In the midst of this global crisis, I have found myself looking and listening to voices that are focused encouraging others.
The Bible reveals a power principle related to the way that every person develops faith. Let me start by saying something about faith. We are too often tempted to define faith as only religious belief. This is not an accurate understanding of faith.
Faith is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Every single person who lives on this earth is shaped by what they believe. And how to come to those beliefs impacts how they will behave.
You don’t have to be a religious person to have your belief system built up or destroyed. All it takes is for you to accept what someone says as being true for you.
Here is the principle: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Let’s take both sides of this in turn. First, Faith comes by hearing.
There is something about the way we are made that when we hear something we are not able to stop what we feel or think about it. The externality of the spoken word is received before we can restrict its entry. This is why what we say to one another can have such powerful effects.
Solomon said “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV). Why? Because we can’t help but hear what someone says. Once those words escape our lips they will enter into another persons ears and mind. If we are constantly cutting people down they will eventually begin to believe they are worthless. But, if we are encouraging and building each other up, then we begin to believe that too.
I am not talking about saying things that are not true. We can’t lie to others or ourselves. If we do, when we are confronted with reality we will find ourselves wrecked by the lies we believed. And the reason we will be discouraged by those lies is because we will have based our lives on something that is not real or true.
The second part of the principle is that the hearing we do must be by the Word of God.
Let me say this simply. The Word of God is the surest and truest thing anyone can ever hear. There are no substitutes. And nothing is more potent.
To hear and believe the Word of God is to ensure that what you hear will correct and not crush; encourage and not cause to despair; to give life and not death.
As a Christian and a pastor I have to remember that my words, ideas, and concepts are not what give life to a hurting and lost soul. Only God’s word can do that.
As we draw ever closer to Easter morning, I want to ask you one simple question: What have you heard from God’s word today?