“Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12 CSB
Unbelief, in its original Greek is apistia. It derives from apistos which means “untrustworthy, faithlessness or uncertainty, distrust.” Heart in this verse is kardia. It means “the seat and center of circulation, and therefore of human life.” It is used figuratively in this verse, but the bottom line is we have to be careful of the condition of our heart. It is easy to have unbelief, when we do if affects our entire life. There isn’t an aspect of it that isn’t affected. But when we have our heart full of belief, full of the knowledge God can do anything, then we have life. Not only do we have life, we have it to the fullest (John 10:10 NIV).
We recently watched “The Upside” with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. It’s a true story about an ex-convict and millionaire that form a wonderful friendship. Kevin Hart, who plays Dell, has just been released from prison. He has followed his evil heart and it led him to places he never wanted to go. He inadvertently ends up at a job interview for a caretaker position for Bryan Cranston’s character, Phil. Phil is a paraplegic, having become paralyzed from the neck down in a hang gliding accident. He’s depressed, tired of life. He hires Dell because he’s the least qualified candidate, he just wants to die. Both of these men are in hopeless situations, both have given up on life. Together they find hope again. Together they find belief again. Belief that life can be good. Belief that God does have a plan. Belief that if you search for it, you will find hope.
Unbelief can be equated to losing hope. Hope is having expectations that something good is just around the corner. When our hearts get focused on what we see, instead of what we don’t see, hope can be difficult to find. Unbelief begins to set in, without realizing it, evil starts to creep into our hearts. We start to doubt, we lose trust, we lose faith, we’re uncertain of what is to come. Our center of circulation that gives us life becomes dark and negative. But when we stop looking inward and start looking outward, we begin to soar with the eagles (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).
Because of Dell, Phil learned to soar again. He learned to have hope. In one of the most pivotal moments in the movie, Dell takes Phil hang gliding. In his wheelchair, strapped in tight, he soars once more in the sky. His faith has been restored, his hope flourishes. His heart center has found belief once again. And we can too, by turning our hearts back to God. By seeking His presence in our lives, by keeping our heart centered on Him, we’ll find belief. We’ll know, He truly can do all things, and all things work to the good for those who believe (Romans 8:28 NIV).
Lord, help rid our hearts of evil and unbelief, let nothing turn our hearts away from You (Hebrews 3:12 CSB). When we struggle with unbelief, give us hope. Help us keep centered on You, on Your word, on Your hope. Give us faith for the day ahead. Let us go boldly into it, knowing You are always with us. In Jesus Name We pray. Amen