As a musician, I’ve definitely had some songwriting heroes over the years. One of those people is the amazing Steve Taylor, a man with an incredible talent for creating unique and incredible lyrics. One of his more haunting songs was titled, “Harder to Believe than Not To”. The tune was running through my head the other day (I am blessed/cursed with a non-stop 24/7 radio playing continually in my subconscious!), when I suddenly realized I totally disagreed with the words. The troubling line was from the chorus where Taylor sings, “Don’t you know by now why the chosen are few? It’s harder to believe than not to.” I understand where he is coming from; certainly to the world at large, it seems to believe in Jesus is a difficult thing. I live in America, the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen, and Jesus said it is nearly impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven (Matthew 19:23-26). I get that the cross is a stumbling block for many who refuse to put away their own selfish desires and ambitions to instead live a life of service to God. To me, those examples demonstrate more of an unwillingness to yield control rather than a difficulty in believing.
As a follower of Christ, I am not immune from the temptation of doubt or at times questioning if it is all true. I am spending my life in the pursuit of a God I have never seen, based on the teachings of a book that is a couple thousand years old. Am I crazy? Maybe it’s all just a fantastic story; after all, who is to say my belief system is true while that of another’s is wrong? Perhaps the gospel of Jesus is “harder to believe than not to”. But as I ponder these thoughts, I am left to respond like Peter, “Lord, to whom else would we go?” (John 6:67-68) Nothing else makes any sense. The Biblical account of creation is far more plausible than any other explanation I’ve ever heard. Sure it can seem like somewhat of a fairytale to believe in an all-powerful God who formed us and breathed His life into us. But seriously, is it really more believable than a one in a trillion chance that some random smashing of particles in space set off a chain reaction that turned a few random cells into the incredibly complex system of organs that allows us to live? And where did those original cells or the universe they were aimlessly floating around come from in the first place? While scientists and atheists have long tried to explain away God, their arguments only create more questions and prove the Bible to be increasingly complete and credible to my mind.
To me, the story of the Bible and the message of Christ simply rings too true to not believe. I don’t have enough faith to buy into another system. Many have said that it takes great faith to believe in Christ, but I think it takes measurably less than believing in any other explanation or religion out there. So to me, believing in Christ is not so hard after all. Yes, the day to day serving can be immensely challenging because the forces of evil are continually warring against us and we will indeed have to sacrifice some earthly pleasures for eternal gain. In the end though, where else can we turn? Only Jesus has the words of life, and only He can save us (Acts 4:11-12). It may be hard to believe, but I for one find it far easier than not to believe. We need never be ashamed of the hope that resides within us. Be encouraged that Jesus is still – and always will be – the way, the truth, and the life.