The Power of Belief
Jimmie Durante was another entertainer who wouldn't have made a fortune with his looks. But he capitalized on his weakness and turned it into one of his greatest strengths. He didn't focus on his physical attributes—what he didn't have, but on his strengths—what he did have—and put these to good use because he believed he could.
You and I can do the same.
For an even stronger and healthier sense of self-belief is knowing that no matter what you have ever done or have failed to do, God loves you totally and unconditionally, is wanting to forgive your every sin and wrongdoing, and that he has a God-given purpose for your life!
Second, Beliefs are also powerful because we can choose what we want to believe. This places us in charge of our own destiny. True, most of our beliefs about ourselves, life, God, and so on were learned from our parents or early caregivers. However, once we become of age, we can consciously choose to hold on to those beliefs that are valid and let go of the rest.
One danger is to hold on to beliefs we like and let go of those we don't like more through convenience rather than thoughtful choice. That is, we choose those beliefs that don't threaten our lifestyle and, consequently, instead of our controlling our beliefs we allow them to control us.
I believe in the sun,
even when it is not shining;
I believe in love,
even when I feel it not;
I believe in God
even when he is silent.
Another risk is that we may begin with healthy beliefs, but if we fail to live up to these, we experience cognitive dissonance (mental disharmony) and change our beliefs to match our lifestyle. And then, instead of living the life we believe, we end up unhappily believing the life we live – a dangerous path to follow.
Third, another powerful thing about beliefs is that they determine, not only the destiny of our present life, but also our relationship to God and our destiny for the life to come. God's Word, the Bible, says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."1 Also, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved [for the life to come]."2 And again, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."3
Beliefs are incredibly powerful, but the good news is that they are our choice. Thus we need to choose them carefully and base them on reality, not on faulty perceptions from the past. And we especially need to base them on God's Word regarding the life to come.
At times it can be difficult to believe in God and that he has a specific purpose for our life. But we believe in him by choice as exemplified by a World War II prisoner of war. He wrote on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany: "I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining; I believe in love, even when I feel it not; I believe in God even when he is silent."
Remember, too, that beliefs are only wishes until we act on them!
For help to act on your belief in God click on the Know God button below.
1. John 3:16 (NIV).
2. Acts 16:31 (NIV).
3. John 1:12 (NIV).
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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