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When to Believe
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Modern-day miracles and supernatural events surround us. Mobbed with tabloid stories of half-frog humans, alien abductions and pets that solve murders, and many popular T.V. shows that chillingly thrill viewers with storylines built around communicating with the dead, we are deadened to amazing and unexplained happenings by over-exposure to tales of the fantastic.

When reports of a Y2K catastrophe began to circulate in 1999, millions of people stocked their pantries with bottled water and canned food. During the summer months, the threat of West Nile Virus sends families indoors and prompts frequent pesticide fogging. Fears of an worldwide bird flu epidemic have people hoarding expensive and unproven antibiotics. Americans and the world have been haunted by terrorist attacks giving reign to paranoia and uncertainty.

We are quick to accept as true modern myths and terrifying news reports while at the same time we shake our heads at some of the more fantastic Bible stories. What makes it easier to fear mosquitoes than believe a Man could feed a crowd with one small boy's lunch?

Skepticism is an American epidemic. Faith and acceptance wane while confusion and disbelief grow. Christians are ridiculed for trusting in God's power while the media hails modern scientific accomplishments as miracles. It's as though belief in the unproven is child's play.

What can I believe?

Miracles should be the great faith builders of Christianity, but the world has turned doubt of the supernatural into a reason to question the existence of a loving God.

Faith was an issue even in Christ's day. In the midst of a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asks His terrified disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Even after spending years at His side, their reply was, "Who is This? Even the wind and the waves obey Him" (Mark 4:40).

Hebrews 11 is known as the chapter of faith. According to the first verse of Hebrews, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." More than this, Hebrews 11:6 explains that the faithful not only believe God exists but that God rewards those who seek and believe.

Not everything can be scientifically proven; therefore, faith is a necessary part of a Christian's walk. While solid proof is reassuring, there are rewards to believing the unseen and coming to understand and accept the unknowable. Having a faith in a God who is bigger than our fears and stronger than our cynical side eases our daily walk and gives us strength to live through uncertain times.

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By Lauren Schwarz. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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