What Is Your Faith In?
Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
Does it really make any difference what you believe, as long as you believe it with all your heart? Many millions of men and women would answer in the negative. They would respond that it does not make much difference what you believe as long as you believe it with all your might. Some would perhaps add that all religions lead to the same place if you do your best and follow the teaching.
A number of prominent medical authorities recognize the therapeutic power of belief as opposed to the debilitating and unhealthy effects of doubt and skepticism. Dr. Carl Jung was among those who recognized strong belief in about anything as a good thing. Jung took the position that religion meets one of man’s basic needs and that lack of faith is the root cause of neurosis which he often found in his patients. In fact, Jung would go so far as to say that lack of faith was the root cause of neurosis in every one of his patients. But Dr. Jung was not concerned with the truth or falsity of a person’s beliefs; he simply felt that a person who believed in something‑‑whether it be a lump of silly putty or a totem pole that had passed from generation to generation‑‑was better off than one who had no convictions.
I was on an airplane when the jet was hit with a strong turbulence and began dumping the trays of food left and right. The coffee cup in my hand stayed in my hand while the coffee spiraled towards the ceiling in an eerie column for a few seconds before it came tumbling down, most of it missing the cup on the way down, too. I turned to the young man seated next to me and said, “This turbulence would make even an atheist a little unsure of himself, wouldn’t it?”
He smiled and we joked for a minute, but the incident did trigger off a rather serious discussion of the importance of faith. Like many today unconcerned with the truth or falsity of their convictions, he felt that the only thing that really counts is the strength of belief itself. As our plane tossed back and forth I said, “It isn’t my faith in those jet engines that is going to get us to our destination, it is their power to lift us above the storm. No matter how great my faith in them, if they have not the power to overcome the force of gravity and the turbulence of the storm, we are in trouble.”
That is the difference between faith in belief and faith in God. There is a big difference. Let’s suppose that you are crossing a turbulent river, and spanning the gorge is a bridge. But what you do not know is that the planks are rotten, and, although it has been satisfactory for many years, it is likely to let you plunge through the rotten timbers to your death below. Your faith in the weak planks may be strong, but weak faith in a strong plank is better. The validity of Christianity is not the strength of your belief, but rather its strength is in the empty tomb and God’s power that brought Jesus forth from the grave.
It is not great faith that really counts. It is faith in a great God. The Bible makes little allowance for the power of faith in faith, but without faith in the sovereign God of the Bible there is little hope of pleasing Him who calls us. What really counts is not the strength of your belief, but rather the strength of Him in whom you believe. If the record of Scripture is true, if Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, then that is sufficient to carry me to heaven’s shore. Edmund Liddie put it, “I have no other confidence/ I have no other plea/ It is enough that Jesus died/ And that He died for me.”
Resource reading: Romans 10:1-21