Do you believe? If so, what do you believe? Sometimes I see decorative plaques or online posts that simply say, “Believe”. It may be an encouraging word to someone who has lost hope. Or possibly it means, “Believe whatever you want, just believe something!”
To believe means to have confidence in or to have a conviction of the truth. So the question remains… what do you believe?
In Genesis 15:6a, the verse tells us that, “Abram believed the Lord….” In the previous verse, God had just told Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham) that he would have a son and that his heirs would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. This would be impossible because Abram and his wife had not been able to conceive.
The word believe in the Genesis verse comes from a Hebrew verb that means “to confirm or affirm”. It’s like saying “amen” to something God has said. The Hebrews used the term to mean, “so be it” or to verify that something is reliable and true. The Bible tells us that Abram believed God’s promise, which eventually was fulfilled in the birth of Isaac.
Many people say they believe in God. They confirm that yes, God exists and He offers eternal life. Some people agree with or affirm some of what God’s Word says, but not all of it. They agree that God is love, but are wary about His justice. They agree that Jesus walked on earth 2,000 years ago but don’t believe He rose from the grave after being crucified. They affirm some of God’s commands but not all of His moral law. For example, they believe it’s wrong to murder, but sexual sins are OK. Or worse yet, some simply don’t know the Bible so they haven’t learned what to affirm or what to believe. It’s difficult to affirm what you know little about.
This type of belief is not what God seeks from His people. If we are honest, we will admit that belief in God is much more than simply recognizing that He exists. Nature cries out that He exists! Saying “amen” to the Bible, God’s plan and His promises is much greater than affirming He exists. The Bible says that even demons believe that God exists (and shudder with fear). James 2:19
True Christian belief is when we affirm and say “amen” to the God of the Bible. We have confidence in and trust Him because of who He is. We can say we believe, even without fully knowing everything about Him or having physical proof. A Christian will desire and pursue to know God better, to learn what He says and understand His ways. As much as we can, we study the Bible, God’s precious Word that He has graciously provided to us. A belief like that will affirm what we learn as we grow as Christians. We’ll say “amen” to what we learn about God from His Word. We’ll say “so be it” to God’s words, His plans, His promises, because He is God and we believe in Him.
This is the kind of belief that Abram had. And God “credited it to him as righteousness” which means that God counts belief (true affirmation and “amen” of God and His Word) as righteousness!
What do you believe?