– Thomas Jefferson
Faith is the ability to believe God and be persuaded about Divine Truth. According to the Lexicon, the Greek pistis is trust, faith, belief, confidence, fidelity and faithfulness – God’s divine persuasion. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will. If I’m going to ACT on God’s will, I must first be PERSUADED about it. Even in the arena of salvation, the Apsotle Paul said, “Since, then we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others…” (2 Cor. 5:11) What do we use to persuade? The Good News of God’s mercy, love, grace and forgiveness. “The LORD isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9) How did Paul know this? He was formerly a persecutor of Christians, but a merciful encounter with Jesus was used to persuade him of the love of Christ for even a hate-filled, murderer such as himself.
It took time and experience with Jesus for Paul to be persuaded. It was inconceivable after all he’d done that God would grant him such a great deal. He concluded that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance and life change. (Romans 2:4) This persuasion comes from the fact that not only did we escape the punishment we deserved from a Holy God, but we also enjoy His blessings that we don’t deserve! God is always presenting us opportunities and challenges that are meant to persuade us of who He
is, of His love for us, of our calling, and of the surety of His promises. Abraham was justified by his faith – his full persuasion and belief in God was credited to him as righteousness. (Rom 4:3) Though he and his wife Sarah were barren, He believed that he would be granted a son and become the father of many nations just because God said so. His circumstance disagreed with God’s promise. He and Sarah had doubts and tried to make other plans. Yet the Bible ultimately records, “he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.“ (Romans 4:20-21) Many of us are in circumstances that do not look or feel at all like God’s promise. This can leave us frustrated, disappointed, and fearful. Still, allow God to persuade you of His truth. Peter prayed that the trial of our faith which is more precious than gold, though it be tried by the fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7) Let your willingness to be persuaded be worship that glorifies God!