Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seeing Is Not Believing

John 20:29
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

So many times we’ve heard people say, “You got to see it to believe it.” Often it is something so incredible that we’ve got to actually see it before we can mentally consent to the actuality of the occurrence. Many economists say the recession is lifting. Companies are reporting profits for the first time in three years, but for many people who are still unemployed they are not so quick to co-sign to this optimism because they have to see it before they can believe it.

There is a spiritual dimension to this as well. God is a present help in the time of trouble ready to open the floodgates at anytime. Jesus is alive and ready to operate in our daily affairs, but you have to believe it before you see it. For God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whosoever would believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life. The key to our survival and our everlasting life is the ability to believe over seeing. We walk by faith and not by sight.

Many of us are like the disciple Thomas a.k.a. “doubting Thomas.” We have had fellowship with Jesus. We’ve seen him work miracles. We believe he existed. We also know about his death. The challenge is believing that he’s still alive after his death. Christmas is easier than Easter. I think it’s easier to wrap our minds around a virgin birth than a resurrection from the dead but both of them require us to believe without seeing. Thomas, one of the disciples, when he heard that Jesus was alive didn’t believe it. He said, “I will not believe it until I have physical proof.” We all struggle with our faith from time to time and Jesus will show up to meet us where we are. He comes though locked doors. Sometimes, he will even come through closed minds. The first thing he does is:

1. Give you peace. Jesus said, “Peace be unto you.” Prior to coming in on “doubting Thomas” Jesus had come in and breathed the Holy Spirit on the Disciples. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us peace and reminds us of the things that Jesus taught the disciples when he was with them physically. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence within us.

2. Give you his hand. He gave Thomas his hand to touch the nail print. Jesus still gives us his hand to guide us in the right direction. God provides us with pastors and teachers to be our guides.

3. Let you reach inside. He told Thomas to put his hand inside his side. When we get involved in ministry helping the poor, widows and orphans; the least of these; it’s like putting our hands into the gaping wounds of Jesus. You can’t feel him if you are not involved in ministry. You got to get your hands dirty.

4. Stop doubting and believe. We’ve got to believe it before we see it. Arrest those seeds of doubt and replace them with faith. It is impossible to please God without faith.

Thomas believed after he saw and touched Jesus. Jesus said, "Because you’ve seen me you’ve believed, blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed. I’m a “yet” believer. It hasn’t happened YET but I believe. I haven’t seen it YET but I still believe!

Dear God I can’t see it but I believe you will come through. It doesn’t feel like the recession is lifting but I believe you are a heavy load lifter. God, I thank you for blessing us and for coming through just when we needed you the most.

In Jesus Name,

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