Faith Without Seeing
In the midst of watching this evening’s republican debate, I am instantly distracted by the google alerts flooding my e-mail confirming a world at fire. It appears everything, everywhere is crumbling and falling apart at once.
I can’t concentrate anymore and instantly feel the weight of the world within my spirit for those whose lives have been turned upside down.
I grieve deeply for the many that have lost everything and are paralyzed in hopelessness and faithlessness. I also understand doubting God amidst chaos.
I stop and take a few breaths…
With no solution(s) at hand, I turn to God in silence. He knows my heart and it’s only in silence that I can listen.
Appropriately, the following scripture touches my heart:
“Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered Him “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His name.”
John’s gospel was the last to be written and probably edited towards the end of the first century. He had written for those who had not known Jesus during His life on earth but had received the message of salvation through the preaching of the early church. The incident of Thomas’ doubting Jesus commended the faith of those who had not seen Jesus after His resurrection yet still believed in Him.
John’s gospel is equally relevant for us today. It makes no difference whether we are from the first century or the present; we are basically in the same situation as those whom John wrote for. We can therefore take the account of Thomas’ doubting and coming to believe as having been written for us today and carrying a message of encouragement for all of us.
Some of us may have had a strong awareness of the risen Jesus in our lives and, for whatever reason, have found the awareness to have dimmed. Because of our busy lifestyles, many of us go for stretches of time without thinking of Jesus. It’s not that we intentionally ignore Him; it’s just that the pressures and worries of life often take our attention away from the Lord.
Our faith is not defective because we do not physically see Jesus. Faith is precisely without seeing. Jesus said that those who do not physically see Him yet believe are blessed. Jesus loves those who persevere in their faith despite the unbelief and distractions that abound them.