Skip to main content

Reclaiming Faith: Stop Believing "for" things!


I have an idea. Let’s all stop ‘believing for’ stuff. You know, the way we say things like, ‘I’m believing for growth’, or ‘I’m believing for breakthrough’, or even ‘I’m believing for healing’. That sort of thing. Let’s stop saying it!

Why did we even start saying it in the first place? What does it even mean? I know it sounds really holy, but, you know what, sometimes things that sound really holy, well, just aren’t. Sometimes they just don’t make any sense at all. And this one doesn’t.

Just think about it for a moment. What does believe mean? Well, ‘trust’. Now try switching the words. Believing for something might sound really holy, but ‘trusting for’ something just doesn’t make any sense at all. Trust obviously isn’t something you do to earn a reward; that would be work. You can ‘work for’ stuff, but you can’t ‘trust for’ stuff. In fact, at the heart of the gospel there’s a key difference between working and trusting. Our sinful way to try and save ourselves is to ‘work for’ it, but Jesus’ way of giving us forgiveness, salvation and life is through trust – not ‘trust for’, but ‘trust in’. Trusting/believing isn’t something we do to earn salvation; we can’t believe for it. No, trusting/believing is all about the object of trust. We don’t believe ‘for’ salvation, we believe ‘in’ Jesus, and He is salvation!

Now, a lot of the time this is simply about a silly way we speak. But, you know what, how we say things can have an impact on how we, or maybe even more likely, on how other people think about them. Just think about it for a moment. Imagine a new Christian, and all the mature Christians around him are ‘believing for’ stuff. What sort of idea does he get about believing? It sounds like believing is a thing you do ‘for’ stuff, a way of meriting stuff. And so he begins to think that it’s about how hard you believe. ‘If I just believe hard enough I’ll be healed/get breakthrough/the church will grow.’ And that, my friends, is not Christianity, it’s positive thinking. And worse than that, it replaces faith in Christ with faith in faith.

You see, it’s not the quantity of my faith or your faith that gets things done, but the One in whom our faith rests. We don’t have faith in healing – we have faith in Christ the Healer. We don’t have faith in growth – we have faith in Christ the Head and Builder of His Church. We don’t have faith in breakthrough – we have faith in Christ who is our sanctification.

So let’s stop believing ‘for’ stuff. And let’s just believe in Jesus instead. Faith is not a meritorious work. So instead of believing ‘for’ stuff, why not pray for it instead. Pray, believing in Jesus.

Popular posts from this blog

These are the Bones of Elisha (Declaring the Word of the Lord)

One of the most curious events in all of Scripture is found in a single verse in 2 Kings 13. That chapter records the death of the prophet Elisha, and yet, there’s still one more story of Elisha here some time after his death. 2 Kings 13:21 tells us:
So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. Elisha was dead. And yet when a corpse was thrown into his tomb hastily in an attempt to hide from marauding bands of Moabites, the man came back to life simply by his corpse touching Elisha’s bones. Even as miracles go, that one’s quite impressive.

On the Church and On Sin: With a (former) Tory MP and a Catholic Priest

What with the Extraordinary Synod going on in Rome this week, the Roman Catholic Church has been in the news a bit of late. And as a result of all this pre-synod hype in the media, two Roman Catholics wrote two of the best articles I read last week. One was an article in the Catholic Herald by a priest. The other was an article in the Spectator by a former MP. You should read both of them. (But if you're not going to read both, then please at least read the second one!)

Now, maybe that seems a bit odd. I am, after all, both a Pentecostal pastor and an Ulster Protestant. And as such, I'm convinced that very significant aspects of Roman Catholic theology are seriously wrong. I still believe that justification by faith alone is the article on which the church stands or falls. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't read, and even learn from, Roman Catholics. Although we are justified by faith alone, it is by faith in Christ alone, not faith in the right formulation of the doc…

Money, Money, Money (Must Be Funny, in a Rich Man’s World!)

‘Not the Pentecostals! Watch out – they’ll be trying to get all your money.’
     – The reaction when a new Christian told her Muslim uncle that she’d got saved and           started attending a Pentecostal church. ‘Hello, I’m calling from [“Christian” TV channel]. We have some great deals on advertising during our broadcasts and wondered if the church would be interested.’
     – A phone call yesterday. ‘$11,150’
     – the amount one American church is appealing to raise to produce a worship album $750 plus expenses
     – an American amount recommended as a gift for visiting preachers ‘US pastors paid up to $300,000 - are Church of England vicars getting a raw deal?’
     – recent Headline in Christian Today

£5.75 million
     – the amount of money an evangelical church down south is trying to raise for               building improvements.$25,000
     – the amount two American pastors are raising to produce a six minute teaching video Money has been on my mind a bit of late. Not my …