Breaking Free from the Ruts of Unbelief and Hopelessness


In recent months, I have contemplated a lot on the title of my blog page, “A Door of Hope.” Boy, have I been on a search for that door this year! A trying pregnancy, an even worse post-partum recovery, several ER visits for my husband, and all the while not having a home to call our own—a difficult year indeed.

After taking a break from online bible studies (since nursing our newborn and taking care of our now three-year-old kept this mama extremely busy), I am happy to say I am back to it. I have begun a study based on the book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst.  Only one week into the study and God has been speaking!

One concept in particular has spoken volumes to me. Lysa TerKeurst unpacks the idea of drawing a line in the sand.  Draw a line in the sand; leave the past behind; and move ahead with God.

“To honor God completely, you need enough faith to leave with Him.  Leave?  Leave and go where you ask?  Leave the way you’ve always done life and start doing things differently with God.  Leave the attitude, leave the stubborn pride, leave the right to be right, leave the control, and biggest of all, leave the unbelief”  (page 21).

This season of life has left me feeling stuck. Stuck with no sign of a breakthrough in sight.  No answer, or sign of relief, on the horizon.  Many times, I have questioned: God, are you listening? God, are you planning to do something?

And, unfortunately, I have allowed my feelings to plant seeds of entitlement in my heart.  Deep frustration has taken root at the realization that I am not in control.  Worst of all, a sense of unbelief and hopelessness has overcome me causing patterns of negative thinking.

It’s time I start doing things differently. Though difficult, I must draw a line in the sand.  Staying in this place can no longer be an option for me.  I long to walk in faith, believing in the God of all hope. Instead of throwing away my confidence, I need to trust it will be richly rewarded.  I yearn to steadfastly persevere because I desire all He has promised (Hebrews 10:35-36).

The Israelites also went through a season of being “stuck.”  They wandered in the desert for forty years before entering into the Promise Land.  In a devotional I recently read by Joyce Meyer, she shares, “The Israelites wandered around in the wilderness for forty years to make what was actually an eleven-day journey.”1

Can you believe that?  An eleven-day journey turned into forty years!  That’s crazy!

But, I realized I’m in the same predicament as well. I too am making my journey much longer than it needs to be.  By choosing to be stuck, and dwelling in the ruts of unbelief and hopelessness, I’m prolonging whatever God desires to accomplish in me. When I question God and His timing, when I question His plan, when I question His provision, I’m only adding days to my journey.

In the Bible, in the first chapter of Deuteronomy, we read that Moses recounted to the Israelites God’s specific instructions to move into and possess the land He promised them. God told the Israelites: “You have stayed long enough…Break camp and advance…” (1:6).

You have stayed in this season of being “stuck” long enough.  You have stayed in this pattern of negative thinking long enough. Break Camp!  Move!  Advance!  Go Forward!  Draw a line in the sand!  Don’t Look Back!

I know those are God’s words for me at this very hour.

Unlike that generation of Israelites, I want to break camp. I do wish to move forward and apprehend everything God has promised. The Bible tells us: “…that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp” (Deut. 2:14-15).

Why did God wipe out an entire generation? The answer is sobering. God wiped them out because their hearts were overcome by unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). Despite the promise of God, the people doubted His provision and His plan. The Israelites stayed stuck for forty years—stuck in their physical state wandering through the desert, and stuck in their spiritual state constantly questioning God.

I want to learn from this. I cringe at the thought of forfeiting what God may have for me. It’s imperative that I heed the command of the Lord to break camp and advance.

I’ve stayed here long enough. It’s time to go forward.

If you feel the same, let’s pray together:

God, thank you for your Word. Help me today to move forward. Give me the faith to draw a line in the sand, break camp, and advance. I no longer want to stay stuck in this desert. I no longer want to stay stuck in a pattern of negative thinking. Your son, Jesus, did not come so I can be stuck. He came to bring hope and freedom. As I move forward, please guard my heart from unbelief so I may receive all that you have for me. I choose to trust in your perfect will, in your perfect way, and in your perfect timing. Thank you Lord for all you will do! In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.


1Promises for Your Everyday Life online devotional


About Natalie Nieves

I am a lover of Jesus. I am happily married and blessed with two beautiful children. My husband and I serve on the Pastoral Staff at a church located in New York City. I pray that God would fill you with unspeakable hope as you read my blog posts!
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Hope and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Breaking Free from the Ruts of Unbelief and Hopelessness

  1. Ariel Nieves says:

    Awesome blog, I know how you feel – partly because i’m your husband but mostly because we all struggle with the waiting period. We know what we want or what we think is best for us and are left wondering why does it take God so long to comply. All along we think he’s not lining up with our plan, and it’s been us not lining up with his. Anyway thank.s

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