When Jesus left, He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Those who have not seen are the people of faith.
The disciples died for Jesus Christ. They died on crosses. And I know they felt some fear, because everybody fears death to a certain point.
But they cheated! I’m sorry, they did! Continue reading
The health, wealth, and prosperity Gospel might be a little bit mixed up. It puts a lot of emphasis on the Bible’s promise that God will prosper you. Unfortunately, people take that to mean that if they get saved, then Bam! They become prosperous.
But that’s not going to work. Just because you accept Jesus, that doesn’t mean you’re instantly transformed. So when the newly converted don’t become prosperous, they lose hope in God. “Well, obviously there’s no God. See, I’m not prosperous. They said I was going to be wealthy and prosperous, and my life’s still just as bad as it’s always been.”
There’s more to the lifestyle of Jesus than taking that first step. Yes, you start by loving Jesus. Yes, you embrace what He stands for. You accept His sacrifice for you. But the time still comes when you have to figure out who you want to be, in Christ. You have to decide who you want to be, in Christ. Continue reading
People find themselves wondering why God hasn’t changed them. They have asked God for the things they want, but they still don’t have them. Or they have a picture of what the life of a believer should be like, but they aren’t there yet. They might be asking, “Why hasn’t God done something huge in my life? Why doesn’t God speak to me?”
I think the time comes in every believer’s life where we have to say, “God, I’m open to it.”
When you say, “God, I’m ready for a change,” I think God says, “Finally! Finally you’re ready.” But you have to truly give yourself up to Him. Continue reading
I recently heard a story about a man who lost his family in a flash flood. All his children were killed, and his wife as well. He was the only one to survive. With everything taken from him at once, he said he was surprised by the grace he received. He said that without that grace, he would not have found the will to live.
I’ve never experienced loss like that. It must be devastating. I pray for protection over my family every day, because I don’t want to ever go through anything like that. I’m not sure how I would respond if that happened to me. Would I still believe that there’s a God? Continue reading
Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
Jesus knew how hard it would be for us to believe without seeing. It’s as if he told us, “I know it’s going to be hard to do. I know it is. I know this is going to be really, really difficult. But when your soul feels real love, the love I’ve showed you, you’re going to be okay. You won’t miss it that you didn’t see Me, or walk around Palestine with me. It won’t matter that you didn’t see the miracles with your own eyes. You won’t miss it at all, because your soul will crave My love. And when you accomplish just a little part of loving others the way I love you, it’ll feel so good to your soul that faith will seem easy. You’re going to believe in Me.”
And I think that that’s what happens when you get together with other people and help build His kingdom. Continue reading
Recently I’ve been writing about doubt. In Part 1, I wrote about our all-too-human ability to create doubt. In Part 2, I wrote about how doubt is a normal part of the lives of the faithful, especially when we’re facing failure. In Part 3, I reflected on how even our Biblical ancestors doubted, even though they were eye witnesses to God’s miracles, signs, and wonders. And in Part 4, I wrote about how the wonder of Creation can alleviate doubt and clearly remind us of God’s sovereignty.
There is still another kind of doubt. Sometimes we doubt God’s purpose. Maybe we don’t doubt His existence or His sovereignty. But we still doubt that He knows what He’s doing! Continue reading
The most common cause of doubt is frustrated expectations. People doubt God because things don’t go the way they planned, or the way they wanted them to be. “If God loves me and knows my heart,” they reason, “He would give me what I need, or what I long for.”
Probably a lot of these people don’t do that with their own children. I don’t do that with my son. My son wants certain things that I won’t give him, because I know what will happen if I do. At the time, though, he just wants what he wants. He doesn’t know I’m protecting him from a bad outcome. So he gets mad at me, right?
Still, my son doesn’t doubt that I’m his dad, because he can see me. Continue reading
Doubt was a big part of the experience of our Biblical ancestors.
Consider the Israelites. God rescued them from Pharaoh’s army by parting the Red Sea. “There must be a God!” the people said. “He parted the Red Sea!” Moses told them to have faith. He said, “God is going to give us the ability to cross this sea.” He smote the water with his staff, the waters parted, and the Israelites crossed safely to the other side. Having seen it, they believed. They said, “There must be a God!”
But then after forty years in the desert, wandering in circles, seeing the same thing over and over again, they doubted. Continue reading
I know I promised a blog about the doubt experienced by our Biblical ancestors, but first I want to say a few more words about what doubt is like. Last time I wrote about how we create doubt. Today, I’m writing about the doubt that comes hand-in-hand with faith in God.
We know that God is the great I Am. We know that He is whoever we need Him to be. But something happens when it comes to failure. When we’re facing failure, it seems like we almost automatically think, “Well, He’s not there.”
Even though we’ve never seen God, we depend on Him. So what happens to us “show me” types when bad things happen? Continue reading
Is it possible to have 100% trust in the Almighty God? Absolutely! But at the same time, I think humans are “show me” types. We like to see it before we believe it. That’s why the human journey will always include doubt.
What’s amazing is how much we humans create doubt. There have always been situations where people create doubt, especially among the religions. This has been going on throughout human history. As long as there have been people, there have been sorcerers, and magicians, and psychics and mediums that call upon the dead. These scenarios create doubt. After awhile, it’s really hard to know what is true and what is not. Continue reading