Do you ever struggle with doubt? I do. It seems almost daily I wonder if I will be strong enough, tall enough, wise enough or funny enough to pull something off. So after pondering for a while and getting twisted up in my skepticism I often get a sense of doubt. I think it is human nature and I bet I am not alone.
The Bible is filled with doubters.
- Gideon doubted God and needed assurance several times through a series of miracles in Judges 6.
- Abraham and Sarah doubted God (they actually laughed too!) when thinking a person Sarah’s age could bear a child. (Gen. 17)
- Mary doubted God with the death of Lazarus. (John 11) If you would have come earlier she said, he would not have died. Could Jesus not healed him even then? Was it too late?
And then there is the king of doubters, Thomas. The man who has been dubbed “doubting Thomas.” Thomas was not in the room when Jesus first appeared to the disciples and because his eyes did not see the wounds and his hands the hole in Jesus’s side Thomas doubted. After all, he had probably witnessed first hand the crucifixion, could Jesus be living again?
The truth is, not an Easter passes where I don’t read a news story or a Facebook trending message that sides with Thomas. After all, it’s scientifically impossible to live again after dying and being dumped in a tomb for a few days. Thus, the world doubts; the story is rejected.
This week as we celebrate Easter we are once again presented with the opportunity to pause and reflect upon the resurrection of Jesus. How will we choose to see him: through human eyes and worldly doubt or perhaps, through the eyes of scripture and the power of God?
As Christ followers we know that to believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and has created the universe and has power over it, than he has power to raise the dead. If he does not have such power, he is not a God worthy of our faith and worship.
On Jesus’s Mind
I often wish I could have been there that day to see the resurrected body. How amazing that would have been! But while my immediate tendency is to feel left out, I am reminded that Jesus had me (and you) on his mind.
After Thomas sees and believes the story doesn’t end. Jesus responds with this:
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:28)
That me!! He’s talking about me! I haven’t seen with my physical eyes and yet I believe. You mean there is a blessing in that for me?
Not only does he call it a special blessing, but also Jesus goes on to say a few verses later:
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (v.31)
Life in his name! Wow, that is an incredible gift. A gift set aside for you and I; those of us who believe with faith in our hearts.
As an individual and as an organization that is what compels us to do what we do. Not because we have “seen” with our eyes but we have “seen” with our hearts. 2 Cor. 5:7 says: “for we live by faith, not by sight”, and it is this faith and belief that sets us free! It is our goal to live with the life that God has given us through faith in Jesus. That others may see Jesus and his resurrection power through us.
While the world seeks the evidence of man, we seek to live out the evidence of God.
A life free from the burdens of resurrection doubt is a life set free to love others in radical ways. That is exactly what Reconciled World strives to do through our ministries across the world.
While we can’t personally change the doubt of others into faith we can live in such a way that stirs others to intrigue – live with a love that forces questions and confronts disbeliefs.
We also, like the first disciples, want to proclaim the works of Jesus through testimony and story. We highlight many of our stories right here on this blog. Monthly you can read the Glimpses of God series that shares the various ways that we see God is working through our ministries across the world.
I hope and pray that during this Easter season your faith deepens and your heart comes alive to the love of Jesus. While none of us were there that first Easter to witness the resurrection of Jesus there is great blessing held out for those who don’t see and yet believe. And rest assured that one day you too will see the face of God, just as the disciples did that resurrection day 2,000 years ago.
“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:3-4)