Believe Also in Me

Trusting God is not an easy process. Oh, it is easy and even simple to claim to trust. Allowing the reality of trust to infuse and overtake every aspect of our lives is a completely different prospect, however. In place of trust, we make claims about trust. In place of faith, we parrot the words and creeds of faith, hoping that somehow that will be sufficient. On some levels it is. On other levels, however, it is more a cry for help.
Jesus’ disciples struggled to understand his words and the intent of his teaching time after time. In Jesus’ concluding discourse with them in the Gospel of John, we find them at a loss to understand what Jesus meant by going to the Father and preparing a place for them. They had come to trust that Jesus spoke for God and had been teaching them effectively and faithfully to better understand God and God’s purposes for their lives. They had seen divine action in Jesus’ ministry they simply could explain no other way. On certain issues, however, they still struggled to accept what Jesus told them.
“You believe in God, believe also in me.” Those were simple words. They were hard to apply to the realities of living.
Often as not, that is also where we find ourselves. We accept the words that tell us God is love. We accept the words about eternity with God in some unexplainable reality beyond the material existence we know. We accept God’s grace, mercy, compassion, and love. We accept the words about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The problem we have is with allowing those words to change how we respond to the fears and concerns we have regarding what our society teaches. We struggle to allow the priorities of Jesus overcome the priorities of our cultures and traditions.
We still want to look at the world from the perspective of power, wealth, and strength. We still want to assess what matters on the basis of control, force, and influence. We still want to hang onto the security of wealth, comfort, and tradition. Faith, however, would call us to find our confidence elsewhere in what we consider weakness and foolishness.
Jesus calls us to give ourselves away. Jesus calls us to place our confidence, hope, and trust in eternal priorities, rather than in the priorities of this world and this existence. Jesus calls us to place a new confidence in God’s priorities of living for the benefit of those around us, rather than for ourselves. That calls for a new assessment of what really matters. It calls for new priorities. It calls for making the words of our faith become a new slate of actions and attitudes. It calls for doing more than claiming the words of faith. It requires acting upon them in visible ways. That is not easy, but it is the way of the cross Jesus set before us.
Are we ready to allow the claims of our faith claim our actions and alter our priorities? That is where faith is truly born.

©Copyright 2018, Christopher B. Harbin
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