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Shaky Faith is Still Faith

Faith in the goodness of God, regardless of the answer to prayer.
Photo Credit: Sarah Joyce

(By Theanna Joyce)

Lord if I get this job, it is of You. If I don’t, it’s also of you. I’ll do my best and trust that You are sovereign. I know that You will provide for me. I trust You.

The last time I prayed this prayer I didn’t get what I asked for. Disappointment was sharp for a moment, then my heart remembered — LORD, You are sovereign — and I was okay. I was truly okay, not just a surface-level fine while I cried inside, but I was fully and completely at peace.

I was resting in the secret place, secure in the shadow of the Almighty where fear could not touch me.

I want that feeling in a bottle. Secure and at peace. I want to wrap it around myself like a blanket on days like today when I feel a little lost and a little alone. Have you ever felt like this, wanting to have faith but struggling with doubts?

If you look at the disciples throughout the gospel of Mark, you’ll see a group of men who consistently doubted Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, we should look up to these men because when Jesus called, they followed, and when he sent them, they went out and preached his message. 

But Mark shows us their struggles too, the times they questioned the Lord, moments when their hearts were hardened and they didn’t understand Jesus’ words. We see men who look like us. We follow Christ, we read the Scripture, we listen to it being taught, but do we walk in faith? Is the truth being lived out in our lives?

Throughout Mark, we read story after story of faith — the leper, the paralytic’s four friends, the demon-possessed man. In Chapter 5 of Mark’s narrative, we come to Jarius. This man’s daughter is dying and he has come to Jesus for a miracle. Indeed we find out that she did die while they were making their way to his house and I can only imagine how Jarius despaired. 

Yet Jesus’ words to Jairus are: “Do not fear, only believe” (5:36). Several chapters later, another father hears Jesus’ words, “All things are possible for the one who believes” and he cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (9:23-24). Both saw the power of God at work to give life and heal. 

I think Mark purposely shows us the faith of these individuals because it contrasts with His disciples so that we can understand the reality and difficulty of living this life in faith. The book draws to a close with the angels telling the women who have come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome) to tell the disciples that Jesus is going before them to Galilee as He told them before His death (16:7; 14:28). 

Jesus had not abandoned His disciples and now He is confirming the word He spoke to them, proving once again that they can trust Him. He didn’t belittle them for their lack of faith, but He called them to deeper faith. The same is true of us. 

The other day, I prayed this prayer again: Lord if I get this job, it is of You. If I don’t, it’s also of You. I’ll do my best and trust that You are sovereign. I know that You will provide for me. I trust You.

This time, it was for another job interview I had (one of many I had applied for). I was scared I would get another “no” and that my faith would be smaller this time. But no! 

Faith is praying even when we don’t feel secure, when we don’t see the plan, when we feel lost and confused. Faith isn’t a feeling, but a choice to put our trust in God. He is sovereign!

So with shaky faith — the kind that knows God will provide but doesn’t know how — I prayed and God answered me with a yes. And I praised Him. That yes was not guaranteed, God could have said no and provided in a different way, maybe in a way I wouldn’t understand at first. But the fact remains, He is worthy of our trust. He is sovereign.


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