Belief is a Relationship (Feb. 11, 2013)

…Opening To…

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

…Listening In…

In Capernaum there was a certain royal official whose son was sick… The royal official said to him, “Lord, come before my son dies.” Jesus replied, “Go home. Your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and set out for his home. (John 4:46, 49-50; context)

…Filling Up…

With Lent starting in two days, today and tomorrow’s devotions will be “one-offs” rather than part of a weekly grouping. Today, we are going to look at a certain way that belief works. We’ve talked about “belief” in these devotions before, but what follows is a quick, new take on it. Belief is not something that we “have.” It is not a possession. Nor is belief a static thing. When you get right down to it, belief is a relationship.

Belief is a relationship between God and believer; trust, faith, hope, and love all play parts in this relationship. In moments when my belief is haggard, hope may take center stage, sustaining me through a time when God seems far away. Note that in the book of Psalms, the poems often have verses expressing the desire to praise God in the future but acknowledging that the praise isn’t possible quite yet.

On the contrary, in moments when my belief is strong, trust may come to the fore, assuring me that God is true and constant. The same psalms often have verses recognizing the steadfastness of God. This steadfastness is God’s faithfulness to me, which provides a foundation for my own faith. And the bond God creates between God and me is love, from which I can never be separated. This bond enables the relationship of belief, which grows and changes and transforms upon the foundation of God’s faith. As I grow, my belief grows with me. Some seasons see little rain, so my belief stagnates. In others, my belief takes root in the fertile ground and flourishes. Through all the changes and chances of life, however, the relationship with God continues, for God never breaks a bond of love.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the foundation of all belief; help me to sustain my part of the relationship and help me to except your love in my life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that you have faith in me, because your faith in me enables me to have faith in you.

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