I've often heard it said by people who claim to be atheists that they wish they could believe in God. They go on to explain that for them to do so would require them to disregard the whole of science and conventional wisdom and to reject all that they believe about mans past,present and future.
And they're unable to do that.
I know people who've made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ who claim to have trusted the care of their eternalsouls to Him but who all too often allow themselves to be put in bondage by worry. They're consumed by soul wrenching, anxiety producing worry over various aspects of their lives. If we're able to trust Him with our eternity, shouldn't we also then be able to trust Him in this moment? I think so...
But they're unwilling to do that.
Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
As a member of the church, and of the body of Christ, I believe that many of us overlook the simplicity of what Jesus is saying here. He's saying that opening our hearts to His love is all that's required of us! From that point on, it's His Holy Spirit shining through our surrendered vessels that accomplishes His purpose.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Perhaps the difficulty lies in our understanding of the word believe. Our modern usage of it as a description is often confused with what it means to know. To believe, or to think to be true, carries with it a measure of doubt or at least it leaves a space open for it as in the expression "I believe it is so" .
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
As you can see there's a leap to be made from now to then. From what is belief to what is knowing. Faith is the conduit. Not only does it take us there but it allows it to come to and through us! Being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen tell's me that it's not a blind leap but instead one of reasoned logic not unlike following a trail of breadcrumbs through a wood. It's truth based upon truth, and the belief or assumption that the past is the best predictor of the future that compels us on.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
What does this leap of faith consist of, what do Christians believe? We believe that as descendants of the first man Adam we're all born sinners. We believe that Jesus, the son of God, chose to pay the price for our sin and offer it to us as a free gift. We believe that we must accept His gift of salvation and receive it as ours. It's not too complicated; there are no unnecessary hoops to jump through or fine print that needs to be carefully read.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
I'm quite impressed that Jesus foresaw what was going to happen with us in the future. He understood our limited ability to overcome our flesh and to have faith. I don't think He expects us all to be great theologians or to have faith that moves mountains. (Which is a good thing because most of us don't!)
I do however believe that He expects us to be moving in (and under) his direction!
Would you only believe?