My family loves the movie, The Polar Express. Even though my kids are both teenagers, we still curl up as a family and watch the movie each year at Christmas time. In case you haven’t seen it, a young boy has doubts that Santa is real. On Christmas Eve, a magical train pulls up in his front yard to take him, and a train full of kids, to the North Pole. While there, he is chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas from Santa himself. He chooses a beautiful bell from Santa’s sleigh. However, when he shakes it, he doesn’t hear any sound. That’s because he still doesn’t fully believe, and is holding on to doubt. Until he believes with his whole heart, he won’t hear the bells. We love cheering him on as he shakes the bell and chants softly, “I believe”. He keeps chanting over and over, and you can feel his convictions becoming stronger each time he says it. His voice becomes more powerful as his belief grows. Then finally, he hears the bell! One of the famous lines in the movie comes from the conductor, “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see” (The Polar Express, 2004).
The definition of believe is, “accept something as true; feel sure of the truth of”. Belief and faith are sisters. In Hebrews we are told that, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 CSB). Skip a few verses down, and we are told, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must BELIEVE that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 CSB, emphasis mine). We are cautioned not to doubt God. James shares how to obtain wisdom in chapter 1, “If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. BUT he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind” (James 1:5-6, AMP, emphasis mine).
In one of Paul’s letters to the saints in Ephesus, he passionately pours out his heart and lets them know his desire for them. He wants them to deeply know God, have hope, “and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength which He produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1: 19-20 AMP).
This helps me most when I’m anxious about something. There are so many things out of our control and it can feel heavy and consuming at times. When I remember that God’s power is alive and active, and I can access that, I fell less burdened. I can pray over what’s on my mind with the confidence that God is bigger than anything, and can do way more than me, a mere human.
In Matthew, Jesus is using a barren fig tree to teach his disciples a lesson. In chapter 21, “Jesus replied to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if you have faith [personal trust and confidence in Me] and do not doubt or allow yourself to be drawn in two directions, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, it will happen [if God allows it]. And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive’ ” (Matthew 21:21-22 AMP).
In the above verse, Jesus reveals what the keys are to accessing the active, spiritual power in believers that Paul referred to. Those keys are belief and prayer. They are the keys that unlock and access God’s power in us as believers. When you go to God in prayer you can’t be double-minded, or have your mind going in two directions. Fully believe that God is who He says He is, and that His power that raised Jesus from the tomb is the same power that is alive and active AND accessible to us today. Believe that God IS good and He is willing to help in any situation, decision or circumstance. Do you believe? Sometimes we just need to be the boy in The Polar Express and chant, “I believe”, over and over until our confidence in The Father strengthens, our mind stops wavering, and all doubts cease.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! Tell me you stopped by in the comments and share your thoughts. Blessings!