believe
v. to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so

Confidence in the truth. Confidence NOW.

And in John 3:16, “believe” is used in the present tense – not in the past tense (not I “once believed”, I “once said a prayer”) – nor in the future tense ( not I’m “learning how to believe” )

John 3:16 ESV
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

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hope
v. want something to happen or be the case

Our hope is for things to come. Hope is about the FUTURE.

Romans 5:2-5 ESV
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

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forgive
v. cancel a debt

Forgiveness is about a debt already incurred. Forgiveness is about the PAST.

1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Let’s make sure that we have them in order.

BELIEF is a CONFIDENCE NOW.
IF WE BELIEVE, our PAST is FORGIVEN.
IF WE BELIEVE, there is HOPE for our FUTURE.

But WITHOUT BELIEF, we cannot ignore our PAST, nor claim our FUTURE.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV
Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

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Are you interested in believing, but you aren’t really sure what to do to get there? Contact me anytime. There is NOTHING in your past that cannot be forgiven. There is NOTHING in your future that cannot still be claimed. I encourage you to seek Him while you still can, friend. Start believing today, now – even with this very breath.