A common mistake men make is assuming that faith is just acknowledging something. Since they acknowledge that God exists, they suppose they are okay — because they believe in God. But this reasoning is false. Believing in the existence of water won’t keep me alive. I need to drink water to stay alive. So men need to drink of the living water that God offers, not merely grant that he exists. As the Bible puts it, “You believe in God. Good for you. Even the devils believe, and they tremble [unlike most men].” (James 2:19)
The Bible puts faith on different ground. Hebrews 11:6 says, “He that comes to God must believe … that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.” In other words, if a man decides that God is worth his time and effort, God will make it worth his while.
How does this play out in daily life? Let’s use an illustration. Suppose a man believed there was a chest of gold buried in his backyard, and all he had to do was dig a hole 20 feet deep to obtain it. He would dig that hole if he had to dig through rock and concrete. Hard work is easy when the pay is good. Likewise, if a man really believes there is eternal treasure to be had in Jesus, he scorns all hardship, cost, and opposition on the narrow path. He knows that the time of seeking God in the midst of difficulties leads to the day of reward.
~Lee Brainard, March 28, 2015