Choose to Believe
By Greg Sanders
Believing is always a choice. When someone puts his or her faith in Jesus, that faith will be tested. It will be tested by life’s disappointments. It will be tested by life’s experience and often tested by God’s timing. At some point, belief goes beyond simple allegiance and requires a determined trust in Jesus. It is that determined trust that allows us to stay faithful and see the help of Jesus in our life.
Over the next few days, I want to discuss your choice to believe.
Luke 8:40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying…… 49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”[d] 50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in[e] except Peter, James, and John,[f] and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But He put them all outside,[g] took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.
Lesson one: You must believe Jesus despite what you have experienced.
Your belief to trust Jesus will always be challenged. At times trust is challenged by something you are facing currently, and sometimes things you experienced in your past challenge it.
Luke 8:41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.
As a ruler of the synagogue, he would have been very familiar with the fact that not everyone who claims to have supernatural power and claims to be the Messiah really is the Messiah. But despite His experience with all of the phonies, he chose to believe Jesus. All of us have experienced things that go against what we believe. Just because those things did not happen does not mean that there was some fault in the one who did the praying or the one who endured the loss.
“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.” – Matthew Henry
Our experience does not change the Word of God.
Jairus chose to believe despite what his experience taught him. He overcame his pride that could have kept Him from coming to Jesus. He overcame the talk of people. He overcame the doubts he may have had and He went asking, even hoping for Jesus to make a difference. He needed a miracle more than he needed his dignity. He needed the help of God more than he needed peoples’ approval. Our choice to believe God is solidified during the times of our greatest needs.
“We all have the same contradictory information to work with.” – John Ortberg
There will always be plenty of reasons to doubt. Belief is a choice we make in spite of those things.
Some choose to believe, others choose to doubt. I want to challenge you today no mater how loud doubt is screaming, allow your belief to be louder.
Belief is a choice that can change everything because it invites the help of Jesus into your life.
Today’s Challenge: Choose to believe. Don’t let the experience of your past keep you from believing today.