Believing something is true and acting on it are sometimes two different things.
Early in my married life, my husband’s job required him to work out of town for ten days at a time. I remember coming home from work while he was gone and fixing supper, listening to the evening news and eventually going to bed. Sometimes I’d lay awake for hours, listening for any unusual sound in the darkness. Every noise brought me instantly alert, my heart racing at the thought that someone might be trying to get in to harm me.
I clung to that verse, repeating it over and over at night while listening for any threatening sounds. It didn’t help.
Finally, tired of being afraid, I asked myself, “Do you believe the Bible or not? Do you believe what it says is true?” Since the answer was yes, I told myself, “Then act like it!”
If I really believed it was God alone who kept me safe, I shouldn’t be on high alert for sounds. If I believed my safety was God’s responsibility, I could lie down and sleep in peace, trusting that a merciful God was watching over me and nothing would happen unless it passed through His loving hands.
So often, we read the words of God and say we believe them, but we don’t act like it. What would it look like if we acted on our belief in these words?
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Would we quit trying to be “good enough” to get into heaven?)
Hebrews 8:12 I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Would we forgive ourselves for those things from the past that keep pestering us?)
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Would we walk with more confidence and freedom, like a prisoner acquitted of his crime?)
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Would we worry less, confident of God’s faithfulness?)
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (Would our prayers be more in line with God’s wishes and therefore, we’d see more answers?)
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Would we be more interested in what God wants to do with our lives, knowing he will provide what we most deeply desire?)
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Would it take the pressure off of us to get ahead, to provide?)
Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Would we experience peace in the midst of calamity?)
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (Would we hold confident hope in the midst of suffering?)
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (Would we give in to temptation less and remember to look for the way out?)
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Would we be more confident in the difficulties of life?)
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Would we attempt, and accomplish, greater things?)
Romans 8:38-39 Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Would we never have to struggle with loneliness or issues of self-worth?)
Actions speak louder than words, and acting on our beliefs usually provides the confidence we need to keep moving forward.