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You know how everything tastes better when you’re really hungry?  Allow me to give you an example: I’m presently eating leftover “pizza”. (Those who know me well know of my struggles accepting the New England definition of pizza and understand why I put it in quotes.  For those who don’t, I grew up 40 minutes outside New York City and therefore have very strict standards for things like pizza and bagels.  New England sadly, fails to meet those standards with frightening consistency…Who cuts a round pizza into squares?!?!)  Anyway, this pizza I’m eating barely had time to warm up before I snatched it from the toaster oven.  The crust is soggy, the cheese is strangely coagulated and it’s a bit greasy.  But I gotta tell you, right now, it’s the most delicious thing to ever pass my lips!

The hurting, questioning heart often experiences the same phenomena.  It wants so badly to feel some relief that it will devour whatever “pizza” happens to be nearby.  In moments of sheer desperation, we are willing to believe in whatever will make us feel better.  For many people, this means trusting in superstition, luck, karma, etc.

The mature Christian, on the other hand, knows that placing our faith in anything other than Christ will leave us feeling hungry and unsatisfied.  But what happens when what we know in our heads just can’t seem to make it to our hearts?

I’m going to borrow from Beth Moore’s study Believing God a bit as we explore ways we can strengthen our faith and thereby be the example we’re called to be.  In the study, Beth provided five specific things we need to believe in order to strengthen our faith and I want us to take a look at them.  (To keep this post from becoming an epic novel, we’ll cover the first two today and the others on Thursday.)  As we move through life, our hearts would do well to believe the following about God:

God is who He says He is:  If we do not believe that God is who He says He is in His Word, nothing else matters.  We must believe that He is the Creator, the Ruler of the world, the Sustainer of life, our Savior, our Redeemer and our Hope.  (Colossians 1:15-20)

God can do what He says He can do: The God who spoke the world into being and the God who raised Christ from the dead is the very same God who reaches out to us with all power, authority and glory.  Nothing is too big for Him.  And nothing is outside His notice. (Ephesians 1:18-21)

So what if you’re stuck on these two?  What if you don’t fully believe that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do? 

First, pray.  Our faith in God comes from God and he gives it freely to the one who earnestly seeks Him (Mark 9:14-24).  Ask Him for the faith to believe.

 Second, repeat these truths to your heart over and over again.  Whenever doubt creeps in, remind yourself that God is who He says He is.  Whenever something seems overwhelming, tell yourself that God can do what He says He can do.  And He says that He can rescue you, heal you, free you and give you a new, abundant life full of exactly what He knows to be best for you (James 1:17)

Begin today to set an example for those around you by taking God at his Word.  God can not lie (Hebrews 6:18).

How do you know that God’s Word is true?  What experience have you had that you can use to point others to the Truth?

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