To Be-lieve Or Not To Be-lieve

31John 6:29 “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'”

“It’s easier to be depressed than to trust.” Have you ever been there? Discouragement takes over, pummels you to the ground and in an instant you’re down for the count. You don’t have the energy to pull yourself up so you lay defeated in the muck of stagnancy.

Depression has a way of paralyzing us, doesn’t it? It makes us think things will never change, that hope is fruitless. Caving into it declares to God-the God who made the whole universe by the way-You’re not big enough, powerful enough, compassionate enough, to handle my problems.

Believing isn’t something that magically happens. Jesus said believing is work. God-given work, but work nonetheless. It takes a lot more effort to believe than it does to give up. But don’t most things worth pursuing? Why shouldn’t believing?

It boils down not so much as to what we believe, but who. Do we believe that Jesus is the one God sent? If we believe that God, the Creator of the Universe, has invested so much in us that he sent his Son to bring redemption to our sin-stained lives, then our belief system doesn’t crater when difficulties come our way. We can “keep calm and carry on” because we have the certainty that no matter what, God remains in control.

Ultimately, our response to troubles reflects back to us our concept of God. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” If we know the nature of God, that he is good, loving and merciful, and that he does not willingly bring affliction to his children, then our trust will not be eclipsed by the darkness of despair.

I have experienced many situations when God has used disappointing circumstances to purify my perception of him. He allows those situations to come-not to condemn me-but to surface my faulty images, deal with my distorted vision and perfect my faith. As I see him more clearly, I find the kind of victory that overcomes anything and everything the world throws at me.

To believe or not to believe…that is the question. I choose the work of believing, and I hope you do too.


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