You Don’t Need to Understand to Believe

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:14).

I know many people who are unable to believe because they insist on understanding before they believe.

This is really silly.

We don’t live that way. There are many things we don’t understand and yet we still put our trust in them.

You don’t believe me? Why you…It’s all good.

Let me explain.

How many people getting on an airplane understands the principles of aerodynamics that allow a metal tube weighing several hundred tons to fly?

Yet, they get on airplanes by the hundreds of thousands every day.

Why? Because they’ve seen airplanes work.

You see, understanding is not necessary for believing something. You just need to know that it works.

That’s how it is with Jesus. You don’t need to understand before believing in Jesus. You just need to know that Jesus works.

The reason why I believe is because I know faith in God works. I could not imagine trying to make sense of the world I live in apart from God. The Bible helps me make sense of the world I live in.

I believe because I have seen faith work for so many people. I have seen faith work. People who should have been down and out because of failures, disease, death, trials, suffering are instead thriving and growing because of their faith in Jesus Christ. I’ve seen it!

Understanding is not necessary for belief. The only thing that is absolutely necessary is humility. You need to be ready to accept God, and accept that you are not God.

Just like you get on an airplane although you don’t understand how that airplane flies, it is perfectly reasonable to believe in God even though you don’t understand because you’ve seen faith work in others.

If you haven’t, look at the people at Little Church and Lakewoodgrace. You’ll see faith at work.

The Difference Between Knowing and Believing

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder” (James 2:19).

There is not one demon who does not know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

There is not one demon who does not know that God is the creator of the world.

There is not one demon who does not know that Jesus will come again to judge the world.

Satan and his demons know who Jesus is.

Knowing Jesus cannot save. It is in receiving and believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior that saves.

So, then, what is the difference between knowing and believing?

In modern day English, belief has a different meaning than what it did to the Jews during the days of Jesus. One could not believe something without acting and living out that belief. If one’s actions did not demonstrate the belief, it was the same as unbelief. If you believe it, you live it.

Satan and his demons know who Jesus is. But satan and his demons would never put their trust and reliance on Jesus.

That’s the difference between knowing and believing.

I am grateful that God does not expect us to be perfect in our obedience and reliance. Though we are not expected to be perfect in obedience and reliance on Jesus, we are, nevertheless, called to obey and trust.

The hymn writer has it right. Trust and obey, for there is no way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

“Shortly after dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

“‘Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

“‘Come,” he said.

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'”

(Matthew 14:25-31).

It was a cold morning. There was a mist rising from the lake as the sun’s rays began shining its light on the dark waters. The disciples were barely awake when they saw something that shouldn’t be…There was a human figure walking on the lake.

The disciples didn’t know how to make sense of what they were seeing. They screamed out, “It’s a ghost!”

Jesus tells them that it is he. Peter asks, if it really is Jesus, to walk to Jesus on the water and Jesus tells him to come.

For the first time in all of human history, when Peter stepped out of the boat, instead of his feet sinking he hit solid water! Yeah. You read that right. Solid water!

Just like solid ground, the water sustained his weight. He was walking on water!

But, as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus, Peter began to sink.

You see, the devil doesn’t have to defeat us to defeat us. All he has to do is to distract us. The moment we take our eyes off Jesus, we are sunk. We are defeated.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.

I know. Particularly this time of the year there are a whole lot of distractions. There are all kinds of shiny toys and fancy clothes. It doesn’t take much to distract us.

Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay focused. Remember who you are because of who Jesus is.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.