“Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating; He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” Mark 16:14
Have you ever stubbornly refused to believe something?
Ten years ago this month I was standing in my kitchen and was overcome by a sudden dizzy feeling. Perhaps it’s better described as a lightheadedness that refused to go away. I was pretty distressed by the whole thing, but was certain that a good night’s rest would help resolve the problem—whatever it was.
The next morning I awoke to the same overwhelming feeling. It persisted all day and into the next and the next. Days bled into weeks which bled into months, which eventually turned into years. Doctors ping-ponged me around, clueless how to help when my test results returned normal every time. And of those tests and doctors, I saw just about every one under the sun. It was exhausting and disheartening. And all the while I was barely keeping it together for my husband and two little ones at home. I cried, begged and pleaded with God on a daily basis to take this ailment away. But it persisted.
Eventually I refused to believe I would ever get better.
I was not seeing the Lord heal me as I expected, and so I was also blinded to the healing he was offering me in a different way. Eventually though, with his help, I did come to see. Here I sit a decade later, with the same anxiety-driven, dizzy feeling niggling somewhere in my head; but, praise God, I barely even notice or think about it on a day to day basis. My healing came in the form of a new normal and birthed a new way of trusting in God.
Undoubtedly, the eleven disciples were absolutely heartbroken over the death of their Lord. All hope was gone. The only solution they wanted to accept was for his death never to have happened in the first place. God’s plan had not been their own and so they stubbornly refused to believe the testimony that was attempting to bring them hope once again.
Sometimes it is so hard to believe that God’s plan is better than our own. And at other times it’s impossible to see his Sovereignty through the despairing circumstances that surround us. But he has not left us on our own. The same way that Jesus came to minister to his disciples and bring them irrefutable proof of their hope, so he sends his Spirit to do the same for us.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-27
God does not desire us to be afraid in our circumstances, as daunting as they may seem. He has already given us peace—peace in Jesus—who came to set right all that was broken in this world. He did not “fix” things the way others thought he would, but instead fulfilled all things according to his own holy and perfect plan. Let his Holy Spirit speak that truth to your heart as well, and never refuse to believe that he is always for you.
“When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
by Siara Borning