Written by Chris Chaffin

 

Unbelief is powerful.

I’ve always had a a hard time believing… When I applied to college a few months ago, I had a hard time believing I would be accepted anywhere. San Jose State University ended up accepting me and I’m excited to be enrolled for the fall.

So why do teens have such a hard time believing in God? I think it’s actually pretty simple. We see God like a vending machine. When he doesn’t give us what we want, we stop believing he cares about us. We stop seeing God as a friend who is with us, and instead see him as college admissions officer who either says Yes or No.

The Bible gives us a great blueprint that explains why we become unbelieving, how we can change our view of God, and how we can increase our faith.

Dangers of Unbelief

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their
unbelief.
Hebrews 3:19

When I read this, I was shocked, because I thought the Israelites didn’t enter God’s rest because of their sin. It turns out their problem was actually their lack of faith.

Did you know that when you feel hopeless, that’s a sign that your faith in God is weak?

Dangers of Hopelessness

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree
of life.
Proverbs 13:12 NLT

When our hopes don’t come true, our hearts can grow sick. When my heart gets sick, I can tell that it becomes hard. I become apathetic about things I used to care about: like my friends, family, or God.

Do you ever feel that way?

Hard Hearts

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life
of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of
their hearts.
Ephesians 4:18

When we harden our hearts, we are purposefully separating ourselves from God. Then we start thinking that we don’t need God and that our relationships will be fine without him. A hard heart forgets God.

Forgetting God

Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of
the godless.
Job 8:13

Forgetting God is what makes us lose hope. This creates what I call a negative feedback loop. Our hearts get harder, we forget God more, we lose more hope, and do it again and again… so let’s break this cycle!

What To Do

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful,
unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12

Some sins are easy for us to see and talk about. It’s easy for me to be open about times when I flirt with girls or I’m selfish around my house. But I think I miss that this scripture says we need to express our unbelief and doubts.

What do you feel unbelieving about?

How open are you with your friends and with God about those doubts?

A Change of Heart

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have
faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
James 2:14

Our faith can only grow when we put it into practice. My faith grew last summer because I spent a lot of time serving. At our 2012 Expo, I helped work on the sound engineering so my friend Jeff could play in the band. My faith ended up growing just from sacrificing for my friend

What is one way that you can start serving this week?

How can you start overcome your unbelief?