When my son was in grammar school, he had great faith that in God. So, he prayed, "Lord, please finish this work the teacher has given so I can go on out to the playground with my friends." He was so disappointed when he came back to class and had a bad grade on his paper! He had confused faith in God with the fairy tale about the poor shoemaker.
Examining What It Means to BelieveKnowing that God hears when we pray encourages us to ask. But we need more knowledge of prayer than my young son had. The first requirement for answered prayer is "Have faith in God," (Mark 11:22) "Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely look for Him." (Heb. 11:6)
Believe and trust are a verbs and describe actions, like run, jump, hop, skip. When we believe what God said in the Bible, we have done something although it is an action in the mind. We act on the Word of God by believing and trusting what He said. What we believe is seen by what we do. Our actions demonstrate what we believe.
The Greatest Thing We Can DoOne very great Christian lady was asked, "If you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently?" She said, "I would have believed God!" Believing God gives us a firm persuasion that the Bible is absolutely true. If we believe all God said, we will trust, or place our full confidence, in Him. We will know He is our Father and we are His child because He said, "To them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
RememberWe have performed an action when we believe what God has said and done. He confirms within our heart what we have believed. There is not much distinction between believe and trust. If I believe something, I will trust that it is true.
History or Present HelpWe can "believe" the facts of history, but this is just knowledge that doesn't affect the way we live. So much of our belief in the Word of God has no power because we don't realize believing is action. We may have known facts in the Bible, but we believe them in the same way we believe George Washington was our first president. To move from knowledge to firm persuasion of God's Word requires a choice to believe.
Pray like this: "Lord God, you are the Almighty One, forgive me for doubting your holy Word. I choose to believe everything you have said. Help me to understand that this is the action you require."
What About Doubts?When doubts come, reaffirm your commitment to believe God. You must choose to believe Him even if you have to go against your feelings. Many times we don't "feel" different when we have chosen to believe. Once when I was thinking about Jesus saying that He was with us always, I prayed, "Lord, are you with me?" One word came into my mind. "Always." I rejoiced for God had answered me with a word from the Bible.
Our Will is ImportantWhen I choose to believe as an act of my will, it produces action. We all act on what we believe. We need to daily turn our attention from present surroundings and hear God speak. He doesn't speak out loud but deep within when we read the Bible. From the open Bible is the most sure way to hear from Him. He also speaks through people who are teaching or preaching Bible truth. Then the creation declares the glory of God. (read Psalm 19) And He speaks quietly directly in our mind.
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