Not everyone feels comfortable on bridges.
On the one hand, we can hold firm beliefs (even convictions) related to bridges. We believe that people are smart enough to build bridges that won’t collapse. We believe that engineers understand resonance, tensile strength and the nature of spans and arches. We believe that certain products resist warping, fraying, and breaking.
On the other hand, those beliefs about bridges in general have to ultimately give way to a belief about a bridge in particular, or I will not step onto it. If I don’t trust the bridge before me, I’ll not step onto it or drive across it, no matter what beliefs I have about people and products.
So it is, of course, with Christ.
My church community ingrains in me a set of beliefs that I hold to be true about Him; fully human, fully divine, without sin, Son of God, and Savior. I believe Him to have died and been raised again from the dead. I believe that He performed miracles and atoned for our sin. I believe He has sat down at the right hand of God, and is coming again.
But at some point I must trust Him, not just affirm the statements about Him. Eternal life,a thriving life, comes not from propositions but from the Presence of a Person. I am most enriched not by what I know about Him but by what I experience with Him. My beliefs must merge into an authentic, driving, motivating, and life-guiding belief. My knowledge must result in trust.
Our beliefs about Christ may provide reason for believing Him, but trust is a separate and distinct act. I choose, I want, and I am willing to yield everything in my life and everything about my life to Him. And that can challenge us deeply in different seasons of our lives.
Beliefs help me fit into the Church community, but belief is the cornerstone of abundant living. Beliefs give me certainty, but belief gives me peace. Beliefs help me structure my thinking and make sense of the world, but belief transforms my choices and actions. I can hold my beliefs to myself, but belief requires a relationship. Belief is not something we talk about but something we live.
Hope is not the same as hopes. Prayer is not the same as prayers. And belief is not the same as beliefs.
What are we doing today that needs Jesus, depends on Jesus, and explicitly trusts Jesus? For all of our beliefs about Him, do we believe Him?