I know why I believe in Jesus Christ. I know why I put my faith in Him.
In all my years and travels, I recently acquired a valuable piece of wisdom. Wisdom that is constantly growing and always putting my life and purpose in perspective. Are you ready for this wisdom? Here it comes…
No one will understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus unless I know THE REASON WHY I HAVE ONE.
A story of a man named Jesus has little effect on an unreached, unengaged person if there is no personal side of the story from my perspective. People want to know how He has changed my life. It requires a certain amount of examination on my part, a daily pondering and growing trust, to discover the reason why I believe and how He has saved me. And after years of living and faithfully following after Him, I can gladly say I know why I believe. I can sum it up in three words:
HE IS FAITHFUL.
He is the great I AM. There is no other name by which I am saved, and I need Him a little bit more with each passing day (that rhyme was not done on purpose).
Everyone has a reason. Perhaps your reason is His saving you from a life of crime or addiction, or His coming into your life when you were considering taking your own life, or perhaps He has just always been there. Whatever the reason, it is there. As His child, you have learned how to follow Him and you discover new things about Him which only serve to confirm why you believed in the first place.
Compared to the possible reasons I listed above and the rest of the unique reasons I cannot begin to imagine, perhaps mine seems a bit odd and hard to comprehend. In which case I will gladly explain.
My favorite verse in the Bible growing up was always Jeremiah 29:11—
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
As a young girl, that verse always made me feel special, as if there was no wrong too big that would result in His taking these grand plans away from me (there is not a big enough problem to take away His plans because His plans are always solid). But still, what teenager does not want to hear that a loving and merciful God has a plan for their lives?
Although it is amazing truth spoken about in this verse, it is no longer my favorite.
In the last year, and especially in the last four months, I began examining a few things about my relationship with Jesus. With each devotion or quiet time, I kept coming back to His faithfulness and how He is the beginning and the end of all things. Yet this truth does not just come from His name as the Alpha and the Omega. It is truth. It is reliable. And I kept asking the question, “Why is it reliable? Why is anything about Jesus reliable?”
June brought some challenges this year. On a day in the middle of June, I was sitting on the floor in our living room. The TV was turned off, the ceiling fan above me was circulating air and I was drinking a cup of coffee. My heart was heavy with the consequences of sin, not because I felt God did not forgive me, rather I did not want to forgive myself for always messing up. My heart and entire body felt weighed down with bricks. In spite of this feeling, I picked up my Bible from the floor beside me and began a devotion. The topic for the day focused on the habit of omitting things. In my mind it called up how I earnestly seek to not omit things, not hide things, not do anything worth hiding, yet I still fail when I try to do anything on my own. But somehow I still do not have to be perfect; God is still faithful. My conclusion was inspired by Hebrews 10:23—
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, for He who promised is faithful.”
It was on this particular day in June when God revealed something magnificent. And my new favorite Bible verse was found.
Pay attention to this verse. The last word is “faithful.” Even though this verse is not the last in the chapter, there is a period after “faithful.” Almost as if the author wanted us to pause and reflect on that final word and the truth it holds.
Notice the verse does not say “He is faithful because…” or “He is faithful to answer….” It simply says “He who promised is faithful.” End of story. Which means if He is faithful, He is in control. And since He is in control, I have the strength to get up in the morning and stand on my own two feet. I certainly know the strength I have is not my own, and it is assuring to know I not only have His strength in me, but also I do not have to do anything to make Him feel as if His investment in me is worth His Son’s sacrifice. It was worth it to Him and always will be worth it. Nothing I do or do not do is going to change that.
Faith is one of the simplest concepts to understand when looking at the basics. I believe in the basics. I believe God created the world and man screwed it up. I believe God had a perfect plan to bring redemption to His people, and He chose His only begotten Son to make the sacrifice. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. I believe He died on the cross to pay the price for my sins and the sins of the world—past, present and future. I believe He was buried and rose from the dead three days later. I believe He ascended into heaven and is coming back to get us someday soon.
When I keep this simple timeline in my head and heart on a daily basis, it gives me courage and strength. I can face anything this life throws at me because every struggle and even every triumph pales in comparison to the eternity I will spend in heaven with my Savior.
I chose to share the reason I believe because there is nothing more amazing and interesting to me than when God Himself puts everything in clear perspective.
Why do you believe? Examine yourself and your life, and see what your answer is. And when you have your answer, praise Him for it.