When Words Fail

What do you believe anyway?

Marie Shapiro


actions answers faith love Messianic questions

Have you ever had someone ask you about what you believe, and not know what to say at all? Were you scared to speak because you thought it would sound like fairy tales of a fantasyland or sheer craziness? Did you not even know where to begin because you don’t even really know what you believe?

If any of these are true for you, don’t worry. It’s true for most of us, even when we are adults. Perhaps many of us have thought of our faith deeply, perhaps some of us have not yet. Sometimes it's hard to separate what we believe apart from what our parents believe.

Even though I feel very comfortable and secure in what I believe, in one God and Yeshua as the Messiah, most times I have no idea how to articulate it. I can explain it better to someone who already believes in God, but to an atheist, or to someone with no faith system whatsoever, I find that words fail. My reasonings can seem quite insufficient. I usually have to admit that I don’t always have logical answers for every question, but I just believe it because of a, b, or c reasons. Peter tells us always to have an answer for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15), but I find that I rarely do—or, at least, I rarely have one that makes absolutely perfect sense.

I have concluded that our faith is not always logical from a purely human standpoint. It is not logical that a huge sea would part right down the middle so that one small Middle Eastern tribe could walk through; it is not logical that this Middle Eastern group would be scattered throughout the nations for millennia, and yet still exist and be returned to the land of their ancient ancestors; nor is it logical to believe in dead people coming back to life, or that a guy who died got raised to life, went up to heaven, and is going to return and rule on earth as both Israel’s Messiah and the whole world’s Redeemer, chaining up Satan and bringing all wickedness to a halt.

This sounds like pure fantasy! It sounds like Greek mythology with a Jewish twist. In some ways, it’s kind of embarrassing to say it aloud to people who have no belief in God, afterlife, or anything. Also, it is not logical to think that an all-powerful God hears the prayers of billions of people, cares about every one of them and that he makes even the bad things to work out for good for those that follow him. Does any of this make logical sense to the human reasoning? It sure doesn’t to me!

So then what are we left with? If words fail us, then how do we communicate the truth of these things that we believe without sounding absolutely nuts?

The answer comes from Yeshua’s mouth: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Love is the only thing that speaks louder than our words. Love is an action, not just a feeling. We show love when we forgive those who have hurt us, when we value relationship with others who are different more than we value having the same beliefs and thoughts as they. We show love when we help the needy, the poor, and when we do not repay evil with evil. We astound the world around us with our faith when we pray for our enemies, when we do things to bless them or care for them, when the natural reaction would be to tear them down with our words or actions.

This is how we explain our faith—through love. It is good when words fail us, for then it pushes us to be proactive. Although they help us greatly and are of huge importance, we should not rely on words alone.

So, until we have the right words, we can always have the right actions. Love in action. Once our love for each other and all those around us is firmly established, our words will fall in place. And other people, seeing our love, will perhaps be more ready to listen.

About the Author

Marie is a Messianic Jew who currently lives in Israel, and is dedicated to the growth of the Messianic Jewish world in Israel and the United States.


actions answers faith love Messianic questions

Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba (Unsplash.com)

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