Spurgeon has well said: “Unbelief will destroy the best of us. Faith will save the worst of us.”
At the heart of sin is unbelief. Unbelief may seem neutral at first, but it does not stay there very long.
Because unbelief is a direct affront to God's character. It casts doubt upon His works in the past and it questions His integrity in the present.
Jesus can—and will—override unbelief. Prosperity personality Steven Furtick claimed a few years ago—and got a lot of pushback for it—that "Jesus cannot override your unbelief." Yet, the only reason I'm not what I was outside of Christ is because Jesus overrode my unbelief. Praise Jesus that He brings dead people to life (see John 11)!.
So, as we enter Hebrews 3:7-11 this coming Lord’s Day, let us remind ourselves about the following facts about unbelief—and how we should respond.
#1 - We marvel at faith. The Gospels just as often marvel at unbelief.
Jesus marveled at only one thing: unbelief in those who knew him best (Mark 6:6). Everything is more explainable than that.
#2 - The kindest, gentlest, and most generous unbeliever you know is in desperate need of trusting Christ.
“To the unbelieving, nothing is pure (Titus 1:15). “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). The greatest witness to our unbelieving family is our proclamation of the gospel, adorned by our love, kindness, patience & willing service. Pray for the Spirit to renew your burden for unbelieving relatives and to move you to point to Jesus and not just to how well you're doing.
#3 - Getting the unbelieving world to approve of the church was never, ever the goal. And it's a losing game—one that has already cost us much.
If our aspirations resemble those of the unbelieving world—if our thoughts, time, and resources are spent on the world's pursuits—if we admire what the world admires and seek to mimic its ways, we should be greatly concerned. We are carving a dangerous path (1 John 2:15-17).
#4 - Christians grow as we face our unbelief.
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen 18:14). The one who asked that question was the Lord himself, who considers it worth thinking over. And he asked this question of a believer, who needs to think it over. The burdens God ordains are not sent to weaken our faith, but to break the back of our unbelief.
#5 - The sin of unbelief will always cause you to load onto your shoulders things that only God is able to do.
Unbelief says, "I do not take God at his word.” The real reason many of us don’t pray is, frankly, we don’t believe in prayer. At its root, prayerlessness is often unbelief. "Unbelief looks at the difficulty. Faith regards the promise” (Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, p. 179.)
#6 - Unbelief was not the first word in the world and unbelief will not have the last word in the world.
There is a divine plan that, on a cosmic scale, we cannot thwart and will not conquer.
#7 - Many have a head full of Bible, but a heart full of unbelief.
True faith is an obedient faith. A disobedient faith is unbelief. May we pray: “Oh, God, in your mercy, purge the Christian church of all unbelieving leadership. By regeneration, or if not, by removal.”
#8 - It’s amazing and humbling when God exposes and corrects an area of unbelief you have clung to stubbornly, subconsciously and unquestioningly for years.
May God save us from presumptuous and secret sins! So, here are two important prayers of normal Christians: "We don't know what to do but our eyes are on you" (2 Chron. 20:12) & "I believe; help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24).
#9 - A sinful troubled soul is caused by unbelief (John 14:1). But a holy troubled soul is caused by love (John 13:21)
The explanation for so much unbelief is that people prefer darkness to light. People reject the gospel because they want to live the way they want to live. “You are children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5).
#10 - Remember: God is always working to bring human history to its appointed end.
Nothing can thwart His eternal plan, not even unbelief.