have too many unanswered questions. Something in them longs to trust in God—to know him, to feel his presence, to sink into his peace, to believe he’s there for them, helping them carry their burdens. They want to pray and know that he hears them. They want comfort. They want to know that he’s with them, that he’ll protect them. Deep down, they hope God is more than just some kind of made-up cosmic figure that gullible people naively trust. They want him to inhabit more than retreaded clichés thrown around by politicians, activists, and Jesus freaks.

I believe there are a lot of people like Marci, people who once believed God took an active interest in their lives, but they’re just not so sure anymore. Maybe he exists, maybe he’s sovereign, but does he care? It doesn’t feel like it to them. I’ve even been one of those people myself (more about that later). You may be one right now. Do you ever wonder:

“Where was God when I was being abused? Did he care? If he did, why didn’t he do something about it?”

“Why can’t we have a baby? There are so many unwanted pregnancies, and so many people seem to have kids they abandon or don’t take care of. We go to church. We’re good people. We’ve prayed for years. Why won’t God give us a child?”

“What happened to my marriage? More than anything, I wanted at least that to be good. We used to love each other so much, but . . . And Lord knows, I tried as hard as I could. I trusted him. I prayed every day. But now all I have is broken pieces. Why did God let this happen to me?”

“Why was my child born with a disability?”

“Why did I get laid off?”

“Why is everyone I know married and I’m still alone?”

“Why can’t I seem to get ahead?”

“Why did the cancer come back?”

“Why have my kids abandoned the faith?”

Do you want assurance that God is there when you need him most, but for whatever reason, you doubt he is?

You’re not alone. Throughout the Bible, people questioned God’s involvement in their lives. Even Jesus encountered doubters, one of them his own disciple, the original Doubting Thomas. But there’s one exchange in particular that Jesus had with a spiritual doubter that I’d like us to focus on. Just like Marci, he was a parent who struggled as he watched his child suffering:

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been
like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown
him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything,
take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for
one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe;
help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:21–24

Can you imagine the pain this dad experienced? Over and over again, he had to stand by helplessly as his son convulsed, wrestling with an evil spirit that had taken possession of him years before. This loving father would have done anything to ease his son’s suffering. But no matter what he tried, his boy still lived in anguish.

As a dad of six children, I don’t want to imagine what that must have been like: a powerful evil spirit hurling your child into water like a rag doll or thrashing him into fire. If the father hadn’t dutifully protected his son, it’s possible that spirit might have already killed him.

It’s no wonder this burdened and desperate dad struggled to believe. After trying everything he knew to do, this man said to Jesus the same thing I might have said in his situation: “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (v. 22, emphasis mine).

Some Christians might criticize this question. But this dad was at the end of his rope. After doing everything he could think to do, it’s possible that he’d finally resigned himself to despair and loss.

He had nowhere else to turn.

Nothing left that he could do.

His hope was gone.

His world was dark.

But then Jesus makes things clear, first by repeating the father’s hopelessness in the form of a question—“‘If you can’?”—and then by challenging him: “Everything is possible for one who believes” (v. 23, emphasis mine).

Just think about this. Why didn’t Jesus say, “Well, as a matter of fact, I can help you”? Or why didn’t he say, “I’m the Messiah, the Son of God, and my Father in heaven will heal your son”? Both of those things were true. Instead Jesus put the ball back in the dad’s court. While turning to the one and only true God and asking for his help is always a good idea, Jesus said that the key was having trust—faith—that “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

The dad’s response is even more striking: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). You hear what he’s saying, don’t you?

I want to believe.

Lord, I want to believe, but I can’t. I’m struggling. Really struggling. Help me overcome my unbelief, my doubts.

It’s a kind of paradox. This man whose son has been possessed by an evil spirit, a force that’s commandeered his son’s body and tried to harm him in every way imaginable—for years—says, “I wish I could believe, but I don’t know how anymore. I’m in such a dark and desperate place, I can’t see how things could change for the better. But I want to. I wish I could. Help me believe again, Lord. Restore my hope.”

Immediately after Jesus has this exchange with the father, he commands the spirit to leave, and the boy convulses as it comes out, then appears to be dead. “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up” (v. 27). Here’s what moves me personally about the story: The boy wasn’t the only one healed when Jesus drove out the evil spirit. His father was healed too. Because Jesus drove out the hopelessness that had overtaken him. In the man’s sincere request, Jesus could hear the conflicting messages emanating from his battle-scarred heart.

And God still honors this prayer today, if we’ll only allow him to.

Taken from Hope in the Dark: Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not by Craig Groeschel. Click here to learn more about this title.

Perhaps you’ve thought or said this: “I want to believe, I want to have hope, but…”

Pastor Craig Groeschel hears these words often and has asked them himself. We want to know God, feel his presence, and trust that he hears our prayers, but in the midst of great pain, we may wonder if he really cares about us. Even when we have both hope and hurt, sometimes it’s the hurt that shouts the loudest. Can God be good when life is not?

In Hope in the Dark, Groeschel explores the story of the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus, saying, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” In the man’s sincere plea, Jesus heard the tension in the man’s battle-scarred heart. He healed not only the boy but the father too, driving out the hopelessness that had overtaken him. He can do the same for us today.

As Groeschel shares his pain surrounding the current health challenges of his daughter, he acknowledges the questions we may ask in our own deepest pain: “Where was God when I was being abused?” “Why was my child born with a disability?” “Why did the cancer come back?” “Why are all my friends married and I’m alone?” He invites us to wrestle with such questions as we ask God to honor our faith and heal our unbelief.

In the middle of your profound pain, you long for authentic words of understanding and hope. You long to know that even in overwhelming reality, you can still believe that God is good. Rediscover a faith in the character, power, and presence of God. Even in the questions. Even now.

Craig Groeschel is a New York Times bestselling author and the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, an innovative and pacesetting church meeting in multiple locations around the United States and globally online. He is the author of several books, including Divine Direction, Liking Jesus, Fight, The Christian Atheist, and It. Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma. To learn more, visit

TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: belief; christianity; craiggroeschel; doubt; faith; god; hardtimes; hope; hopeinthedark; jesus; mark; matthew; prayer; troubles

1 posted on 08/12/2018 11:59:20 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
It is tremendously painful just reading about the depth of trials such people have suffered and that people suffer everyday around the world -- especially in places like war zones. Day to day life itself must seem like cruel joke to so many. I can't nor want to imagine 😓 ... Do you or the author know what became of Marci and her faith journey?
2 posted on 08/13/2018 12:10:59 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

For later

3 posted on 08/13/2018 12:42:25 AM PDT by SaveFerris (Luke 17:28 ... as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold ......)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Sometimes God lets people drop lower than they have ever imagined. Because in their hopeless situation, Gods power is made even greater. God is good ALWAYS.

4 posted on 08/13/2018 1:03:19 AM PDT by Ikeon (maddy murry o'hare is not smiling, she's burning in hell.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Mark 16: 17-20

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

“In my name shall they cast out devils”

When the Lord Jesus Christ left earth and went back to Heaven, he left an incredible arsenal of spiritual weaponry and the Power of Attorney to use them.

One third of His earthly ministry was deliverance - the casting out of evil spirits, known as devils or demons. This young lady’s life evidences demonic attacks, and she obviously did not know about - had not been taught - that she had these spiritual weapons, or that they even existed.

The ministry of deliverance, an everyday item in the first century Christian’s daily life, is almost unknown in modern Christianity today, and practiced almost as little.

The adversary hides it as much as he can, and he has quite a lot of success - but it is still available if desired. The ministry of deliverance, by Christians, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, could have helped this young woman.

Hosea 4: 6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Here are some samples of deliverance ministries. Unfortunately, these first two well-known pastor-teachers are deceased, but Pastor Bell in Dallas knew them both and is the last one listed.
Derek Prince Deliverance,Spiritual Warfare. Win Worley: Tactics for deliverance Micah Stephen Bell, “Sexual Damage” video

“When one has a spiritual or other problem that will not yield to Bible reading, worship, prayer and fasting, you may wish to investigate deliverance.”

God Bless You, Norski

5 posted on 08/13/2018 1:03:20 AM PDT by Norski
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To: Ikeon


6 posted on 08/13/2018 1:05:31 AM PDT by Bob434
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To: Ikeon

Yes. Always.

7 posted on 08/13/2018 1:09:50 AM PDT by Norski
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

I do not.

8 posted on 08/13/2018 1:15:33 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks ( The US Constitution ....... Invented by geniuses and God .... Administered by morons ......)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks


9 posted on 08/13/2018 1:34:14 AM PDT by gattaca ("Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bob434

Thank you for your “about” page. It appears to be a very rich and extraordinary resource, for Christians,- new and maturing-, for Creationist apologetics - and loaded with such an array of statistics on “Global Warming- Climate Change” and the issue of illegal aliens as to warm the cockles of the heart of any researcher.

The amount of information you have placed in one place is a treasure trove.

10 posted on 08/13/2018 1:39:48 AM PDT by Norski
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

After a sleepless night, this post has touched/helped me greatly! Thank you!

11 posted on 08/13/2018 2:22:57 AM PDT by EverRight
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I read parts of the post, but the title seems off to me. Life isn’t the reason people have lack of trust, doubts or unbelief or feelings of hopelessness. Life happens due to our thoughts, and choices/actions we do from those thoughts.

Trust placed in people or anything other than God and you will always be let down.

Also most people, even many Christians, think life is about them, so in their mind the tape keeps playing that it’s all about them, why them, this isn’t fair etc. When one really has faith, trust, belief in God and follows Jesus as LORD not just living on the fringe of belief as having a savior to help in dire situations, but instead actually lets Jesus be LORD in their life, they realize life is not about them but about the many many things God is doing thru them and their situations and people they interact with for HIS purposes and glory. Gives a believer a whole new perspective and allows obedience to God even in difficult moments so many times one can avoid further or prolonged self made mistakes or hardships in life by self made choices instead of following the lead of The LORD where even in trials and hardships one can more easily find the good happening and feel the love, peace, strength, endurance and maybe even joy of The LORD Jesus to be able to withstand the trial/situation and follow Him thru no matter what.

12 posted on 08/13/2018 3:42:42 AM PDT by b4me (God Bless the USA)
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To: b4me

What if God gave us what we really deserved? Instead, He gave us Jesus. .Never forget that.

13 posted on 08/13/2018 4:16:27 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: txrefugee

I will praise you in this storm by casting crowns.

14 posted on 08/13/2018 5:08:41 AM PDT by PrairieLady2
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

John 9:1-5 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question of ‘whose fault was it that this son was born blind?’ is an indication of God’s view: It is not the result of sin but SO THAT THE WORKS OF GOD WOULD BE DISPLAYED IN HIM.

And then Jesus healed the young man.

15 posted on 08/13/2018 5:11:21 AM PDT by credo 2 (Romans 8:28)
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To: txrefugee
What if God gave us what we really deserved? Instead, He gave us Jesus. .Never forget that.

Spot on. Been divorced going on 18 years in what was a devastating blow to my desire to be a good family man. I have two grown sons, one of which is a recovering addict and no grandchildren, about which I am disappointed thus far. My life is far, far from what I would like for it to be. But still, I am blessed beyond measure and far beyond what I deserve.

Praise be to God.

16 posted on 08/13/2018 6:34:09 AM PDT by RatRipper (Unindicted co-conspirators: the Mainstream Media and the Democratic Party)
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To: Norski

Thanks Norski- I had run a blog for a couple of years, and those issues were the things i focused on and researched heavily- and was passionate about- But it became evident after a few years that we were losing the battle for truth in regards to supposed ‘man-caused climate change’. Forgive the name dropping, (He only responded once- or his office did likely)- but I realized it after asking Darrel Issa why congress was hiding the facts, and why noone on the right was willing to stand up for the truth- He essentially said ‘because that’s politics’. I knew then that climate change regulations/fines etc was going to be a fact we could not escape- that it was politically motivated, not scientific- The msm has basically won- schools ignore the truth and indoctrinate our kids-

‘Man-caused climate change’ is one of the greatest lies ever told- and the world, Satan’s domain- is just eating it up hook line and sinker-

I truly believe that climate change regulation will be what cripples everyone financially so that most everyone is forced to rely on a one world government for the essentials in life (fuel oil, electricity, heat, gasoline etc- ) and people who cave to the Evil One will be forced to take the mark in order to get relief from the crushing financial taxes and fines imposed by climate regulations. When people are freezing to death in winters for lack of heating oil, or electricity, and when they are starving to death because food has become too expensive to buy because of climate regulations-, they will become desperate and be willing to ‘sell their souls’ in order for their family and kids to survive. If a government controls the fuel, they can crush everyone and make them dependent on the government for relief- Climate change regulations is the ‘perfect’ means to control people- as everything can be taxed for ‘contributing to climate change’ either directly or indirectly=-

Well, sorry for the long response- but I think climate change regulations are what is going to empower the anti-Christ to force people willing to sell their souls to accept the mark in order to survive- I think- it’s just such a powerful weapon- built of course on a complete lie- from the father of lies

17 posted on 08/13/2018 9:22:56 AM PDT by Bob434
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Biophysics seems a valid (however cold) extension of physics and the mathematical principles created by God at the beginning of the universe.

Aspects of biophysics involve breakdowns of biological systems at all stages of life, in this case, in human beings.

Although it runs through the sense of creation by God who must ultimately be Good to be God, and that God being outside reality, guarantees there is more to existence than what we perceive.

And that our souls will still be parts of that Goodness....

18 posted on 08/14/2018 12:15:49 AM PDT by onedoug
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