IT helps to have someone who believes in you. That someone may be a parent, another relative, a friend, or a spouse. Or it may even be yourself.
But someone else's confidence in us, and even our own self-confidence, can sometimes fail to give support. That is why belief must be anchored in God. It must ultimately be elevated to faith and understanding to be trustworthy in every circumstance.
Do you believe in God? Then, you need not rely on human support systems. God alone is worthy of your absolute trust. The Bible says that Christ Jesus once was approached by a man who addressed him as "good Master." Jesus replied, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 19:16, 17).
Such absolute trust in God, to the extent of disclaiming any trust in himself, was the basis of Jesus' success. He must have realized that something even more than belief is essential to knowing the truth; that trust and faith in God supersede mere belief. We all have this trust and faith, but we must learn to know them. This takes practice, even as any other worthy accomplishment would.
Ask yourself: "Is God in control of me? Does He rule the universe? Do I really believe this?" Despite all material evidence to the contrary, Jesus believed it. Nothing was able to shake his trust in God. Even the death of his very good friend Lazarus could not budge Jesus' confidence that Lazarus lived in God and couldn't die. At the tomb, Jesus acknowledged God's answer to his prayer for Lazarus, even before there was any sign of life to support his stand. He said to God, "I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it" (John 11:42). And the onlookers and mourners saw Lazarus come forth out of the tomb alive. Jesus told them, "Loose him, and let him go" (verse 44). Might this not have indicated the obligation of all those who stood by to be participants in this marvelous event-to let go of the belief, as had Jesus, that the life of Lazarus was in, or dependent on, physicality?
These words-"Loose him, and let him go"-are also pertinent in the endeavor to help others. Are you overly concerned about someone? Do you feel the duty to monitor him or her, or a painful obligation to protect that person from addiction, sin, failure? At such times, faith in God is needed. This is the faith that God is working out His purpose in each and every one of His children. Such assurance enables us to free others from our own burdened thoughts. This is never the abandonment of our legitimate duties; it is just trusting God to direct our actions.
When we see in ourselves or others such characteristics as frailty, moral weakness, disobedience, carelessness, we must turn wholeheartedly to God. This does not imply that it is right to ignore the problem. Rather, turning to God shows bad traits and actions to be false. We see through them, to the truth. This simultaneously causes the opposite of truth-error-to lose its supposed hold on thought and expression. In other words we can see in man only what God sees: all the qualities of goodness and perfection. We can trust what we see in man when we learn of man from God.
A particular description of believing, given by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, reads in part, "Firmness and constancy; not a faltering nor a blind faith, but the perception of spiritual Truth" (p. 582). Personal efforts should focus mainly on this "perception of spiritual Truth." Mrs. Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, showed that God is good and that this is an established fact. Prayer that seeks to understand that God and man are perfect gives us the ability to see through the most stubborn error.
God alone is able to lift us out of error and into light and harmony. We can believe in each other only as we understand that God, not we ourselves, is controlling things. So, when you say to someone, "I believe in you," you might do well first to declare silently that you believe in God and that this is why you can believe in His child.
You can find more articles that discuss prayer in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.