What does it mean to believe?3
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
- Mark 9:24
“I believe in God …”
- from The Apostles’ Creed
What does it mean to believe?
Believing in God doesn’t mean that you don’t have any questions. You can have doubts and still believe. You can struggle and still believe. Don’t confuse certainty with belief.
Believing in God also doesn’t mean that you don’t get thrown for a loop from time to time. Life presents challenges to belief on a regular basis. Suffering, persecution and pain all can make belief difficult. But belief can outlive comfort.
Believing in God also doesn’t put you in a place where you’re opposed to reason or knowledge. There’s no such thing as faith that’s entirely blind. Belief always rests on some ground of reason or knowledge. We believe because of what we know, not just in spite of what we don’t.
Lastly, believing in God is not the same thing as a mental assent to a set of propositions. Our beliefs shape our behavior. We want to take time to dig into our foundational beliefs because we know that uncertainty and pain will emerge in our future and because we know we have to do something with what we know about the God who loves us.
What’s your relationship with belief? Do you find it easy or difficult to believe? Why?