Sunday, April 4, 2010

Doubt and Belief

“Thomas [after doubting] said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

~John 20:28-29 (NIV [modified]).

It is an incredulous thing; what makes us believe in Jesus, the Son of God? Even in our belief we’re caused to feel a little crazy in a so-called “rational” world that firmly sets it sights only on what ‘can be seen.’ How is it then that we still feel this slight situational shame at calling upon a Saviour no one can see? How many times have you insisted at a group meeting in the workplace that a problem be solved through prayer? I rest my case.

Well, it’s a normal human response to doubt and to want to act on sight-assisted evidence.

And yet, there’s very much a lot of evidence for God—though there are billions of ‘doubting Thomas’s,’ whether “believers” or not. We all have aspects of doubt clouding our personas.

Yet again, whenever someone’s felt the evidence for Christ, via the Holy Spirit’s Presence, there’s no doubting then. This too is “sight.”

Blessed are those who, in their doubting still believe, and who whilst not seeing give God the glory for the inexplicable things that take place.

Jesus was not commending Thomas’s pathway to faith. What he’d done was not extraordinary. How we impress Jesus in our faith is to believe without the presence of the sight of God. It’s to see God in the day-to-day living of life that people just don’t see him in. It’s to see God—the good and great God—in trial, tragedy, flood, famine, disease and tumult, and yes, even in our victories and triumphs. It’s to see him, praising his holy Name each and every time—for whatever—for he is simply to be awed.

And most of all, in our doubting if we can see the enemy close at hand in that, we note our flailing belief and we see the trick—the Spirit inspiring, revealing the truth. In rejecting the enemy’s ruse, we praise God for Spiritual sight; for truth and wisdom to act.

Let’s live extraordinary lives of belief, habitually casting doubt into a fiery furnace—a sacrifice of belief—where it belongs. Jesus is raised in our hearts only in our momentary belief. Let’s ‘keep watch’ over our hearts, “because [we] do not know on what day [our] Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). This is not simply about the Parousia—the coming of Christ.

Christ comes to us daily, but only routinely in our belief.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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