Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How To Believe





Thomas, a disciple of Christ, was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them after His death on the cross and His resurrection.  He told his friends he would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he put his finger into the print of the nails and his hand into Jesus' side.
Eight days after Thomas said this, he was with the other disciples in a locked room.  Jesus suddenly appeared and stood among them.  He looked at Thomas and said, "Reach your finger here and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing." (John 20:27)  And Thomas answered to Jesus, "My Lord, and My God!"
Then Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."


What strikes me about this passage is that Jesus does not give Thomas a hard time about his doubts.
Jesus wants Thomas to believe, and He gives Thomas what he needs to believe.  He gives him a visual.  Jesus doesn't just want us to have a difficult choice about choosing to follow Him.  He wants us to be able to believe and He gives us plenty of evidence in the Bible and with His Holy Spirit for us to make the decision to believe He is who He says He is.

But we have to act on faith.  Jesus says those who believe without seeing (that's most of us today) will be blessed.  Jesus wants to teach us how to do the impossible, how to follow Him, and that is only possible by faith.

Other Scriptures talk of the faith of Abraham.  Romans 4:21 says of Abraham, "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief,, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."


Our faith is not "our" faith.  It is given by God.  He strengthens our faith so that we can give glory to God.  We need to remember what God has done for us.  We need to tell our children so they can tell their children and they can tell their children.  We need to be "fully convinced" that God can do the impossible.  He can you know :)

In his book The Mystery of Godliness, Ian Thomas writes this:
"The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ.  If your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you - your personality, your willpower, your gift, your  talent, your money, your  courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice or your anything - then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it!...In a nutshell, this means that your fellowmen must become convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ of whom you speak is essentially Himself the ingredient of the life you live!"

He goes on to tell of the feeding of the five thousand people by Jesus with the five loaves and two fishes contributed by one little boy.  And he says the way Jesus did the impossible because Jesus was a man like we are although He was also God, is by glorifying the Father and believing the Father would do miraculous things and THANKING Him for it ahead of time.  He says Jesus did not Himself feed the five thousand, although He could have.  The Father through the Son was the One who fed the five thousand!  And Jesus says "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12)


My personal experience has been one of faith.  I see the whisper of God in the little things in my life.  That is what this blog is all about.  However, God is not just in the whispers of life.  He is a miracle worker.  He is supernatural.  He is unequaled by any.  And ...to be honest...sometimes that part of who He is...I skip over that.  For the foolish reasons of doubt, unbelief.  I DO believe but I am like the father who wanted his child healed and he said to  Jesus, "Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief!"

Ian Thomas writes this, "Have you learned to expose every situation to the Lord Jesus Christ in humble dependence upon His adequacy, then simply to say "Thank You" and to reckon with Him as you act to meet that situation?"

I have seen the Lord provide in my life...at one point I had two dollars in my pocket and that was to try to put a dollar in the gas tank and a dollar for food.  I went into the gas station and paid the dollar in gas.  They had a deli in the gas station with the best smelling fried chicken and tater wedges.  I asked the cashier how much chicken I could get for a dollar.  Then the Lord stepped in.  She said, "We are closing so we have to throw all of this away.  I can let you have it all."  There was enough food there to last several days.  God provided.

I have seen the Lord provide a church family for me and my son.  My ex husband was at a hospital in a psychiatric ward.  He had not lead us into a church for many different reasons, none of which were any good.  I had tried to be a "good wife" by not arguing but just visiting various churches and never staying anywhere for very long because he didn't like people to get too close.  But while he was in the hospital, he called and said a nurse there had told him he needed to get me and our unborn child in a church and she had given him the name of a church.  He asked me to go to the church whether he did or not. This was a switch.  That week a neighbor dropped by that I did not know and invited me to church.  Guess which church he went to?  Yep.  And that church, that pastor, that Sunday School teacher, those friends and church family provided the love and support I needed and reminded me of how important it is to stay connected to your Christian family, your brothers and sisters in Christ.  God provided.

And He does the inconceivable, the impossible, and all I have to do is watch in amazement and thank Him and glorify His Name to all those who see His works.   Who provided the food?  God did.  Who provided a church family?  God did.

Am I still learning to fight against doubts?  Yes, but it gets easier with each battle.  And you know what?  I know where the doubts come from.  They come from the father of lies, the devil.  Because the Scripture tells us in John 10:10
" A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance."
Satan wants to steal the joy God's children have in Jesus Christ.  Satan wants to destroy the faith of those who believe feebly.  But Jesus wants us to have abundant life.

Now I am not saying that life will always be rosy and no problems.  Jesus also promises that His followers will have tribulation because the world will hate us as it hated Him.   But the miracle is that in the midst of the tribulation, there will be the Savior of the world, our God, our Messiah, reaching out to us and never leaving or forsaking us.


Today I heard the whisper of God in a loud victorious shout from one who has seen a miracle and knows who it comes from...the Lord of all.  I heard the whisper of God in the bubbling up inside of a desire to glorify God because of the mighty things He has done.  I heard the whisper not as a whisper but as a loud and wonderful boom as He moves things into place to perform a miracle that I had nothing to do with. :)  Let Him work His most amazing miracle in your life...the transformation of your heart.


I will share a story of miraculous things God is doing now with you next week !

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