Thursday, January 1, 2015

Only Believe

It was four months ago this week since my husband had his heart attack.

Sometimes I can still feel the anxiety of waiting for the doctor to come out of the operating room and tell me he’s OK. 

There are times I look at him and it’s hard to believe there is anything wrong.  Then all he has to do is speak or try to do a task, and the reality sets in contradicting what we’re believing for by faith.  Times like this are what bring me to question, “What do I really believe?”
 

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Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).


He is, She is 

I remember a conversation with my family about voting when I was eighteen years old.  The discussion was over the presidential election.  When someone asked me which party I was going to pick I looked at my father and asked him, “What are you?” 

My decision was based on my Dad’s and nothing else.  “He is so I am” was my mentality.  Over the years that sometimes remained the same, but not always. The difference was I researched what I believed to be the best candidate with the information I learned, and then acted on that belief.  Finding things out for myself has helped me remain faithful to what I believed regardless of what others think, including the influences of friends or family.   

The process of researching and learning to gain knowledge, understanding or wisdom has been something I’ve done in all areas of life, especially when it comes to “religion.”  Having a Christian mother as a Sunday School teacher allowed me to ask a lot of questions, and I did.  Some were intriguing while others got me into trouble. 

Growing up I was raised in a denominational church, but the whole idea of it confused me.  I couldn’t understand why all “these” people who called themselves Christians were always fighting.  Some of the biggest divisions came at church baseball games where the true colors of what they believed came out in ungodly behavior.  This made it hard to believe God, because I based the Bible on people and not Who wrote it. 

Not until many years later did I learn that I had to believe by faith what I was claiming I believed.  Just to say you believe isn’t living in belief.  No longer could I talk the talk, but had to walk the walk as well.  The Bible refers to it as “working out your own salvation,” meaning basically, you have to experience it to believe it.
 
Entering this phase of my journey with God, I saw more doors close as the Lord exposed me to other things I had rejected based on what I “believed” to be true. 
 
I had to unlearn and relearn the Bible “facts” I thought I knew and grasp truth.  
 
 Truth always changes facts,
but facts can never change the truth. 

As a young adult, my Christian life was mostly based on my mother’s faith.  Now I was living what I believed, because it was made real to me when I actually had to trust God to do what He promised in the Bible.  To say it mildly, I believed my belief … for real. 

Forced Faith 

When asked what we believe, people generally spout off something based on a religious doctrine.  We may not like it when we’re questioned about what we say we believe, but in reality until that faith is tested, we really don’t know if we believe at all. 

My life turned around when I began to act on what I said I believed in all those years.  Since I was the age of sixteen I have taught others how to be a disciple of Christ, yet I was an observer not a student. 

Tests and trials force us to act on what we believe by faith. Either we’ll turn to the Lord and learn that His Word can be trusted, or we’ll sink deeper into unbelief.  The “believer’s fence has two sides, and we can only be on one of them … belief or unbelief. 

Application Required 

In 2014 we took the entire year to learn how to seek the Lord and His will for our lives.  By doing so we found out that believing God comes with benefits, such as unmerited grace, mercy, blessings and favor through salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  Over the next few months we’re going to focus on believing what we say we believe about God and His Word. 

 
When doubt tries to creep into our thoughts, we’re going to do what Jesus said to Jairus when he was told that his daughter had died.  The Lord looked at him squarely and said, “Only Believe!” 

“While He (Jesus) was still speaking (to the woman with the issue of blood who was just healed), some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher (Jesus) any further?”  

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue (Jairus), “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:35-36 NKJV) 

The New Living Translations says it like this: “Don’t be afraid.  Just have faith.” 

The Complete Jewish Bible reminds us in Whom we put our faith. 

“Ignoring what they had said, Yeshua (Jesus) told the synagogue official, Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.”  

Would we be like Jairus if we were facing the same situation? 

Jesus is still saying, “Only believe.”  He hasn’t changed His mind on what He told the first disciples.  The message is the same.  We cannot look at the circumstances that satan is throwing in our path, in order to trip us up on believing God at His Word. 

Yes, life is scary and sometimes it gets downright ugly, but we are not to put our faith in things that change.  Everything changes, except God … He changes not, scriptures declares. 

We have to apply to our lives and each situation what we have been given as children of the Most High God, and that is the gift of truth.  It’s what we base our faith on in order to believe. 

The facts that the doctors are giving us concerning my husband’s condition change all the time, sometimes they change even during the visit.  God’s truth and promises change life’s facts, so that is what we base our belief on by faith.
 

This Week’s Challenge:
Only Believe God 

To really believe by faith, we have to experience life and make decisions based on what God says, and not rely on what people say or do.  We cannot judge others for their decisions, because frankly we don’t know what we would do in a situation until we travel that road for ourselves. So let’s travel our own road! 

I’ve heard people say, “If God said it, I believe it and that settles it.”  The truth is, it doesn’t matter if we believe the Bible to be true or not.  Our belief doesn’t change God’s Word, His Word changes us.  If God said it, it’s settled as true whether or not we believe.  Let’s choose to believe because God said it. 

As we begin 2015, let us pray for one another in “believing our belief” based on truth over fact.  Instead of looking at facts, situations and circumstances, only believe what God said in His Word.
 
God wants to do something new in your life if you ONLY BELIEVE.
 
Only Believe ... all things are possible.
 

Until next time, favor comes through believing God.
 

Check Messages throughout the week.
 

“Don’t listen to that lie, only believe Me.”
Jesus Christ
 

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http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1167566&item_no=28949EB
 
 


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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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