Believe first

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV)
 
Our thought for today: “Believe first”
 
I find it interesting that Hebrews chapter eleven, which is known as “The Faith Hall of Fame”, begins with a reminder that the nature of faith is based upon making a choice to believe even when we do not see. The essence of faith is that we choose to embrace what we believe to be true, even though we don’t have firm, concrete proof to base it on. Then, after making that observation, the chapter goes on to tell of extraordinary Christians who demonstrated extraordinary faith, often in impossible situations.
 
How did they do it? How did they come to be so sure of what they could not see, to the point of even sacrificing their lives for their beliefs?
 
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) was one of the great Christian thinkers and leaders of the early Middle-Ages in Europe. Writing about how it is that faith is achieved and then strengthened over time he said, “I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this also I believe, that unless I believe, I will not understand.”
 
What Anselm meant is that first, we have to come to the point where we will trust God enough to give Him a chance. It’s even okay to say, “God, I’m not sure if you’re real or not but I am open and I am willing to be convinced. So, convince me.” Then, with an open mind and heart, and with genuine sincerity, make an effort to seek God and to give Him a chance to convince you. He will. That’s the beginning of faith.
 
Then, each day place yourself in a position before God in prayer, Bible reading, worship, fellowship with other Christians, and in acts of service to others, and let God prove Himself to you some more. In dozens of different and subtle ways, as you continue to trust Him and seek Him, God will reveal more and more to you, and your faith will get stronger and stronger. It’s a slow subtle process that unfolds over time as you choose to continue believing and trusting.
 
Choose to believe first; understanding will begin to come after that. As Anselm said, “I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this also I believe, that unless I believe, I will not understand.”
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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