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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

If Faith Can Change Me, Why Isn’t It Working?

Trusting Christ But Experiencing No Change

There are times we think we are trusting Christ, but we don’t experience any change — our hearts stay fearful, we continue gossiping, or we are still angry.

So why is there no change?

It’s probably because we are not really trusting Christ.

Not Trusting Christ — to Satisfy Us

We might think we are trusting Him.  And maybe we are trusting Him for forgiveness, or trusting that He exists.

But if we are not experiencing any change, it’s probably because we are not trusting Christ to satisfy us.  And if we are honest, and search our hearts, we will discover that we are trusting something besides Christ to satisfy us.

Still Gossiping?

Take gossip, for example.  When I gossip it’s because I’m trusting the pleasures of gossip to satisfy me more than I’m trusting Christ to satisfy me.

So I can try not to gossip, and pray that I would not gossip, and quote verses about gossip.  But nothing will change until I turn from trusting gossip to satisfy me, and trust Christ to satisfy me.

Because as I do that, the Spirit will enable me to feel that Jesus is my all-satisfying Treasure — and I will stop trusting gossip to satisfy me.

That’s when I will stop gossiping.

Still Worried?

Or take worry about investments.  When I’m worried about investments, it’s because I’m trusting profitable investments to secure and satisfy me more than Christ.

So I can try not to worry, and pray for God to give me peace, and read Scriptures about peace.  But nothing will change until I turn from trusting investments to satisfy me, and trust Jesus to satisfy me.

Because as I do that, the Spirit will help me feel that Jesus is my all-satisfying Treasure and that He will provide everything I need.

That should not make me foolish in investing.  But it will free me from worry.

Pulling Weeds

It’s just like when I used to pull weeds as a kid.

The only way to get rid of a weed, is to pull it up by the roots.  And the only way to get rid of gossip, or any other sin, is to pull it up by the roots.

The root is my trust in something besides Christ to satisfy me.  I need to turn from whatever else I am trusting to satisfy me, and trust Christ alone to satisfy me.

But It’s Hard

But the moment we try to do that, we find that it’s hard.  Very hard.

The problem is that sin has blinded us to the all-satisfying glory of Jesus, so all we see is the glory of gossip, or investments, or whatever.

But God promises that if we will cry out to Him, set our minds on the truth of Jesus, and trust Him to help us see Jesus’ glory — He will.  Every time (2Cor 3:16).

He Is Worth It

This is a battle.  It can take excruciating effort.  But He is worth it all.

Because the joy of beholding Jesus is infinitely greater than any other joy.

And the Spirit will give you a taste of this, as you turn from whatever else you have been trusting to satisfy you, and fight to trust Jesus Christ alone to satisfy you.

The next question is: how can we tell what we are trusting to satisfy us?

Questions?  Comments?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

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Category: Strengthening Your Faith

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12 Responses

  1. Ron R. says:

    Wow… I can’t believe how timely today’s blog is. These two very things have been my “weakness” for a while. But to read it and to be reminded that the real issue is that I can trust Jesus to satisfy me in spite of the gossip at work or the craziness of the market was refreshing. This really helped me to refocus my eyes on Jesus. Thanks Steve for your comments today!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      God is so faithful — thanks for letting me know about the timeliness of this post. And I love how you sum it up as refocusing our eyes on Jesus. Reading that helps me refocus mine — so thanks.

  2. Valerie says:

    Hi!
    Your blog really opened my eyes about my faith. But I have a question: how do we turn away from trusting other things to trusting Jesus Christ? Like how do we do it? Sorry I’m a bit confused.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Valerie —

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your encouraging words. And you are raising a really important question.

      Let me refer you to some other posts in which I try to answer that question — then if those posts don’t help — just let me know what’s not making sense and I’ll see if I can be of further help.

      One post that might help is How To Fight The Fight Of Faith

      There’s also How To Strengthen Your Faith

      And here’s a video I made that some have found helpful — How Jesus Frees Us From Fear

      I hope I’m not giving you too many — but here’s Feeling Dry? and How To Resist Temptation

      Let’s see if those help. The bottom line is to come to Jesus as you are, confess your unbelief, ask earnestly for the work of the Spirit to change your heart, and then pray fervently over the truth of who Jesus is until you feel the Spirit strengthening your faith and you see Jesus as more valuable than anything else.

      And again — thanks for your question — and I hope this helps!

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  3. Roy says:

    how can I trust Christ to satisfy me when he never has.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Roy,

      Thank you for being so honest. I responded to some of your questions on the other post (What Are You Trusting — Really?).

      Here are some reasons why you can trust Him to satisfy you even though He never has.

      One is because of the massive historical and eye-witness evidence that He is the Son of God and that He has loved us to the extent of taking on unbearable suffering to save us by dying on the Cross (Gal 2:20).

      To suffer for us on the Cross, and then lie to us when He promises to satisfy us, makes no sense.

      Another is because the New Testament describes people who do experience heart-satisfaction in Christ.

      Peter assumes that all of his readers have experienced Christ in this way (1Pet 1:8).

      Paul assumes that all the believers in the huge area of Galatia have experienced the Spirit’s work in their hearts (Gal 3:2,5). And Paul assumes that all the believers in the city of Rome have experienced God pouring His love into their hearts (Rom 5:5).

      So why has He never satisfied you? I don’t know. It could be that this delay is a gift from Him (as believers experienced in Psa 13 and Psa 42). It could be that you have been taught some things about Him that are not true and that need to be gotten out of the way first. It might be that there’s been emotional wounding in the past that makes your heart at this point not able to feel spiritually. And I want to be careful in saying this, but just to make the list complete, it could be that you are coming to Jesus thinking you deserve something from him, or not being willing to turn from some sin, or seeking some particular emotional experience more than Jesus Himself. Any of those could get in the way.

      That’s a long list. But Jesus’ death on the Cross not only can forgive us from sin’s guilt, it can also cleanse us from sin’s power. So He will help you. He will comfort you. He will give you wisdom.

      I hope some of this helps in some way.

      In Christ,

      Steve

  4. K says:

    Hey Steve. Can you help me here? It’s like I know this is my problem, and I hate it, yet I’m trapped in it: “it could be that you are coming to Jesus thinking you deserve something from him, or not being willing to turn from some sin, or seeking some particular emotional experience more than Jesus Himself. Any of those could get in the way.” Thinking I’m deserving of good/not deserving of judgement makes me feel offended at the gospel and like I can experience joy in Jesus. I want out of this place and I want to lay this thought down; I want to see how wrong it is and hate it and turn from it and see myself as so undeservingly loved and just receive! But do I have to humble myself before the Spirit will help me? Because I feel so hopeless, like I fail and fail and my mind is pounded with wrong, prideful thoughts that have grown there.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Do you have to humble yourself before the Spirit will help you? Good question.

      No — if my humble yourself you mean you have to be free from your wrong thoughts.

      But even with those wrong thoughts, you can turn to Christ, longing to be free from them, and ask him and trust him to forgive you, change you, and satisfy you — and he will.

      I’m praying —

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  5. K says:

    Thank you Steve. That really is good news. But what if I feel like I cannot turn to Him because I’m so prideful? What kind of crazy place had my mind gotten to?!
    Is gasping out, “Jesus, help me look to you and trust you! Please give me faith that you can and you will!” enough? Because I feel like I’ve prayed that and haven’t changed.

  6. K says:

    Steve, will you pray The Lord will restore in me a great longing for Him and His salvation that no thought or flesh/demonic whispers/anything can stamp out? That He will raise that up in me even right now, then will help me trust Him?! I don’t even know if that’s a biblical prayer, but if it is will you please pray it for me? That I will look to Jesus in trust because I can see and desire His hope and love, no matter what my mind is saying. Is just prayer alone looking? And if so, is praying for trust that He will give me great desire for Himself and save and change futile? What do I do when I feel I’m just saying words and not trusting? I know look to the word; but my mind is so messed up in telling me I don’t desire it. Will you pray He will draw me to Himself and help me see that I do?

  7. K says:

    My mind pounds over and over with the thought that I’m too hard and proud to look to Jesus. I don’t want that. I’ve spoken it over myself again and again. Can The Lord draw me out of this thought about myself and enable me to look even over this?

  8. K says:

    Steve, community here, will you pray that I will look to Jesus everyday starting today? That no feelings or thoughts or fears or misconceptions or sin would be able to keep me from doing so?

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