Jump Start # 1987
John 20:29 “Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’
Our verse today comes from the conversation Jesus had with Thomas. We remember him as the one who doubted. Doubting Thomas is what we call him. Unless he saw he would not believe. He saw, he believed. He wanted evidence that was tangible, visible and unquestionable. He got what he wanted.
Jesus, then turns the situation back to where Thomas started. There are those who will not see, nor be able to touch. Blessed are those who will believe without having to do what Thomas did. How can they believe without seeing, touching or being in the same room with Jesus? They will believe what others have said. Their faith rests in the assurance and testimony of Scripture. We are these people. We know Jesus was resurrected from the grave. How do we know that? The Scriptures.
Taking some of the words that Jesus uses in this passage, have you ever thought about the blessings or benefits of believing? Our world is becoming increasingly more skeptical, secular and non spiritual all the time. A Christian runs into a non-believer. The non-believer asks, “What good has your faith done for you?” Could you answer that? Do you know? What’s the benefits of believing?
Here are a few to consider:
First, believing creates great confidence and assurance. There is something much larger than ourselves, it is God. We don’t have to know all the answers, know the future or have an escape plan for every conceivable disaster, we trust in God. Our hope is with Him. We know, that’s the faith part, that He remains upon the throne and it is His universe. This is my Father’s world. Nothing will happen apart from Him. This is why we constantly are praying. This is why we are always looking deeply into His word. God will take care of us. This has a way of driving fear and worry far from our hearts. We can be at peace and calm in a world that is falling apart. It’s in God’s hands. God is good.
Second, believing allows us to face God, even though we know who we are. We are not perfect. We have sins. Yet, we know, as God has promised, that those sins are forgiven. It’s not a feeling. It’s not an enlightenment. It’s a relationship built around trust, love, hope and faith. God loves us. How do we know that? Faith. Jesus. The Word of God. God views us as His children. We belong to God. Believing therefore has changed us. We are a different people. We think differently, because of our belief in God. We act differently. We are better people because of our belief in God. God has molded our character and it is reflected in the way we think, act and behave. We treat others better because of our faith in God. We forgive, because we have been forgiven. We are kinder. We are more thoughtful. We serve. All of this comes from our believing in God.
Third, believing in God motivates us to seek the spiritual side of things first. Our choices are shaped by our faith in God. We strive to please God, walk with God and build that kingdom of God. Everyday we are faced with dozens of choices. Some are not life changing nor significant. Others are. Believing in God keeps us out of trouble, puts us in action for God and focuses our priorities on the things above. The greater our faith, the greater these things will be. We concern ourselves about our family and friends who do not know God. We seek to talk to them and show them the way of God. Our faith moves us to do that.
Fourth, believing in God has us wanting to be with Him in Heaven. The greater our faith, the more this world disappoints us, disgusts us and discourages us. We want to be with God. We live with one foot already in Heaven. We long for Heaven. The world seems to be stuck in the gutter of life. The shows, the conversations, the ideas, are all faithless, vain, and void of God. Noble ideas are few. The world is in love with itself. The world is pleased with the way things are. Not us believers. Get us out of here is our thought. Do what we can to help the kingdom, but “come, Lord Jesus!”
Finally, believing in God makes us a happy, joyous, and optimistic people. Gloom and doom and the fog of despair chokes most minds. Faith shines through all of that. The believer handles himself in conflict better than others. The believer has a happier and more solid family than others. The believer has better mental health than others. The believer isn’t bogged down with useless things that eat time, worry the heart and does nothing positive for a person. The believer smiles in a world that is frowning. The believer is upbeat when the world is crying, “The sky is falling.” The believer has hope in a world that is declaring all is lost. The believing lifts the spirits of others. The believer brightens up a room. Get a bunch of believers together, such as a worship service, and there is enough energy, hope and love among them to light up a whole city.
It is good to believe. It is right to believe. It is not only necessary for our salvation, but it certainly brings great benefits to us every day.
Paul said, “I know whom I believe…” Believing is more than something we ought to do. It’s more than the right thing to do. It’s awesome to believe! What a difference it has made in our lives! Now, what’s the benefits of atheism? What’s the benefits of doubt? Misery? Fear? Worry? Look outside your windows. Drive down the street. You see it everywhere. Selfish. Crime. Ugliness. Filthy talk. Indecent behavior. Hurting others. Taking advantage of others. Doing everything possible to avoid death. Greed. Coveting. Anger. Pointing fingers at everyone except self. The worst side of humanity being shown.
Some may mock faith in Jesus. They deny the evidence when they do. The alternative they offer is bad.
There are great benefits to believing in Jesus. Blessed are those who believe!