What Do I Do If I've Tried to Believe In Jesus but Can't?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
I've concluded that I don't have saving faith. I've tried to believe in Jesus for two years but I can't. I fear I'm beyond saving. What can I do?
Well, it may be that the Lord has put you in this situation—that is, withheld from you the kind of faith that you're looking for (saving faith)—in order to make you feel absolutely desperate.
Not everybody is given the privilege of realizing they can't produce their own faith. You have that privilege.
That may sound strange. Take it as a gift. You have been given the gift that many people, to their sometimes hurt, don't realize: we cannot produce faith. If we have genuine faith, it is a gift.
The Bible says that very clearly in Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God." You know that now. I hope you do. I hope you realize you are absolutely, radically, deeply, powerfully dependant on God to give you faith.
Maybe your statement that you're trying to believe means you don't believe that. You think it really is your job ultimately and finally to do it, and maybe I could relieve you of that burden. You are commanded to believe, yes, you are. You are responsible to believe, but you can't believe. You're dead! You know that better than anybody.
Maybe my telling you this would be the means by which God would say,
I have for the last two years tried to make crystal clear to you that you are dead in your trespasses, and you can no more get up on your own than a corpse can get out of the coffin. I would like now to invite you to rest, to stop trying and to just rest in me.
I did it all for you! I went to the cross for you. I will give you now the Holy Spirit. Rest in me. Trust me. This is a gift. You can take a gift. You can receive a gift. It's not something you do. You can receive this.
The Lord grant you to receive the gift.
© Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines
Share the Joy! You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org