Links Daily Devotional

To Believe

This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. (2 Thessalonians 1:7b, NIV)

A number of months ago, a woman fixed me with her eyes and asked me directly, “Do you believe that Jesus is coming back?” She was most earnest. “Because I do,” she continued, “but many of my friends don’t.”

Any golfer can tell you the result of a swing made without belief—the full trust that the ball will go far and straight. Wishing is not enough. One must really believe and commit if good golf shots are going to occur more regularly than by accident.

And when we recognize the crucial nature of faith in our relationship with God, we find as well that we are in trouble without it.

Yet many dare to go there.

Famously—or infamously, perhaps—Thomas Jefferson rejected the miraculous in Scripture. He carved out for himself a Bible that contained the book’s moral teaching but disregarded the supernatural, even when it came at the hand of Jesus and was of such direct benefit as the healing of leprosy or the restoration of sight.

Others, like the woman’s friends, find little faith when it comes to what God will do next. Is it really possible that Jesus will return in blazing fire with an angelic accompaniment? And what of the following lines of the passage, which speak of the disobedient being sent to eternal destruction, shut out from the presence of God? To believe in all that—well, it requires not only acceptance of something extraordinary but of something greatly disturbing.

We speak often of our faith being tested. But who ever would have thought it would be tested by the very words of Scripture?

When it comes to reading the inspired word of God contained in that book we call the Holy Bible, we are repeatedly asked, by implication of the text and instigation of the Spirit, whether we believe it. Not all of Scripture is meant to be read literally, but it is all meant to be taken quite seriously. That is, whether it is historical, poetic, didactic, prophetic, or otherwise, two questions are being put to us: Do we believe in God to whom the Scriptures point? And, do we believe what they say about Him?

Only when we believe them through and through will we walk in the full confidence our Lord would love us to have.

Jeff Hopper

July 11, 2011

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