Before you reach for the modern equivalent of the stake, firewood, and torch (the flaming keyboard, that is), let me assure you that I take a high view of Scripture.
I don’t believe the Bible becomes or contains God’s word to us, I believe it is God’s revealed word to us. In this respect, I stand squarely in the Reformed tradition.
So exactly what in the world do I mean by the title of this essay?
You remember how the father of the tormented child, when pleading with the Master on his child’s behalf said, Lord I believe, help my unbelief ?
There is, paradoxically, such a thing as doubting faith.
And when it comes to the verse I wish I believed, that’s me.
Okay, enough suspense. What is the verse?
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
Yep. Romans 8:28.
It’s just too big, isn’t it. At least it is for me.
To be expected to believe this asks a lot of us.
Nevertheless, I believe it. I just can’t seem to BELIEVE it.
Know what I mean?
For those of you who might not be as familiar with Scripture as some others, let me point out a key issue.
Romans 8:28 doesn’t say that all things that happen to us are good. The Bible is not foolish about life. There is much that can happen to us that is not good at all – not by any measurement.
What this promise does tell us is that God, in His sovereign greatness, is so mighty that nothing can prosper against those who love Him (the single requirement given for the activation of this promise, by the way). It tells us that the Master takes everything that comes our way and pulls them together in our life for our ultimate benefit.
See what I mean about the bigness of it all?
Can you imagine the change it would make in my life if I was in the practice of BELIEVING this, instead of believing it?
Can you imagine the change it would make in my experience of… oh, I don’t know, say –
You get the idea.
And what about such gravels in the spiritual shoe as envy, jealousy, resentment, bitterness…
Now, we don’t do anything perfectly. Nor, if we’re wise, do we even pursue such a trap. Perfectionism isn’t a virtue – it’s a neurosis.
I just mean, imagine the change in my life it would make if I lived day in, day out believing that the Master makes everything that comes into my life work together, ultimately, for my good.
What we really believe is what actually…really… controls us.
I believe Romans 8:28.
But I would experience more of what the Prince of Peace has to offer if I really believed it.