Believe is a verb, so for our primary school lesson, a verb is an action word. The definition of believe, according to Dictionary.com, is to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so. To believe in, according to dictionary.com is, to be persuaded of the truth or existence of; to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence. So for us to believe in God, takes action on our part. We are to have confidence in the reliability of His truth even though we may not have absolute proof to show others that what we believe will happen.
For us to be effective, we must understand the difference between having knowledge or believing. The definition of knowledge, according to Dictionary.com, acquaintance with facts, truths, principles as from study or investigation; acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience or report; awareness, as of a fact or circumstance; something that is or may be known; information.
Knowledge or facts are known in the head, a mental understanding of information that we gain through seeing, experiencing or from reports. While Believing is a heart conviction, confidence in a truth that the believer believes its existence, is reliable even though it cannot produce absolute tangible proof.
These are two different concepts and yet people use them interchangeably. That may be why so many people are confused about what they know and what they think they believe. Many people know there is a God and they have an intellectual knowledge that He exists but this knowledge does not lead them to any action. It is acquired information of a fact or truth.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! NKJV
We all may have knowledge of truth and facts but what we believe about that truth will determine our actions. Demons not only know there is one God, they believe it and shudder, which means to tremble with a sudden convulsive movement, as from horror or fear. The demons know the truth and the reliability of what God said would happen to them.
We are given a parenthetical or set amount of time, from when we are born until the time we die, to live the life we were given on this earth. What we believe and as a result of that belief dictate our corresponding actions and will determine our eternity. We have heard it said, actions speak louder than words and so it is in the choices we make in life. Our actions reflect our true beliefs regardless of what we may say.
Mark 9: 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 11: 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible.” When we believe we do not give up even when life’s challenges occur, no matter how devastating our situations may be. We stand and believe in the love God has for us knowing He will never leave us or forsake us. Regardless of the circumstances and what appears to be at the moment, God cannot and will not fail us.
Hebrews 13: 5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” NKJV
To believe in your heart is to have a life altering commitment to that belief. While we may have an academic knowledge of a thought or concept, it is only information. It is not until we believe that our words and actions are changed to line up with what we believe. That is why so many people can say they believe in God when they only have knowledge of Him. If we believe in God, according to the definition of believe, we have a confidence in His truth, and that He exists, although we may not be able to give absolute proof in the natural world. We, who believe in God, are persuaded to have faith in His faithfulness, kindness and compassion toward us. It is that belief that gives us the courage to stand and not fear what mere man can do to us.