The holiday season is officially over, and you know what that means – no more Hallmark movies! I can hear you now. Half of you are cheering and the other half are booing. In my house, we’re split on our opinions about Hallmark movies. My dad would love to boycott them, while my mom would gladly keep them playing on the television 24/7. Personally, I like to watch one occasionally, but I need a good storyline and decent acting.
One of this year’s movies, Journey Back to Christmas, is actually one of the few movies my whole family watched together. I won’t bore you with the plot, but the thing that stood out to me the whole time I was watching the movie was just how cynical all the characters were, and I don’t think the story was overdramatized. Truthfully, the movie did a good job in portraying just how normal it is for Americans to be skeptical about people and life in general.
In this day and age, being cautious isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We have to keep our eyes open for scams on social media, con-artists on the side of the road, and sales that are just too good to be true. But the problem is that skepticism and negativity has the tendency to affect all areas of our lives.
Over the summer, I stopped blogging and doing so much online because my laptop was hacked. Despite the fact I had an excellent firewall and security system, a hacker broke into laptop and brought my entire life online to a screeching halt. From the ministry’s website to my bank account, every area was impacted. It took months to get everything back to normal.
During that time, God really began to speak to me about my faith, or lack thereof. Specifically, He showed me how little I truly believe Him. Notice I didn’t say believe in Him. The majority of people reading this believe in God. It’s a prerequisite for trusting God to save us from our sins. But there’s a difference in believing in God and believing God. Merriam-Webster defines believe as “to accept the truth of what is said by someone; to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something or someone.”[i]
Let’s be honest. It’s hard to not be cynical when problems come barreling at you like a ton of bricks. When challenges arise, it’s not easy to believe that God will provide and take care of our needs. Our first inclination when something unexpected happens isn’t to stop, pray, and remember to trust and believe that God will protect, defend, and deliver us. We believe in God, but rarely do we believe God. We have the heart of a cynic.
Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to do a study on the names of God. One thing I’ve learned over the past six months is that we can’t believe God if we don’t know God. Going to church, praying, and memorizing Scripture is all well and good, but if we don’t know whom we claim to believe, then we will never be able to fully trust Him. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of half-hoping, half-believing, half-trusting. We serve the same God of the Bible – the same miraculous, all-powerful, awe-inspiring God. He wants to work in our lives, but we have to let Him.
Are you ready to believe?
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?’” ~ Numbers 14:11
[ii] Strength & Joy 354-Day Devotional Journal; EllieClaire, 2016