Explanation of the Concepts of Trust, Belief, Disbelief, Faith, Unbelief, Faithlessness, Doubt and Deception
Trust is accepting that something or someone is credible enough to be relied upon as the source upon which one bases his/her worldview. Out of our Trust in a source, our belief system is strengthened
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” – Psalm 20:7
Belief comprises all the things we have known and accepted as truth. It is the body of knowledge that defines one’s worldview. As to whether the person lives by them is another thing altogether.
Disbelief – the opposite of belief – borders on the things we do not accept as truth. That is the body of knowledge one considers as falsehood; thus, disbelief is the opposite of belief
“What if indeed some disbelieved? Will their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? Certainly not! Let God be true and every man a liar.” – Romans 3:3-4a
Believe is the whole process of building a “belief” up to putting a “belief in action”. Believe is on three levels: Knowing (Notitia), Accepting as True (Ascensus) and Putting into Action (Fudicia). Knowing and accepting what builds “belief” (worldview). The third level (Fudicia) is when we put our belief system into action. In every instance or situation, there is an amount of the word of God you have as belief (known and accepted to be true) that comes “live” to you. This letter or Logos that become real, “your Rhema for the moment”, in order to act is Faith. Thus, Faith fuels Fudicia.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – John 3:16
“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” – John 6:29
“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” – 1 John 5:5
Faith is belief come alive in our spirit; faith is rhema; According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the evidence of things not seen; the evidence is the voice of God that has come alive to us which we are ready to act with. To increase the level of faith, one must receive revelation on his/her belief through devotion (prayerful meditation on the word of God). Presumption (In Ghana, many will say, “takashi”) – moved to act not based on rhema – is different from faith; the seven sons of Sceva moved by presumption, not by faith (Acts 19:30). The Holy Spirit will not always give faith as energy to move mountains, but wisdom to navigate unmovable mountains.
“Now faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of Christ” – Romans 10:17
“…because every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith” – 1 John 5:4
Doubts are genuine questions we may have concerning our belief. This is solved as we receive answers through discipleship and as we increase our personal knowledge base of the word of God. Aside having questions, negative emotions can also cast doubt on our belief. Assurance as well as answers to nagging questions as in the case of Jesus and Thomas (Jn. 20:24-28) should settle doubt. Otherwise, the person is only wallowing in disbelief
‘Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting and believe!” – John 20:27
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6
Unbelief is the reality of all the negativities surrounding our life. Unbelief seeks to extinguish faith generated to overcome challenging situations in our lives. Sources of unbelief are anxiety, fear, discouragement, other emotional feeling etc. Simply put, unbelief can be referred to as “faith extinguisher”. This means, one can have a mixture of faith and unbelief at the same time; he/she may be moved by faith to act but unbelief will be restraining him/her. When our shield of faith is strong, we can counter many unbelief that comes our way. When unbelief often catalyzed by prayerlessness deprive us of faith (Gods voice), it leads to one being referred to as “Faithless”
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” – Hebrews 3:12-13
“…if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” – 2 Timothy 2:13
Deception is confusing the voice of God (faith) with the voice of Satan or confusing true belief with false doctrine. If deception is at the belief level (Notitia and Ascensus), we overcome it by increasing our knowledge base of Gods Word. If it is at the level of faith (the fuel for Fudicia), then we overcome it with the gift of discerning of spirits (voices) and discernment.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ.” – Colossians 2:8
Dr Theresah Fianko-Larbi