I'll Believe It When I See It
What is Jesus challenging you to believe?
“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”…Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:24-25, 27-29 NLT)
At some point this year, I wrote the following words on a note card as a reminder to myself “Life is not about living in the absence of fear. Life is when you live in spite of fear”. I also could have written real life is what happens in spite of fear. I don’t remember what made me write those words or what was happening that day, but they are words I go back to read for comfort and encouragement even now.
After the crucifixion of Christ, life for the disciples was dim. Not only were they in mourning, but they were in hiding as well. Additionally, their fears had come true. The man they followed and called Messiah was put to death on a cross; the same man who had called them to follow resulting in their leaving all they knew. Not only was it devastating it was crippling to them as they doubted and wondered what would happen next. Here is where we meet Thomas. Thomas would go down in biblical history as “doubting Thomas” because when everyone testified to seeing the resurrected Christ, he did not believe because he did not see Him. Yet can you blame him? Thomas had witnessed (the crucifixion) and experienced heartache that would cause anyone to become cautious. Thomas was so crippled by his past experiences that he effectively stopped living. Yet what makes Thomas stand out is that even with eyewitness accounts, he still did not believe Christ was alive. Is that you? Have you experienced life situations that have caused you to doubt? Do you believe God only reveals Himself to others and not you? Do you struggle to believe the miraculous hand of God based on your past experience? So did Thomas.
Yet ours is a journey that Christ has called each of His followers to walk by faith. He also plainly states that blessed are those who believe not witnessing His movement in their life, but by simply believing that He was able to do the impossible in their life. Theirs is the greater faith.
So where is Jesus challenging you to believe by faith? Life is a continual set of challenging experiences that will test our faith; experiences that can cripple us with fear to hinder fully living, but just because we experience those challenges and fears does not mean we cannot respond with faith. One of the saddest things is meeting someone that once believed in Christ as Messiah and Son of God, but due to life circumstance they now how given up on faith and no longer believe in the love, acceptance, and even the miraculous that is Christ.
Yet I am here to give you an eye witness account not of something that happened a millennium ago, but something I witness everyday – the love of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the Lordship of Christ. I can testify and serve as a witness to others because I’ve seen Him do “it” for me. What is it? I’ve seen Him save me, I’ve experienced His deliverance, I’ve felt His love, I’ve received His provision and I am a daily recipient of His grace and mercy. And what He has done for me, He will do for you. So I encourage you to be the blessed one that Christ has called to believe by faith and to truly live life.