What an interesting word.
I say I believe—that God is real, that He’s not just “up there and interested” but actually Here and Now. I really do believe God is real. And loving. And powerful. And purposeful. Not just in the whole big world but in my life, too.
I do believe these things, because they’re in the Bible and I believe the Bible is true. And I’ve experienced God’s nearness and faithfulness in so many ways, again and again.
And when I teach the Bible, I believe deeply and passionately what I’m saying is fully true and right and good.
But I also wonder sometimes. I do. I wonder how it’s all going to work out- in the world, yes, but also in my life. I wonder if God is up to really good things in my life or just hard things that will lead to good eventually, someday.
I believe God can and does heal people- I’ve seen supernatural healings and I’ve seen “natural” healings that God also provided. But I’ve also seen lots of people not get healed, in this life anyway, even some who believed they would, even some that were sure God had told them they would.
I wonder about my own belief. I see some people who possess a seemingly unshakeable confidence, who don’t seem to wonder or wrestle with doubts or uncertainties. I’m not one of those people.
I see others whose doubts escalate to the point of crisis and despair. Whose doubts end up crowding out faith and eventually they just check out on God. Sometimes they walk away from church and God. Sometimes they keep going to church but really don’t believe it anymore. I’m not one of those people either.
I guess I’m like a lot of people who identify with the desperate father in Mark 9 who says to Jesus, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” I get it. I believe, but I struggle. I want to believe more, though. I want to act in a way that demonstrates belief and trust, regardless of my emotions, which rise and fall so easily.
And the truth is, I want my faith to grow. I want to be like one of those many people in the gospels who believed Jesus could and would do what they needed most. I want to be the kind of person who believes Jesus more, who believes Jesus for more.
Who believes not only that Jesus is good, but that He’s good to me, always.
Who believes not only that Jesus is real and the Bible is true, but that He’s real to me, in every situation, right here and now. Especially now.