The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
The Challenge of Belief

In September, 1938, a man who lived on Long Island ordered a very fine barometer. When it arrived, he was extremely disappointed to find that the dial was stuck, pointing to “Hurricane.” After shaking the barometer very vigorously several times, its new owner sat down and wrote a scorching letter to the store from which he had purchased the instrument, and on the following morning, on his way to his office in New York, he mailed the letter. That evening he returned to Long Island, to find the barometer missing – along with his house! The barometer had been right. There was a hurricane!

Some truth is hard to believe. Much of the, so called, scientific world looks at gradual changes that occur within species of creatures and determine that a 6-day God creation of the world just can’t be accurate. Instead, they choose the theory of a philosopher/theologian named Darwin where the world began with some cosmic explosion (accident) started a multi-billion-year evolutionary process of life was responsible for it all. The disciples, including one named  Thomas, struggled with the resurrection of Jesus since they had watched him die from such a vivid and brutal execution. Some to them had assisted in the burial of his body. Even standing there, looking at his risen carcass, listening to his voice and observing the life in him, belief in his resurrection was a challenge. But there was no denying it! Jesus had risen from the dead!

Thomas had to see for himself that Jesus was alive. He needed to see the scars in his hands and feet and the wound in his side in order to accept the testimony of his fellow disciples.

However, Thomas’ declaration of faith in Jesus calling him “My Lord and my God” was not that impressive to Jesus. Much more impressive to him is the belief of you and me. Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing. The next verse (John 20:29) says, Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, For we live by faith, not by sight.

God has always required faith on our part to be received by him. It was true of Abraham, the first ancestor of the children of Israel. Genesis 15:6 reads, Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Paul would tell us in Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

There are commands of Scripture that God expects us to obey, but the motive of everyone who obeys them is pure and simple BELIEF, or FAITH! When you place your faith in Jesus Christ, God will bless you with life abundant and eternal. No matter what you believed before; no matter what you have seen; you will be blessed and counted righteous when you believe.

This Sunday we will look at Thomas and the disciples with our new, yet brief series of messages titled, He Is Risen; What Next? with a message named Doubt & Faith based on John 20:19-31. Please come and join us as we each must answer that big question, “What Next?”

Believing with you,

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