The Just Shall Live By Faith
The word “believe” surely is tossed about freely. Most of the time, it is not substantive, nor is it a testimony of great faith in God. Rather, it has become the mantra of humanists that are ever-present in every sphere of life. As a result, we hear sports team members that state in their interviews, “We knew we believed in our team”. Self-help gurus encourage those they counsel to “believe in themselves”. Following a great natural disaster’s destruction, someone will talk about the “spirit of man” to believe enough to rebuild. A teacher may be heard telling a class, “You just have to believe in yourselves as students”.
All of those instances and many others are so common that most often, we don’t stop to consider, what does the word “believe” really mean? A team has to have an outlook of optimism when they play and that optimism is based on the hard work completed in practice. Believing in oneself is not a key to success if there is little preparation, no passion, and a lack of persistence. Students will do well based on their willingness to study, get help with the things that they don’t understand, and give their best attention in class. Just “believing” in oneself will not make anyone a candidate for the Dean’s List. Many a student believes that they “know all things already” and it is the teacher that is dense. Those students don’t get very far with their erroneous thinking and the fallacy of that kind of believing.
The LORD made man with the capability of a faith relationship with God. We are at our very best when we are exercising faith, growing in the knowledge of God’s Word, proficient in prayer, learning to love as Christ loved, and engaged in worship and ministry through the church of the Lord Jesus. Each of us was born with a “faith” desire. God made us in His image and gave us the heart’s yearning to live in faith. Living devoid of faith in God creates depression, despair, and deviancy for we are away from the Designer and His plan for us.
Even those that do not consciously and volitionally seek God are often upset, angry, disillusioned with life, or fearful. If asked, they may not be able to tell the reason for their anxieties. They just know that they are “not happy”. No wonder. Fear intrudes where faith is absent. Fear is the natural response of man when we feel vulnerable. In the 21st century, there are plenty of things that make us feel vulnerable. Each of those should be a catalyst to press us into a stronger faith in God.
I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath–these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely–these are my native air. A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; we are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality. (Dr. E. Stanley Jones).