James warned the first generation of believers in James 2:19 that even the demons believe, "and tremble." Those of this generation -- 2,000 years in the making yet just as new to faith as was that first generation -- also must give heed to his warning and discover what lies beyond simple belief.
Because believing isn't enough. It isn't enough to tremble simply at the thought of God, though that's where each of our journeys begin, we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
Believing isn't enough when the phone bill, the water bill and the quarterly installment on your homeowner's policy all come due on the same day. Faith stands as the bank account dwindles, yet we sleep in peace, knowing that God is faithful to provide each day's need. (Matthew 6:32)
Believing isn't enough whether the clear oval window turns pink or blue. Faith says, just as Mary did two millennia ago, "I am the Lord's servant ... May it be to me as you have said," when she learned of her impending motherhood. (Luke 1:38)
Believing isn't enough when we find ourselves looking down an empty road, keeping watch for the children who have strayed, our eyes watering with age as well as with tears. Faith is ready to run to them, filled with compassion for them, when they come to their senses and are restored - to us and to the One who has loved them from first thought. (Luke 15:11-24)
Believing isn't enough when all manner of ills assault - be that an assault from death, divorce, unemployment, cancer, poverty or riches - yet none can call the heart back into the world, because faith teaches us that "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38, 39)
Believing isn't enough when we dare to seek the truth, to face the truth - first of self, discovering every temptation common to man has come in its time, and too many times, has won the upper hand, staining the soul of man. Faith dares to seek and to see that truth in every man and faith pursues the remedy - open to all - offered by the one righteous man, the Son of the Most High God. (John 3:16)
Believing isn't enough when the ground cracks for want of water, when the sun scorches the earth and every living thing on it. Faith acknowledges that God alone is sovereign over this drought and he alone knows how long it will last. Faith bends the knee in true gratitude for the blessings of each day and learns what it means to be called to "patient endurance." (Revelation 1:9)
Believing isn't enough when you look at the sins of a nation, even our own nation, and know that we are only receiving true justice for our deeds, as a nation. Surely all tremble at that thought. But faith trusts that God's hand of wrath is stayed by his hand of grace, which is open to any who will partake of the Living Waters. (John 7:38)
Believing isn't enough when the intellect, a gift from God, causes us to run down one rabbit trail after another, ignoring the plain evidence that God is, God loves, and God saves. Faith knows that only God can say, "Let there be light," and there will be light, even in the deepest darkness. Every thing we know, or can ever hope to know, comes from that moment and returns to it, because "In the beginning, God..." (Genesis 1:1)
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Romans 11:6
I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for a while and discover Him together.