Easy Questions. Hard Answers.
I never considered the difficulty somebody my age might have answering that. We are subject to the teachings of the society around us—both conservative and liberal views fight for our passion and zeal. I’ve always had opinions; even when I was young, I had an idea of how things should go and would rally for the rest of the group to follow my advice. It was a matter of innocent ideas and preferences, but as I got older, my tendencies remained and my scope broadened.
You see, as you get older you have to make decisions on things like moral standards, life direction, people, places, right and wrong, and on and on. It’s the stuff on which you build your life and who you will be defined as. Yet, even with these heavy things on the table, most people in their high school, college, and young adult years seem to struggle with what they believe.
Often we find the trouble is not the lack of teaching but the lack of establishing. We immerse ourselves in youth groups, conventions, camps, Sunday schools, and worship practices. We sit through valuable sermons and shed tears of surrender at the altar. All of this is good and so necessary, but here is my fear. It is a fear I know to be well founded and with cause.
What happens when the years roll by, and you find yourself struggling? What happens when you can’t understand what’s happening around you and find that what you’re reaching for isn’t where it was before? When the prayers you prayed on Sunday morning don’t carry you through the week anymore.
What do you believe?
You see it’s never in the moments of strength and peace when you question the foundations of your life, but rather when the world around you seems to be shaking, and you can’t find up anymore. It’s when you lose what you thought you were; what you thought you wanted; and what you perceived as truth.
That is when you face the question you must answer, “What do I believe?”
Romans 10:10 reads “With your heart you believe and are justified and with your mouth you confess and are saved.”
It’s worth noting that the first element of salvation includes belief, for what good is any sort of commitment without a belief in the cause? To agree to do something and “confess” or proclaim its value—to live a certain life with sacrifices and commitment—will only last so long if there isn’t an established belief that it is the right choice.
You hear stories of sacrifice on many different levels by people who believed strongly and passionately in what they stood for. They would give up almost anything for the sake of believing it was right.
The psalmist David was human in a beautiful way, and we see him establishing himself over and over in his writings. “For as high as the heavens above so great is his love for those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11).
“I will say of the Lord “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
“For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Psalm 57:10).
A musician, a writer, a worker, and eventually a leader learned to establish himself in God over and over. His were more than beautiful words; they reconnecting his reality to the truths of God.
Have you taken the time to establish a truth in your heart? Here, in the beginning of a new year, you are faced with an opportunity to answer these hard questions now before life shocks you with them.
What do you believe?
In whom do you trust?
What will you do with your belief?
Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Jason Huckaby is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.