Sometimes in life’s darkest hours we experience the power of belief, and it is as if we throw a light switch on and everything goes from darkness to light instantaneously. Once a Christian experiences the power of belief, his/her life is never the same. God puts us through great storms in life to teach us the power of belief. If we go through a test, a trial, or a spiritual storm and do not learn to believe, we will have to go through another similar one down the road because God is always trying to upgrade our faith and teach us how to think, speak, and act like Jesus Christ. If we want to do a great work, we must learn how to take God at His Word and believe what He says.
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:29
The righteousness we receive from God comes through faith. Abraham’s righteousness didn’t come from his living a good, clean moral life. Instead, it came to him through believing God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4:3
We understand that we are created for God’s pleasure, but when we try to please God apart from faith, we actually begin a quest to save ourselves. It takes faith to please God because we have no righteousness within ourselves apart from Jesus Christ. Many religions teach that you have to earn your stripes or gold stars by trying your best to measure up to God’s standards, and as you do this, you earn favor with God. However, this will never save or help anyone, for no one can keep God’s law perfectly. The favor or the grace of God can never be earned, because grace is pure, unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Unbelief is our biggest enemy in life. It causes us to murmur and complain against God. It causes unhappiness, anger, worry, anxieties, and fear. It was unbelief that kept the children of Israel out of the promise land.
Christians are actually a dual mixture of belief and unbelief. We experience great times of victory and faith, yet sometimes we experience times of defeat with little or no faith. The passage of scripture below tells of a man who believed, but he also was honest about himself enough to admit that he still had some unbelief.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Mark 9:23,24
I have often wondered how the disciples must have felt on the evening when a great storm came upon them as they were sailing on the Sea of Galilee.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:37-40
Jesus’ rebuke to them after the storm sounded harsh and severe, but obviously they needed to hear His words as He challenged them with the question: “Why are you so fearful and have no faith?” They had been with Him for some time now, so they had heard Him teach, and they had witnessed many miracles. Obviously, they believed in Jesus, for they had left everything to follow Him. But now Jesus was requiring a new and higher level of faith from them.
Most people around the world believe in the historical Jesus. Even people of other religions will say that He was a great man or a great teacher. To believe in the historical Jesus is really no big deal, for the Bible says that even the devil believes in God. Jesus not only wanted His disciples to believe that He was the Christ, the Messiah and the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, but that He loved them and cared so much for them that whatever He sent their way in life, they could be assured that it would work together for their good and God’s glory.
We need to believe that Jesus loves us way too much to allow us to go down the wrong paths of life. Thus, He will intervene in the everyday details of our life in order to draw us back to the center of His will, and as a result, will give us the opportunity to believe His Word instead of placing our faith in what we see, feel, or experience.
I remember one situation in my lifetime where the Devil had oppressed me greatly; his darkness was like a thick black cloud hanging over my head. I was depressed, sad, despondent, anxious, fearful, and angry all at the same time. It seemed as if there were nowhere to turn for any hope. My eyes were on my situation instead of looking at Jesus. I had been a Bible student for years, but nothing I knew within my heart seemed to have any relevance for what I was going through. I suffered for days upon end. Then one day, I was speaking to a believer, and as this friend of mine began to speak the Word of God into my ears, I realized that the atmosphere was clearing. It was as though the dark clouds were lifting, and the sunshine all of a sudden broke through. My sadness turned into joy, and my depression lifted as my soul was liberated and set free from the Satanic oppression that I was experiencing.
Once the conversation was over, I began reflecting upon what had just happened to me, concluding that I had experienced the power of belief. As I heard the Word of God from my friend, God was pouring faith into my being. Once the Word was in my mind, I could choose to act upon it by simply believing.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
As the spoken word took precedence over my feelings and what I was seeing, with simple belief, I was filled with power that was stronger than any demonic opposition that I was experiencing. When we believe God and take Him at His Word, our entire world can change instantaneously.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7
To walk by faith is to believe the words of Jesus more than we believe what we see, feel, perceive, or experience. It is to launch out of the boat as Peter did in the middle of a storm, with our eyes firmly on Jesus, having complete faith in the authority of His words. Peter was doing the impossible as he actually walked on water. Of course, we know that he sank once he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to trust once again in what he saw, felt, or experienced. Nevertheless, we should look at the amazing part of the story where a man actually walked on water because of his faith in the words of Jesus.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is reaching into the invisible promises of God’s Word and pulling out a visible performance. Faith is substance and evidence of the unseen promises of God’s Word. When we believe in God’s Word, we reckon upon reality instead of trusting this temporal visible world that will one day vanish away. Thomas suffered a terrible bout of unbelief after the resurrection of Jesus.
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:24-28
For eight days Thomas lived in the utter torment of unbelief. The rest of the disciples had seen the resurrected Christ, but Thomas did not see. He loved Jesus, and he had seen Him die. He lost the person that he loved the most and the One in whom he had put his faith. If the resurrection was not true or real, Thomas couldn’t bear the thought of being deceived; he did not want to believe something that was not real, because he didn’t want to get hurt and suffer this loss once again. Jesus let him suffer the consequences of unbelief for eight days, because Jesus wanted Thomas to understand the difference in belief and unbelief.
Unbelief produces the worst kind of darkness known to man. Unbelief causes sorrow, suffering, depression, anger, oppression, and more. It will take all of the spiritual life from you, and will bankrupt your emotions. You can lose your very purpose to live when you suffer unbelief. When the time was right, after eight long days, Jesus appeared to Thomas, and instead of rebuking him, He said, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” Then Thomas answered Him, and said, “My Lord and my God.”
Thomas went from total unbelief to belief instantaneously, and his world went from utter darkness to bright shining light with one act of belief. In one split second he reached into God’s Word and stepped from the temporal into the eternal, or he walked from the visible into the invisible. Thomas reckoned upon reality and he not only saw Jesus, but he called Him Lord, or master, governor. In other words, he was saying, “You are the ruler of my life.” When Thomas saw Jesus this time, he was able to put his total and complete confidence in Him. He would never doubt on this level again. Thomas went on to be a mighty disciple of Jesus, and he would later die a martyr’s death with great confidence and peace of mind as he put His trust in the promises of God.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
Oh, the great joy that comes to us when we put our complete trust and confidence in Jesus and His words! Once we realize that Jesus makes no mistakes, that every word He speaks is true, that He cannot lie, and that His Word has all power and authority, then we can learn to tap into His eternal, divine, infinite power, and we can literally bring heaven to earth just by believing. To believe the words of God instead of believing what we see or feel is to put our trust in Him to the point that we can live a peaceful, happy life no matter the circumstances we go through.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28,29
Oh, the heavenly romance of walking by faith and not by sight, realizing that God loves us so much that He allows us to be tried and tested so that we can actually be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. He is making us His Bride, and He uses the storms of life to teach us to believe Him, and take Him at His Word.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
God loves us, and His thoughts toward us are good and not evil. He doesn’t send storms to us because He wants us to suffer pain or to afflict us to do us harm. Instead, He sends storms to us so that we can grow in our faith. His intentions are all good toward us as He is conforming us into the Bride of Jesus Christ. Once we leave this world and are with Jesus in eternity, then we will see and understand why we needed to go through every trial we went through in this life. Right now, you may not see clearly, but if you will only believe, I promise you that the power of belief will cause you to see again as it literally opens the eyes of the blind. Belief will save you, heal you and deliver you, because we are believing in the Son of God and in the power and authority of His words. There is no greater work we can do, but to believe in Jesus Christ.