Do You Believe or Do You Not Believe
Do You Believe or Do You Not Believe
That is the question. Now, what is your answer? I am willing to guess that you said that you believe and I know you do believe – some things. Stay with me. If you read this blog, there is a great likelihood that you believe in God, believe in Jesus and believe the Bible is God’s word. But... (don’t you hate those buts?) while you say you believe that God’s word is truth – do you believe what it says – or do you struggle with unbelief?
Unbelief – a word I don't like and don't want to be associated with in any way. But, if I am going to be real with you and expect you to be real and honest as you read these posts – then I must admit, unbelief is a struggle for me, too. Yes, we believe the core values of Christianity without hesitation. But… (there it is again) where we struggle is applying those truths to our personal lives and especially to our difficult life circumstances. You see, if we believe and do not struggle with unbelief, then where is our peace that passes all understanding? Where is our unspeakable joy? Where is our sold-out surrender to His purpose for our life?
Peace is a gift when we trust in the Lord. If there is an absence of peace, there must be an absence of trust. In John 14:27 Jesus is speaking to the disciples and preparing them for what was about to happen. There must have been confusion and unrest among them. But Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
There is an emphasis on the word My in this scripture. When we know Jesus personally then we are granted His peace and it is His peace that passes understanding. This peace drives out fear and worry from the heart, for we know that He is in control in every circumstance. The gift of peace is a gift we need to embrace. We are to lay down the worry and fear we carry at the base of the cross and instead pick up His peace He so graciously offers.
Peace means not trying to control the outcome, choosing to not be angry or upset, being still when we need to wait, and stepping when God directs. Unbelief brings about unrest. Belief – whole hearted belief – brings about calm and tranquil peace even in the midst of a raging storm.
It is easy to be filled with joy and thanksgiving when everything is going our way. But, what happens when it seems like everything is falling apart? Do we become downcast and frustrated or do we count it all joy? Count it all joy? Does God really expect us to be joyful when bad things happen in our life? What does it even mean to have joy – unspeakable joy? You have probably read, studied and posted the scripture in James 1:2-4. It says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete.”
Here God is teaching us that our conflicts, our sufferings and our troubles should be considered by those who believe as opportunities for rejoicing. Not rejoicing because we love a good struggle – but rejoicing because our God is bigger than any trial and will use everything we endure for good in our life – to grow us, perfect us and to be able to use us for His glory. This is not a suggestion – but a command from our Creator.
Belief inspires us to make a definite decision to have a joyful attitude. When unbelief creeps in so does strife and despair. Because we know that God is good all the time, we can be filled to overflowing with joy – unspeakable joy as we worship and praise His holy name.
It is so easy to surrender to our selfish desires – to do what we want to do, go where we want to go, storm out when we want to leave, yell when we are angry, eat what we want to eat, buy what we want to buy, demand what we deserve and give up on those who are difficult. Unbelief makes it easy to be selfish. But belief in God’s word makes it clear we are to choose the way that is hard.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Because we have trusted in Christ for salvation, we have participated in His crucifixion. Our selfish desires are to die, be put aside, no longer given power – so that we can identify with Christ. Now that Jesus is alive in us – our desire should be to fulfill His desire for us, our strength is found in Him and it is in His power that we can do what He calls us to do.
Surrender – total surrender – does not lead us to bondage, but instead offers us true freedom. Let’s raise our hands in surrender to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let’s seek Him first and all these things – peace, joy and complete trust - will be added to us.
We read in John 8: 30 that many who were listening as Jesus spoke believed in Him. He told them in verse 31, “if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” So, we are to believe His word and to abide or to hold onto His word as truth.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Unbelief leads to bondage. Belief leads to freedom.
Do you believe or do you not believe?
A Word From Pam:
Jesus is calling us to an intimate relationship with Him. Intimacy begins with belief. Let's be done with unbelief. Let's place all of our trust in Him. We can do this. Let's link arms and keep pointing one another in the right direction. Who's in?
Do you know Him? If there is any question, download the Plan of Salvation and read through the scriptures. I would love to chat with you about it. Feel free to reach out to me.
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