This time of year, you hear (and see) the words just believe a lot. Most times it is referring to Santa Claus. But, other times, it is referring to believing in God or in angels. Or something supernatural. Something outside of normal human happenings.
Sometimes these words are followed by the words “in yourself”. Just believe in yourself. Sometimes they are followed with a Bible verse.
The key is believing. It doesn’t seem to really matter these days what you believe, as long as you believe.
The problem lies in the fact that, outside of God’s Word, whatever you believe in seems to consistently change.
Believe in myself?
One day I am strong and courageous and, the next, I am frightened and weak.
Believe in the media?
One day they say vitamins and supplements are critical to a healthy lifestyle, the next they say they cause cancer (yes, I actually just read an article that states this!)
Believe in Santa Claus?
That works until you are about six and can make sense of the fact that, no matter how many times your parents take you to see Santa Claus or how many Christmas movies show Santa weaving Christmas miracles, there is no possible way a big fat man could get down the chimney or visit all those houses on Christmas Eve.
Believe in God?
Of course we believe in God (most of us). But what does that mean? How do we know what to believe? If it is up to me to define who God is, I will make Him into someone I want Him to be. But what if that isn’t who He is? How do I know the Truth about God?
Believe in Jesus?
Which Jesus? The Jesus that the world is preaching– the non-judging, weak Jesus? The one who accepts everyone without condition–no repentance of sin necessary?
It is a confusing world we live in. One day we read one thing and the next we read the opposite. It makes me feel like burying my head in the sand and shouting, “I give up!” Or at least it would, if it wasn’t for one thing–
For there, and only there, can we truly understand who God is and why Jesus came. Only there does the world and the direction it is going make any sense at all. Only there do we learn fully of God’s plan for His people.
Sure, there are some things that make me uncomfortable in that book. I am hit face to face with my sin there– For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.( Hebrews 4:12)
But I would rather know the truth–about myself, about God, and about the world–than live in a made-up world built of sand.
And so, as we celebrate this Christmas season, I am so very thankful to say that I know what I believe without a shadow of a doubt. I know that God’s Word is Truth, no matter what the rest of the world says. I know that the baby in the manger was born to die–to pay the price for my sins. I know that Jesus lives victorious over sin!
And that foundation is priceless, as we try to discern and process all that is going on around us–in the modern day church, in politics, in our own lives–in fact, in any and all areas.
p.s. If you want to truly understand just how awesome God’s Word is and how it got to us, this sermon is the most wonderful one I have heard on the subject. It was very helpful in reminding me of the reliability and inerrancy and power of God’s Word. I wish every Christian would listen to it.