Hanging on for his life, he cried out: “Is anyone up there?”
“I am here,” a voice replied.
“Who’s there?” the man asked.
“It’s me … God,” the voice answered.
“Lord, help me!” the man squealed.
“Do you trust me?” God asked.
“I trust you completely,” the man said resolutely.
“Good,” God said, “then let go of the branch.”
“I said, ‘Let go of the branch.’”
“Is there anyone else up there?”
Faith is hard. We hear God’s voice in the distance telling us to let go. He will catch us. But that’s hard. It’s hard to trust completely when we can’t see or understand why.
Faith is hard when the credit card bills pile up. Faith is hard when the doctor tells you, “It’s cancer.” Faith is hard as you watch your child die. “If God loves me, why is he doing this to me?” we ask ourselves.
We think, “It would be so much easier if we could just see.” If only we could see what God’s people of the Old Testament saw. They saw the ten powerful plagues in Egypt. They saw God divide the Red Sea. They saw the glory of God descend on Mt. Sinai.
Or what about Jesus’ disciples? They saw Jesus in the flesh. They saw him walk on water. They saw him feed thousands of people with a couple loaves of bread and a few small fish. They saw him raise the dead. If only we could see what the Children of Israel saw – if only we could see what the disciples saw – it would be so much easier to trust. Then faith wouldn’t be so hard.
Or would it? Despite all the wonders they saw, the Children of Israel constantly complained. They persistently rebelled. They continuously rejected. For all the miracles the disciples witnessed, they still ran away the night Jesus was arrested. They still cowered in fear behind locked doors on that first Easter evening.
Seeing didn’t help the Children of Israel. It didn’t help Jesus’ disciples. And it wouldn’t help us because seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.
If you are looking for visible evidence or scientific proof, I cannot give it to you. There is no pill which will make believing easier. Faith by definition is believing in something we cannot see.
If it were left up to us, faith would be too hard. We wouldn’t be able to let go. We wouldn’t trust God. But God sends us his Holy Spirit to help us trust. As we hear God’s promises – as we see all the examples in the Bible of God keeping his promises – the Holy Spirit works in us the faith to trust that what God says is true.
If God kept his promises to Adam and Eve, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – if he kept his promise to send his Son to live and die as our Savior – we can trust that he will keep the rest of his promises.
Do you find yourself doubting? Do you find yourself worrying? Do you find yourself struggling? We all do at times. At those times, say the prayer a hurting father once prayed to Jesus, “Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
When you struggle with doubt, go back to God’s promises. Go back to God’s Word. See how God always does what he says he’ll do. Through the promises of his Word, the Holy Spirit will help you to let go and let God.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)