Strong Belief Makes Things Easy

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" - Joh 3:18 ESV.  

Growing up as a kid in the province, we enjoyed many things that modern urban kids don't even get to know possible. One of the things that we enjoyed was to play in the rain. And the heavier the rain was, the better because then we could also enjoy the rush of water in ditches and waterways. For me though, it wasn't just play that I enjoyed while it was raining. I also liked to do some useful tasks during it. Yes there are tasks that you can do and in fact better done while raining. Repairing waterflows is one and when we finally moved residence near a river, collecting firewood floating along with the flood is another. Collecting firewood wouldn't have been that enjoyable for children like me had it not been with the rain beating down on our faces, because then, the useful task is just a secondary thing to the childish enjoyment of getting wet. Kids will be kids and being kids in the rain is fun.

A lot of tasks that we do are actually tedious or heavy to do. Some will require much effort and strength as when you do some manual labor. Others may require you to work in a very uncomfortable environment. When fun is out of the equation, the task becomes even heavier. Even the simple ones, can become heavy because we don't get to enjoy doing them. But how about those people who do the most mundane tasks and seem not to mind or even enjoy doing them? How about the mothers who wake up early to prepare food for their children and other household tasks on a daily basis? There are of course some who will complain but most won't. Why? I think because they believe that what they do is a noble thing, a loving and responsible thing. They believe that mothers should be mothers and doing those things is what motherhood is largely made of. In this case, we see belief trumping fun. There may not be fun in what a person does but when the belief in its virtue is so strong, then doing it becomes lighter, even strangely "enjoyable".

No one can argue against the power of belief. When we see the kind of things people sacrifice for beliefs we wouldn't doubt its power. Futures and careers are sacrificed by those who are indoctrinated into certain ideologies every day. Families are left behind to join some cult or pursue some advocacies by many. Belief is powerful and powerful belief even more so. Sadly, this is true regardless of truthfulness or usefulness of the belief. A strong belief in a lie is fruitless. A strong belief in an evil thing or an evil person is tragic.

But imagine what will happen if we develop a strong belief about that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. Imagine a life governed by these things. Imagine a character characterized this way. All the right things that we sometimes find very difficult to do even though we know them to be right will now come easily. A right thing to do like forgiving your enemy will come naturally because a mind with a strong belief can actually override the emotion. To offer the right cheek or to endure wrong will become a way of life. So is giving and helping others generously. Gone are the days when Christians complain about how difficult it is to follow Jesus faithfully. We can all put behind all the struggles between following our Master and following our contrary emotions. As the mind says, we do because our belief in what it says is so strong that our joy and satisfaction is now anchored on that belief. No person will lightly say that going to heaven is easy. Actually it is. And it is made easy by a very strong belief which we call faith. This is what our passage today tells us.

Therefore, it is important that we know the truth, the good and the right. Equally important is that as soon as we know, let's build a strong belief about them. Let that belief be the kind that can't be easily swayed nor tempted to compromise. Let it be the kind that even emotions hold no supremacy over. Later, we will be surprised to discover that doing good and proper isn't just a preference that we need to struggle to fulfill but a way of life that brings us satisfaction, joy and peace.

(Photo credit: Wellness Universe)