Consider these three key statements.
- “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
- “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)
- “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
It is important to note that we are not told to believe about Jesus but to go much further – to believe in Him. We can believe about something without it impacting our lives. To believe in something – or in this case someone – is to have it as a central core and foundation of our lives. James made this clear when he wrote that even the demons believed about God.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder” (James 2:19)
When we celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of the year it is not because it is fun – nor is it because it is a great historical event – nor even because it gives us pleasure, like the warmth of the sun after a cold night. We celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the World, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the One who is to die in our place and who rises again to give us new and eternal life. Our lives are to be so closely bound up in and interwoven with Him that His life becomes our life and ours an expression of His.
We are not asked to admire Him as some rare creation preserved and seen through the protective barrier of a glass cage – nor are we to get excited about Him as if he were a great entertainer performing for our delight and amazement on a distant stage. Instead we are expected to come to Him, to engage with Him, to open our live to Him and to invite and allow Him into every part of us – giving to Him the authority to do whatever He wishes and trusting Him that it will all be for the best.
In other words we are asked to place our full trust and faith in Him – believing in Him to such an extent that we can surrender our past to Him, live our present with Him, and entrust our future to Him, no matter what may be happening in our world at the time and in the world around us.
Faith is a decision and not a feeling. And so the great Creed begins with “I believe in God …”
Lord Jesus I do believe in You – help me to believe in You at all times and in all situations no matter how I may feel at the time. Amen.