By Melissa McLaughlin

Do you remember a time like this? That moment when you needed someone to believe you, to trust you. Perhaps it was an accident and you wanted others to understand what happened. Maybe it was the doctor and you needed him to believe your symptoms. Perhaps someone was giving a different account about an incident that involved you. You told the truth, but how can the listener know this?

This is the deciding moment. The moment when you need someone to believe you. To trust you. To take your word for it.

Believe Me

Now think back to a time when someone did indeed believe you. What a gift! It is like receiving a longed for and treasured prize. There is a sense of deep connection. A soul-level trust. A knowing and believing in who you are. This kind of belief in another person’s character is a rare commodity, something to be genuinely cherished.

Imagine then, how it moves God’s heart when we believe Him. When we take His word for it. When we trust Him.

He is the God of all eternity. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God. Creator, Master and Sustainer of the universe and beyond. Not one planet, not one molecule is outside His touch or realm of knowing.

Believe God’s Word, the Bible

When God speaks…it is. His Word is final. We have seen this proven through His Word, the Bible, and through the prophecies which have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The number of prophecies from the Old Testament that were accomplished with utmost precision in Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection are staggering.

Here Ron Konig, coauthor of 100 Prophecies, provides a chart with 68 of these fulfilled Biblical prophecies.

When God speaks…it is.

You might think we would find it easy to believe in God and to believe His Word. Yet, somehow, we do not.

We wonder if there is a God. We wonder if God is good. We wonder if God is active or interested in His creation. We wonder if God’s Word, the Bible, is actually true. Okay, maybe some of it, but is the whole Bible true?

Imagine how it moves God’s heart when someone believes. That same way it makes us feel when someone believes us, believes what we are saying, takes our word for it. Surely, God experiences something like that, too.

People Who Believed

Part of the Christmas story that captures my heart are the people who believed. I find it stunningly beautiful and deeply inspiring. They believed God’s Word, delivered through angels, dreams, the Holy Spirit and the stirring of their bodies and souls.

Elizabeth Believed

In Luke chapter 1, Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth became pregnant at an age far past what was reasonable. Elizabeth did not think this was merely “good luck” or a “fluke of nature”. Elizabeth believed it was the work of God and God alone. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” Luke 1:24-25

Zechariah Did Not Believe

Because Zechariah did not believe the message of the angel Gabriel, that his wife would bear a son, his mouth was shut by the Lord and Zechariah was unable to speak until she gave birth. The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.Luke 1:19-20

Mary Believed

Later in chapter 1 of Luke, the angel Gabriel brought a message to Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary. She, too, would be with child, but through a move of the Holy Spirit. Even more incredibly, she would give birth to the Messiah, the Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Mary asked only one question, how God would accomplish this. Mary’s clarifying question demonstrated her belief even in that moment, unlike Zechariah, who asked how he could be sure or could believe the message of the angel.

When the angel spoke to Mary, her response was quiet, uncluttered belief. The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:35-38

Elizabeth and Mary

As miraculous as Elizabeth and Mary’s pregnancies were, so was their faith. Pure, true, certain belief in God, His character and the truth of His Word.

To further highlight this profound response, as the story continues in Luke chapter 1, Mary set off to visit Elizabeth and when Mary arrived, this was Elizabeth’s heart’s cry. You believed, Mary! You believed!

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!Luke 1:39-45

How precious in the sight of God was their belief! My heart trembles at these words again today and I pray that yours does, as well.

Why Believe?

There are many reasons to believe. When we step outside and behold the grandeur, complexity, patterns and balance of creation, how could we believe this happened by chance? The heavens and the earth proclaim God’s glory!

Adding to this, Christianity is the only belief system in which God came to us and made it possible for us to join Him in heaven. Every other belief system requires mankind to work their way to heaven. That alone shouts of truth.

But the prophecies. The prophecies of Jesus that were fulfilled should stop honest thinkers in their tracks. How else could this be accounted for, except that the Bible is true. The Bible is unique in all of literature. The Bible is self-validating.


This Christmas, may our heart’s cry be like Elizabeth and Mary’s: Blessed is she who has believed!

For in the end, it all comes down to believing. The Christian faith began with Abraham, who believed God and it was counted as righteousness (Hebrews 11). Today is no different. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.

The only thing God requires of us… is that we believe. Mind you, this is a belief that is life-transforming. But it all begins with belief.

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31

Pray with me…

Lord of all creation, give me a fresh vision of your majesty, your power, your sovereignty and your truth. Help me gain a right perspective of myself as small, yet loved by the One whose hands formed me and then hung on a cross for me. Oh God, make my heart like Elizabeth and Mary’s. Let me believe you. Completely. Deeply. Certainly. Humbly. Wholly. For you are God. What You say…is. Your Word is true. May I bow down low that I may see You in all Your glory, that I am overcome with faith and belief. Pure and true. May my sure and strong belief in You and Your Word, move Your heart today. Give me childlike faith that I may please you. When Jesus returns, may I be found faithful. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen.

Additional Resources:

If you are struggling to believe in Jesus, ask God, with a sincere heart, to show you the truth and He will. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Please check out the teaching of my friend, Lisa Quintana, as well. She explains more about why we, as followers of Christ, believe what we believe. Here is Lisa’s recent post The Blinding god of This Age.

Do you ever wonder if the world is coming to an end? By Melissa McLaughlin

The Magnificat – Sermon by Alisair Begg at Truth For Life

B. Tyler Ellis – Ted Talk on Christianity “Jesus is Not a Role Model”

36 thoughts on “Believe”

    • Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ryan! May the mercy and love God showed, by sending His own Son to redeem us, encourage your heart again today! So grateful God opened my eyes, so I could see and believe in Jesus. Our only hope!

  1. Melissa! I am honored that you mention me at the end of your blog post. Thank you so much! I love this posting and especially the resource of the biblical prophecy fulfilled. (I am going to use it for a class I’m teaching next year on why the Bible is the Word of God.) And yes, I agree that it delights God’s heart when we have faith in Him. God bless your heart as you continue to be one of the most faith-filled people I know!

    • Dear Lisa, I am so grateful for you, your faith and your ministry of apologetics. Articulating the solid reasons for our faith in Christ is a much needed skill. Through your writing, you are helping me build a better foundation for my own beliefs, which can then help others who may be struggling with doubts or unbelief. May our faith and love in Christ burn brighter still, day by day! God bless you, sister. Keep on writing!

  2. Amen! I have been so moved this year as I have pondered the faith of Elizabeth. I have even looked more deeply at the Hebrew meaning of her name, since it is my name too: God is my oath. Oh, may I cling to Him more, believing and declaring that trust! Thank you for these precious words today.

    • Wow. That is a deep insight, Bettie. Thank you for sharing the Hebrew meaning of Elizabeth’s name. God is my oath. It is so fitting for you, as well, for your faith shines despite all the hardships you have endured. I pray with you to cling to Him and trust Him more. Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear sister!

    • Thank you, Linda, for this powerful reminder. Your insights remind me of this verse: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17. It’s so true. God’s Word, the Bible, is powerful and living. With the indwelling Holy Spirit teaching us God’s Word, our faith is strengthened in the deep and secret places of our hearts and minds. Bless you, sister!

  3. When I think about Zechariah and Mary and their responses, a few things stand out to me. Zechariah expressed doubt and skepticism while Mary sought to understand and was willing to be taught by Gabriel. Zechariah was a priest and more would have been expected from him and Mary was a teen girl.

    I also think about the faith and trust Mary showed by saying yes to God’s plan at a time that an unmarried woman being pregnant not by her fiancee could have meant death for her.

    • This is an awesome insight! Thank you for sharing your reflections here. The differences between Zechariah’s and Mary’s responses and positions are huge and if not considered carefully can be easily overlooked. There is definitely more skepticism to Zechariah’s questions, while Mary exhibits a teachable spirit. And your point about their positions in life is critical. As a priest, Zechariah knew the Old Testament prophecies, but it was as if he didn’t really expect them to come true. On the other hand, Mary knew the terrible consequences that could befall her as an unmarried pregnant teen, yet she believed God and trusted her life to Him. Oh Lord, give me such faith, I pray.
      Thank you again, for sharing your feedback. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. To have faith like those in the Christmas story would be a blessing. Unfortunately, I fail so often in the little ways, and when things are difficult. I pray for more faith to believe.

    • I join you in this prayer, Yvonne! In fact, part of my daily prayers include a request for the gift of increased childlike faith. For I know that faith pleases God and puts us in a heart position to be used by Him. Grow our hearts and trust for You, Abba Father! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Beautiful focus on the faith expressed throughout the process of conception and incarnation! I love this: “As miraculous as Elizabeth and Mary’s pregnancies were, so was their faith. Pure, true, certain belief in God, His character and the truth of His Word.” And then you dissect that faith, so we see the particulars that show their simple and honest total trust in what God is doing and that he is indeed doing it. That we would have faith like that! Simple, unquestioning, total, and complete faith, O Lord!

    • I long for this kind of faith, as well, Melinda! Elizabeth and Mary demonstrate a living faith in the Lord that still echoes in my heart today. May we be watching and waiting, expecting and believing for God’s hand to be bringing forth new things in our lives, even today. May we be yielded like softest clay in His hands, that His Spirit may move and breathe through us to accomplish His goals. Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear sister!

  6. I have always been inspired by Mary’s faith. She only asked 1 simple question, and believed the angel’s message. I would have had 100 questions for him lol! Thank you for this thought provoking post!

    • I agree with you, Jennifer! I am completely astounded by the simplicity of faith and total surrender Mary demonstrated toward the Lord. Somehow, even her question resonates with a sense of humility, rather than resistance or doubt. Despite the life-threatening consequences that could have awaited her as a pregnant and unwed teen, yet she trusted in God’s plan. Oh Lord, give me a humble and trusting heart in You! Blessings to you and yours this Christmas!

  7. Beautiful, Melissa. I’ve always loved Mary’s final response to the angel. The ESV states Luke 2:38 like this, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” I’ve often prayed these same words…placing my full belief and trust and confidence in the Lord’s plans. Oh, how I want this to be said of me, “Blessed is she who has believed!”

    • Yes, I agree, Karen. Mary’s first question to the angel demonstrated a humble wondering, but this was immediately followed by humble surrender to God’s will for her. Despite all the consequences that she knew lay ahead. I join you in this prayer, that others would say of me, “Blessed is she who has believed!” Let it be, oh Lord, let it be so.

    • Hi Brian, thank you for taking the time to visit, read and share an encouraging word. And a big thank you to Ryan Callahan! He is a great writer and brother in the Lord. I look forward to reading your work, as well. May we help one another keep growing stronger in Christ. God bless you!

      • You’re very welcome Melissa, and thank you. I look forward to reading more of your work and learning from it to build a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior. I definitely look up to people like you and Ryan. Thanks again and God bless you too.

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