Why am I so afraid to believe in Jesus?
Honesty hour: this is the first time I’ve put words to that creeping fear that lives in the shadows of my mind.
Here’s what I am learning: humans have upset me. They have disappointed me. They have broken their promises.
And all this time, I was labeling God as another person that would let me down.
Nowhere in the Bible, nowhere in Christianity is Jesus someone that disappointed people and said, “You expected this from me, and I didn’t follow through. I left you high and dry and crying because you needed me to come through and I didn’t.”
Why Jesus Let Lazarus Die
In all of this, I think of the story of Lazarus.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the story but it goes like this: Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was sick and dying. He—and his friends who had sent the message—knew that he had the power to heal this man. But he did not go to him immediately.
And in his absence, Lazarus died.
Can you imagine how Mary and Martha must have felt? Here was their savior, seemingly leaving them in their time of need. Why would he do such a thing? Was he abandoning them?
“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:32).
“Some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’” (John 11:37)
However, the story was not over.
Jesus was not through with Lazarus and his loved ones, though they doubted his plans and timing.
Jesus had not abandoned Lazarus, Mary, and Martha in their time of need—he was planning something better than a healing.
He was planning resurrection.
Lazarus was dead. Wrapped in linen and placed in a grave. To the onlookers, the scene was hopeless. A man had died and the only one that could save him had been delayed in coming.
But Jesus was planning a resurrection.
He was planning something better than healing Lazarus from his sickness. He was planning a complete resurrection—something that God was unmistakably evident in. Something that made the people shout “Hallelujah, God is here! And he is good.”
Stop Running, and Start Trusting
Where is Jesus in our pain?
Maybe he’s not settling to slap a band-aid over our pain. Maybe he’s refusing to let us settle for anything less than a complete resurrection. A new attitude. A new, strengthened faith.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We will have problems. We will want to shake our fist and scream at God some days. We will want to turn our back on our faith.
But our disbelief, our habit of shoving God in boxes marked ‘human’ does not nullify who he is and what he does.
He is still God.
In your struggles and doubts, Jesus will not walk out.
When the world and the people in it have left you beaten down and disappointed, he remains. And he won’t disappoint. You may not understand what he’s doing, but he’s not up there watching nonchalantly as you cry out to him.
Please, please don’t give up on him, friends. He’s not giving up on you.
I know what it’s like to run from him and yes, you can get used to how running feels. You can get used to how it feels to believe for a half second and then run back to the prisons of doubt and fear.
For about the last six months, that’s precisely what I’ve been doing.
A step of faith, another five steps back. Don’t make my mistakes. Don’t let fear overwhelm you. Don’t let doubt steal your faith. It is good to ask questions, it is good to deepen your faith.
But there’s a risk with growing accustomed to questioning and doubting.
It teaches you to be a runner … and once you start running from God it’s hard to stop.
If this is you—if you’re running today … I know how scary it is to stop running from God once it’s become routine.
But you must. You must stop.
Stop letting fear rule your actions when Jesus has died so that we can be fearless. Don’t hold on to fear—I know it is more comfortable. You know how fear will stop you. It will become rhythmic.
But Jesus came to set us free. He came to set you free. Don’t let that be in vain.
Stop running from him, and start running to him.
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Great article Julia! Very timely and well-written! My pastor was actually just preaching about “Why do bad things happen if God is all-powerful and good?” and he gave pretty much the same answer you did.
God lets us go through things to bring us closer to him.
If we trust Him in the good and the bad times, he will bless us and show us his nature once again. But we have to stick through it. We can’t run out on God.
Thanks for writing this!
Thanks for your comment! Yes…it’s something I need to remember more often. God bless!
Oh hey! Could you explain to me how the submitting process was for you? How long did it take from the time you sent it to the time it was posted? Was someone in contact with you? I’m asking because I’m considering posting an article of my own.
Definitely! I sent one in last fall and it took a month or so, I think? This one…I think I sent in last Monday. So it varies how long it takes for one to get submitted, I think. You definitely should send one in though!! That would be fantastic 🙂
Thanks! I’m planning on doing it really soon.
Hey Julia, thank you so much for writing this! It was very encouraging to me. It’s true, once you start running from God, it’s hard to stop. But He is so good, and so forgiving, and He most certainly is still God, even through pain. Thank you for reminding me of His faithfulness!
Thanks for reading Haylie 🙂 Glad it could encourage you! God Bless!
“You can get used to how it feels to believe for a half second and then run back to the prisons of doubt and fear.”
This is where I’m at a lot of the time. Thank you so much for writing this–this article was exactly what I needed to read at this point in my faith. I’ve been getting closer to God but then beginning to doubt again in an endless cycle. I really needed this reminder and this plea to continue to turn back to Jesus rather than away from Him.
I definitely know how you feel! I wish I could say I have the answers, but to be perfectly honest with you, I often do the same thing. A friend of mine told me that I need to stop expecting everything to change at once–that it’s going to be baby steps (and yes, I hate baby steps, so no they aren’t really fun). So faith, stopping those lies you’ve become accustomed to…it wont be an overnight process. If you need someone to talk to, i’m definitely here to chat about it if you want 🙂
This article was a great encouragement to me. Thank you for the reminder that God won’t give up on us. Sometimes when hard times come, it is hard for me to trust that God has a plan for everything and that it will all work out together for good. BUT, I know that He won’t give up on me and that hard times will draw me closer to Him! Thanks for writing and great job! 🙂
Ahhh Anne, glad God could use me to encourage you 🙂 He is good. Even when we don’t know if we can believe it & its tough! God bless you!
Thanks for writing this Julia! This is a real encouragement! I love the fact that God will NEVER give up on us! Even when He knows what we’ll do and which places we’ll go before it even happens. He has faith in us in all circumstances! He’s such an awesome God! 🙂
“He has faith in us in all circumstances” I really like that! Thanks for reading, God bless you 🙂
Yes, I’ve let myself doubt my salvation and God’s forgiveness, and it is downright miserable! Believing satan’s lies becomes very comfortable and I feel like something is missing when I’m not, but I know for sure that God does not want me to doubt. He is who He says He is. I’ve seen that, but may I believe even when there’s no “evidence”. Thanks for being honest Julia!
Amen to that! Your comment resonated with how I’m feeling right now. Thanks for your honesty in return! (Also, if you ever want to talk through the doubt stuff, I in no way have the answers, but I’m avaliable 🙂 )
Wow thank you for sharing this! I really felt it speak to my heart and let me know that I’ve been running from God and not even realizing it. It’s so easy and comfortable to believe what the enemy says about myself that I do it without even thinking twice! Thank you for opening my eyes to God’s greater plan.
aw thanks for commenting, Ashley! Amen to that, running from him is SO easy and SO hard to stop doing. Sending prayers!! And if you ever want to talk about anything, i’m available 🙂
Wow…our pastor actually preached about Lazerus last Sunday…and this was like a wake-up call to me…
Thanks so much, Julia!!!! 🙂
Julia…all I can say is praise the Lord!, and this encouraged me so much too! 🙂 You don’t know how glad I am to hear this from you. That is such a hard road…but faith tried and found true is so much more rock-solid in the end. Keep writing, keep running towards God, and never forget what He’s done for you. You go, girl! ~Anna
Wow great post. I was running from God and refusing to give him my pain and hurt and anger. I thought my dreams were to much mine to let him handle. But then I got so tired of running I had to give in. I was miserable till I did.
And btw. I realized that God created my dreams that that he could handle them. 🙂
“I realized that God created my dreams and that he could handle them.” :’) Thank you for the reminder!
Thl ad God could use me! :0)
That should have said “glad” I make so many typos! 😂
Hey! This is off topic, but you remember that film project I directed and wrote last year? Well it’s online! You can watch it at tenfivefilms.com! Hope you enjoy it!
Yay!! Thank you for telling me, MA! 🙂
Are you still unable to chat through Disqus?
Unfortunately, yes. I hope you like what you see on there!
it wasn’t that channel you lying POS
GFY you ignorant lying gutless MFER
hope you get cancer
nothing I hate worse than ignorant lying fcktards like you
you dog dck sucking POS
Glen, you can be mad at me, I really don’t mind. But please watch your language man, there’s kids on this site.
I’ll go ahead and delete them, I just wanted to let you know what utter contempt I have for you, you lied about me, and I really don’t like being lied about, as you can tell
and then when you don’t even give me the chance to respond….like the petty little holier than thou tyrant you are
If I lied about you, it was unintentional. I have a track record of sometimes confusing which channel I’m on, but I’m pretty sure I was referring to the right channel when I blocked you. I’m sorry if I said anything inaccurate.
I have very little time to spend on Disqus, so if I didn’t block you from the channel this evening (I didn’t know you’d be online to answer quickly) I wouldn’t get around to it until I forgot, so yes I banned you before you could respond. It wasn’t intended to tick you off.
no it wasn’t that channel, I got off moderate’s channel and said that, and that is the only one I remember saying that on
I am on very few channels because most of these channels are run by petty mods like you
I don’t care being banned, that has happened in quite a few of these vile little channels like the religion channel
I also left harlan’s place because it was anti-semitic as hell…and one other because they were trump crazy
it might have been lady checkmate’s channel, I told her I wasn’t coming back, and I haven’t been. She let a friend of hers who has a mod with her on another channel lie about me, and then deleted my responses
Well, that wasn’t me… I don’t know a lady checkmate
once I say something like that I no longer follow the channel, and would only respond if someone posted to an old post of mine, so I did not say that about the channel in question, I am not a nice guy, and can be mean and nasty, but I do what I say
I’m really not interested in debating what happened. I doubt I’ll convince you, and vice versa; in addition, it’s not important, so let’s just drop it.
look you lied about me
go away, I really don’t care out your fake christian site…the mods on disqus are trash, as are you
Remember that you said you would not come back since I warned you about this issue on February 29, 2016.
This argument can keep going, but all I need to say is that you were warned about it before and you agreed to stop joining in the discussions. End of story.
no I sure don’t sorry you’re such a liar
end of story
go ahead and put up or shut up
I see you changed your moniker…why don’t you GFY and stop cyberstalking me
so you didn’t change your moniker
who are you?
again put up or shut up, lets see the link
oh you can’t
end of story
tell ya what I’ll name a time and place and you can warn me to my face, how about since you’re so obsessed with me
oh you’re the owner of a christian life, my aren’t you special?
truly a legend in your own mind I see
lets see you back up your BS and lies
oh you can’t now can you mr. ‘christian’
and if you can post your proof I’ll be man enough to apologize
something you would never do if you can’t
because you’re not man enough to
but I’ll still tell you to GFY you pompous p rick
For your info., I don’t go to Disqus often anymore. Here are screenshots of the conversation I was referring to in my earlier comment. This is my proof of I what I am saying are not lies.
I’ve answered your question and I won’t be continuing this conversation.
The discussion was called “Why do you hear people say Mormon’s are not Christains?” and the link is: https://disqus.com/home/channel/achristianlife/discussion/channel-achristianlife/why_do_you_hear_people_say_mormons_are_not_christains/
ok I’ll apologize, sorry I stayed on your forum
and as far as you and the rest of those pompous little channel admins you can all ESAD you people disgust me
so you can’t prove your lies and BS
gee what a surprise
END OF STORY
you pompous lying piece of trash
Hey girl, I can see that this Glen does not share our values. He has accused you of lying and in turn has written terrible lies about you. I just want to encourage you not to take it to heart when people say things like these. I’m sure it hurts to read these words, but don’t let them get to you. You know they aren’t true, and you know your real identity in Christ, so don’t be discouraged. 🙂 I’ll pray for you, sis!
Aww, thank you so much Amanda. <3 You have no idea how it helped to hear you say that.
I haven't seen you around for a while! How's life?
Life is good! How’ve you been?
Tbh, the last couple weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster. They started out good, but since then it’s been pretty rough at times.
We all have those rough weeks. :/ I’m having some minor health issues this week, so that’s been annoying cuz I have to sleep a lot and I run out of breath easily. I’m alright though. 🙂 Besides the physical stuff, I’m doing well.
Ah, we should get together… We could have a sick folks’ party! I’ll be praying for you. <3
Thanks! 🙂 I’m feeling a little better today.
I’m glad to hear that! 🙂
I’m glad to hear it!
It hurts to see such strong language being thrown at other human beings. I’m sorry if someone hurt you! If someone lied about you, I truly understand your frustration and am sorry. But is it really worth speaking such hurtful words to them in return?
I am going to jump into this conversation because there’s obviously some miscommunication, hurt feelings, or something wrong and it hurts to see it continue as it is. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pleasure of knowing the context of the conversation. Was there a misunderstanding? A disagreement?
If someone offended, belittled, or treated you wrong in any way, I’d love to hear it and work it out with you, but I’d want to move the conversation off of this thread. If you are interested in such a conversation, we can connect on Facebook messenger or email in some way.
Here on the Rebelution we encourage discussion, but we expect maturity and dignity.
Some of what was said in this thread looks pretty nasty, from my perspective. I don’t know what people said to you (all I know is what was is shown in this thread), but I’d simply ask you to treat other people the way you want to be treated.
I’m going to let the thread as it is, so that no further confusion ensues, but if any further comments include inappropriate language, name-calling, accusations, contempt, or anything unnecessary and hurtful, I will delete them in order to protect those they are aimed toward. If it continues to happen, I will potentially block the one making the comment.
My offer to discuss this privately was genuine. I would love for you take up my offer. Is it worth it for you?
Christopher, Moderator for the Reb
sorry I brought this to your website, one of the posters on here lied about me and then removed me from the forum so I could not respond. I don’t like being lied about. I basically just said that, and then was not going to post on your forum again, until this other person posted to a days old post of mine, so I asked them to back up what they said
but they have not, and I assume cannot. If I was wrong I will apologize as I said, but until there is proof of that there is nothing more to say. Since they have not responded I assume they are lying
I will not post on your website again and had no intention except I was upset at being lied about and not given the chance to respond
I will apologize for posting off top and inappropriate things on your forum
It’s okay, Glen. I understand that communicating online can be tricky and sometimes messy.
I can’t speak into the situation on the other site, but I thank you for honoring my request on this site. You are more than welcome to continue participating in discussion here on the Reb, just know that we like to maintain quality conversation.
I might just add that I don’t think you’re value as a person is dependent on what people say about you (or on what you’ve done). You know what you said and who you are. If other people lie about you, as much as it hurts (and believe, me I know the pain of lies/gossip) it doesn’t change reality. People can say what they want, and it hurts, but it doesn’t make it true.
The truth of who we are is revealed in how we respond to being wronged. Again, I don’t know the context of the accusations/lies, but I think you are worth a lot more than a petty argument about whether or not someone lied about you.
Discuss it through, resolve the miscommunication, but don’t feel like you have to defend your worth as a person. If either side has done wrong, they should own up to it.
The people who own up to wrong-doing/saying without excuses are the real heroes. They’re the ones worth following and letting influence our lives.
This is my two-cents, for what it’s worth.
Thanks for the tips, Christopher. I am sorry that this thread started at the Reb. 🙁
I am the one to blame for all this messiness….
Again, I am sorry for what has happened.
If you have some encouragement or advice for those acting as Moderators of a channel, that would be awesome.
Don’t worry about it, Ash! Just part of internet life and craziness, eh?
I am sure you are an excellent moderator. Keep it up!
I’m just learning how to moderate, myself. But I’d say keep moderating how you’d imagine Jesus would.
If you need to confront, do it with tremendous grace because people won’t be able to receive what you say otherwise. And it’s especially hard to translate a grace-filled attitude into a comment.
And if you make a mistake, give yourself grace, too. ‘Cause we’re all going to make mistakes. =)
You’ll want to see some of his comments below… The abbreviations, you might want to look into.
Thanks for the heads up, @mimeforjesus:disqus.
I am very sorry you and your friends had to experience such abusive words. I imagine they must hurt, but remember they are completely false. Don’t let them define you.
Yes, unfortunately I am aware of those abbreviations. Though I may change my mind, I am going to leave some of them in order to keep the conversation somewhat coherent. I’m more concerned about resolution (and the record of it) at this point.
Thank you, Christopher. 🙂
Okay, it seemed like I saw somewhere that you were highly sheltered… Having been sheltered myself, I wondered if you’d know those. (I wouldn’t have before my first year at a secular college :/)
Haven’t seen you in a while, how’ve you been?
Well, I don’t know what you call highly sheltered. I was homeschooled, but my Dad has been a pastor my entire life and my parents were always very involved in the communities we grew up in, which has been L.A. since I was 12. So, yeah, I’ve seen my fair share of junk, unfortunately. =/
I am doing well, thank you! Staying quite busy with various things. =)
Great post, Julia. 🙂 I’ve found myself running from Jesus instead of to Him far too many times. Thank you for writing this, I’m still learning, and I’m thankful for encouragements like these. 🙂
Lately I’ve been struggling to feel Him in my life and this was really encouraging! Thank you!
I’ve been trying to be strong in my faith. But sometimes its hard for me to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Thank you for sharing this. I think this will help me strengthen my faith in the Lord.
Very excellent and on point post. Another thought to go right along with the them comes from a problem the Jews had with Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 states, ” For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The Jews were looking for a savior to take the government upon His shoulder in a way as to pull them out from under the rule of the Roman empire. However Gods plan was so much more beautiful than that he bore on his shoulders the weight of the capital punishment of that government (the cross) as well as the sins of the world. He then overcame both resurrecting Himself three days later. While often times we seek a temporary worldy deliverance (which God often does provide) He desires to deliver us from the spiritual chains of our own sin. – http://www.thesavingtruth.com
This was encouraging.