Jump Start # 2483
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 is part of a conversation Jesus had with Thomas. We know him. He’s “Doubting Thomas,” to us. He wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared to the apostles. Now, a week later, he’s there and he sees and he confesses.
Within this verse we find one of the many “blessed” verses. We remember this is how the sermon on the mount begins with a series of beatitudes or blessings. This reminds us that the sermon on the mount is not the only place we find these. There are several in Revelation. And, here, they are pointed to us. We were not there, yet we believe. We haven’t seen with our eyes, but we believe. Our faith is not in what we have touched, seen and experienced. Our faith rests in the pure word of God that puts us in that room with the disciples.
The foundation of our walk with God is faith. It’s not the blessings from God. It’s not the church. It’s not how good God makes us feel. It’s not answered prayers. It’s not what we like about worship. It’s you and God. Your faith is what everything else is built upon. Without that faith, you will stop doing what you are doing. Without faith, prayers stop. Without faith, worship stops. Without faith, our character, attitude, outlook becomes darker and troubled.
There are three powerful things that faith does for us:
First, faith drives out fear. There are phobias many people have, from needles, to heights, to snakes. But there are deeper, more internal fears that people have. The fear of failure. The fear of death. The fear of the unknown. The fear of evil taking over. The fear of not doing enough. The fear of Hell. Faith in Jesus Christ conquers these deeper fears. Faith is not just in believing. Faith has a substance, and that is Jesus Christ. Some believe, but they don’t know what they believe. Our faith rests in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Our faith is that the Lord sits on the right hand of God and is ruling the nations. Our faith is that God is in control.
We don’t know what happens tomorrow, but God is already there. We don’t know how things will turn out, but God does. Kingdoms have come and gone and He remains. His will, His plans, His ways will be triumphant. I don’t have to know all the answers, God does. I don’t have to know how things will work out, God does. I trust God. He’s always been good, right and merciful.
Second, faith opens my eyes to a wonderful future. Things will be alright, because of God. Things aren’t getting worse, they are getting better. Today, we are one day closer to Heaven. Now, this world is falling apart. It’s selfish, secular, and to be blunt, dumb. Dumb with a capital “D.” But this world is not our home. This isn’t our destination. It’s Heaven. We are a people that are bound for Heaven. And, with that, our future is only getting better. There are many inconveniences and problems in this life. Sitting in traffic; having surgery; inconsiderate people, but those things do not last long. They don’t go with us as we pass from this room into the next room, the Heavenly world.
Paul viewed his trials, troubles and persecutions as both light and momentary. There are better things coming. Those things will last and last. Those things will be glorious and wonderful. Faith gives us this perspective. Otherwise, we are weighed down with burdens. Our hearts are heavy with discouragement. We drag though this life in misery and pain. It’s hard to be thankful that way. It’s hard to roll out of bed and be excited about anything. However, faith changes all of that. So there is a problem, it’s not the end of the world. So, things are tough. We can get through them with God’s help. What faith does is put our eyes off of us and our problems and puts them upon God and the eternal. Won’t it be wonderful once we are there? Faith makes us wish we could be in Heaven right now.
Third, faith makes us be fruitful in the service of Jesus Christ. It’s hard to believe and not have your heart changed. Faith rewires our thinking. Out with self and in with Jesus. Faith makes us compassionate, kind, gentle, and generous—just like God is. Faith opens our eyes to a world that needs us to help them and needs the saving message of Jesus Christ. Faith gets us up out of our seat and puts us around others that we can help.
When a guy says he believes, yet he keeps a selfish and closed heart, one must question that belief. Spending time near God ought to make us become like God. There is not a finer example than Jesus. There is not a better way than the Lord’s way.
The Pharisees thought they had the market cornered on faith. However, it did little to change their hearts. They worshipped in vain. They closed their eyes to those who were different. They remained unchanged and unmoved. They, like the older brother in the story of the prodigal son, lived around the father but they were not like the father. Not at all.
Faith will get you busy in the kingdom. You’ll do things because it’s the right thing to do. You’ll do things because Jesus did. You’ll do things because you care.
Fear…future…fruitful—faith impacts all of these.
Blessed are those who believe…blessed because it will change their lives!