How can I overcome struggling with faith in Jesus? This is a great question that all of us ask from time to time. Let’s talk!
“So Jesus said to the twelve (His own twelve disciples), “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67).
Do You Sometimes Struggle with Faith in Jesus?
Do you sometimes struggle with faith in Jesus? You’re not alone; the Bible tells us that even Jesus’ most ardent followers sometimes struggled with their faith. How can I overcome struggling with faith in Jesus?
Some Teachings are Difficult
Some even caused some of His “disciples” (others who followed Jesus but didn’t believe [John 6:64]) to leave. Immediately before some left, Jesus spoke metaphorically about people needing to drink His blood and eat His flesh. Those who do will have life — eternal life –, and Jesus will raise them:
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:53-54).
But Jesus’ former disciples, who walked away, couldn’t understand:
“When they heard this, many of His disciples (followers) said, “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?” (John 6:60).
No Other Option
They “walked no more with Him” because they didn’t understand. When Jesus saw their response, He asked His closest followers, His twelve disciples, “Do you also want to go away?”
When Jesus asked Simon Peter (also speaking for the other disciples) answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
How can I overcome struggling with faith in Jesus?
Jesus Alone Can Offer Eternal Life
Peter realized Jesus alone had the words of eternal life. And that no one else did! If not Jesus, who? No one else is the way (John 14:6). No one else is the ladder to heaven. We metaphorically climb to heaven on Him:
“And He (Jesus) said to him (Nathaniel, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples), “Truly, truly I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (the resurrected Jesus)” (John 1:51).
Peter understood Jesus’ point when He spoke about drinking His blood and eating His flesh. These were metaphors for believing in Jesus. Peter responded, “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).
Peter Struggled with His Faith
But Peter had his moments of doubt. When Jesus famously walked on the water, Peter asked to join Jesus, and he started toward Jesus walking on the water. But he soon started sinking when he took His eyes off Jesus and looked around. He doubted:
“Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
But when Jesus took Peter by the hand and brought him back to the boat, the twelve disciples, at least temporarily, stopped doubting and believed:
“And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:31-32).
The Twelve Disciples Struggled with Their Faith
So, even Peter struggled with his faith in Jesus and had doubts. And so did some of the others among the twelve:
“Then the eleven disciples went away to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him. But some doubted” (Matthew 28:16-17).
Apparently, Jesus’ other disciples also waivered in their faith. Even after Jesus’ resurrection!
Wavering Between Two Points
According to the Greek concordances (Strong’s and Thayer’s), the Greek word (edistasan) translated as ‘doubt’ means to waver between two positions. That’s what Peter did when he tried to walk on the water. He knew he could succeed when he depended on Jesus’ power by faith, but he also knew he couldn’t in his power. So, when his focus shifted off Jesus, he failed.
To give another example, Elijah accused Israel of jumping between two opinions (wavering). Many in Israel had started following the false god Baal instead of Yahweh, the God of Israel:
“Elijah came to all the people and said, “How long will you stay between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not say a word” (1 Kings 18:21).
Elijah demonstrated that Yahweh was the true God, and he convinced God’s people.
Prayer Can Help Our Wavering Faith
The man whose son was demon oppressed “Cried out with tears, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Jesus is there to help in times of need.
Keep Your eyes on Jesus and seek Him in Prayer
It’s human to struggle with our faith; even when we know better. It may help to know we’re in good company because Jesus’ closest followers also waivered. But look around, no one else has the words of eternal life. There is no better – even no other! –option. Jesus is the only living, Savior!
In the words of the hymn:
“But I know Whom I have believed, And am persuaded that He is able,
To keep that which I’ve committed, Unto Him against that day.”
I Know Whom I Have Believed by Daniel W. Whittle
We invite you to watch the Great News video on this page to find out how you can receive Jesus Christ as your savior. Don’t miss out on knowing the love and forgiveness God offers freely.
If you struggle with forgiveness you are not alone. Find help here.