More than a feeling

We talk about it in church. We tell people to “have faith” when they’re going through tough periods in life. We sing songs about stepping out into the unknown and trusting God with our whole lives.

We make these grand gestures of good-intentions, but in doing all this we miss the greater point. Faith is more than a feeling. In fact, it is the very foundation of our relationship with Christ. We have faith that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins and that three days later He rose and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God.

As often as we scoff at or spiritually deride “Doubting Thomas”, I believe we have more in common with him than we care to admit.

In John 20:25, ten of the original twelve disciples are telling Thomas that Jesus was alive and how He had visited with them. But because Thomas didn’t physically see what everyone else was going on about, he said “I will not believe.” The prerequisite for Thomas believing Jesus was in fact alive again was for him to see the Lord with his own eyes and feel His wounds with his own hands.

Other than that, Thomas wouldn’t allow himself to believe Jesus was alive. I can’t say with 100% certainty what detained him from believing what the disciples were declaring, but I have a feeling fear was in action.

What if Jesus actually wasn’t still alive, and the disciples were just trying to encourage Thomas to get out of his slump? 

What if Jesus didn’t show Himself, and Thomas never actually got to experience the power and the presence of the resurrected King? 

We have no way of knowing what was going on in his head, but we do know He wouldn’t believe until he saw the Lord for himself.

So, in verse 29, when Jesus shows up in a locked room to the disciples and Thomas admits his belief, Jesus responds:

“Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

We can mock Thomas and rebuke him for his unbelief, but how often do we act in the same manner? God is telling us to take a leap of faith, to fully, wholly, completely put our trust in Him to be our provider, and yet we stand still. We’re afraid to put our faith in a source outside of our control.

We like to live in the illusion that we are in control. Yes, we have free will, but God’s will ultimately will prevail. In saying this, we say we have faith in Christ, but do we live our faith day to day? Do we actually walk out what we’re confessing with our mouths, or are we just living in the shadow of lip service?

God is not honored when we say we have faith, but then we don’t obey His voice when He speaks to us.

If He’s telling you not to take a job, don’t! It doesn’t matter how good the option looks. We need to have faith He will open the right doors at the right time.

If He’s telling you you don’t need to be in a dating relationship/engagement with whoever, then we need to step out in faith and walk in what He’s telling us.

Stop making excuses, and stop only saying you have faith. It is time for us to act out our words and to live boldly for God. He is our Father and Provider. Trust in Him.

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