Parents tell their 8-year-old who wants to play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys someday, “Just believe, and you can be anything you want.”
Kylie is worried about her high school friend who is cutting. She wants to help, so that her friend doesn’t hurt herself any more. “Just believe, and everything will be okay,” she promises.
The building project is taking too long. Numbers aren’t adding up for your business expansion. You’re just starting a family, or wondering if you’ll be single ten years from now. You realize that you need to change some habits for better health. “Just believe in God’s plan,” people say, trying to encourage you.
I don’t doubt the good intentions of any of these comments, but we can do better than telling others “just believe.”
When we put the word “just” in front of “believe,” it’s like we’re admitting that there really isn’t anything to believe in, so just believe nothing except that you’re believing. This is merely positive thinking, and nothing more. It’s make-believe faith, which isn’t real faith at all, but blind faith.
God doesn’t call anyone to blind faith, and we shouldn’t either.
Faith in my faith just isn’t the same as faith in God—who he is, what he promises, how he acts. So the Bible defines faith as believing IN God, his Word, and his works. Believing IN. Not “just” believing.
God called Abraham to believe in his promise that he and Sarah would give birth to a son in their old age. Abraham would become the father of many descendants and nations through that son, and eventually the promised Son, Jesus. That was a specific promise, to be believed.
Abraham, “faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:19-21).
This wasn’t blind faith, or “just” believing. Abraham banked his life and faith on the solid ground of God’s own word.
Whether you’re curious about Christianity and have lots of questions, or a Bible-believing Christian who needs God’s guidance, don’t “just believe.” God is better than that. He offers you specific promises for the way.
Discover those promises communicated clearly in God’s Word, the Bible. Learn to appreciate the difference they make. With eyes of faith wide open, take hold of those promises like Abraham did.
Then, you might just discover how much more you really do see.
PRAYER: God, you give me something to believe in. You actually are someone to believe in. Call me beyond blind faith. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Take some time today to read Romans 4:18-25.
- What are some cues in this section that God wants us to notice about Abraham’s faith—why it is exemplary for us? I find one in each verse from 18-21. Can you?
- Credit is a well known concept in our world of borrowing money we don’t have to pay for something we need right now. Like Abraham, we are “credited” with righteousness (being right with God) by faith, not by works (vv. 22-25). Read verses 4-5 about this. According to these two sections, why can we be so sure that this credit of righteousness is truly ours, since we don’t always act or feel righteous?