Very often in my conversations with the agnostic or the atheist (those who do not believe, or don't know what to believe), I hear them offer a common obstacle to the faith.
"I don't want to be tricked. You know, what if it is wrong? How sad would it be to live your life trusting in Jesus if the whole thing isn't true?"
Pride prevents faith. "I don't want to be tricked." Being duped would be the worst shot to my pride.
The problem they fail to see is that you could be tricked either way! In fact, the Bible specifically says we are being tricked, by the devil, our sinful pride and the influence of the world. By trying not to be tricked by God, they are tricked by their own sin and the devil's words.
But this isn't even the worst thing. It's one thing to be tricked, but which is more sad? To live your whole life trusting in Christ and be wrong - meaning, you simply die and that's it. OR, to live your whole life trying not to be tricked and be wrong - meaning, you gave up the most precious gift imaginable.
Think about it. It isn't all that sad to live for Christ if God doesn't exist, because at least you helped others during the blip of life you had. BUT, since Christ has risen and offers eternal life, it is so unendingly sad for someone to reject His gift for the sake of an "if". What "if" He isn't real... but what if He is!?
And here we come face to face with the Word of God, man's reason cannot produce faith. Man's reason cannot believe in God, for it is entirely reasonable to conclude as we have above - yet man does NOT! Reason is fallen. It is broken. It is curved inward on itself, looking only at "me, myself and I". It cannot and will never look to the true God in faith, because only the Word of God produces faith. Only God's Word untwists our minds from looking inward, that we might see Jesus hanging on the cross for our sake. Here is God's promise: You have rejected me, but I have accepted you in Jesus. Look to Him. See my love for you. Stop looking everywhere else, and know me alone in the death and resurrection of my Son. I forgive you in Him. I save you in Him. I give you eternal life in Him, and I will never withdraw my promise. You are engraved into the hands of my Son.
May the Lord give you every confidence in His unfailing mercy this Lenten season and always.