The Blessing of Believing

Note from JesusDear Seeker of Truth,

Believing in My resurrection is a real challenge. That’s understandable. Having a friend who dies and then suddenly appears, offers for you to touch him, shows you his scars, eats bread with you, drinks wine with you, has a bit of fish with you, and then shares your company doesn’t happen in your experience. But the most important purpose and meaning for your life hinge on your faith in My resurrection. Paul makes this clear when he says:Now if we have told you about the Anointed One [Me, Christ] (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn’t been raised; if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. And what’s worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth).
(1 Corinthians 15:12-15)Being My disciple hinges on your faith in My resurrection! Sooner or later, if you haven’t already done so, you must take the huge step of faith and entrust your future to this reality that is outside your experience.

Helping you to believe in My resurrection is the reason why My interaction with Thomas is so important a week after My resurrection. (See the verses below for this story.) Thomas was not a bad guy. He was not trying to be difficult or problematic. He just wanted to know for sure. He just wanted to know for himself. He would not believe until he saw Me face-to-face and touched my scars. The confession and commitment of Thomas after seeing Me and being able to touch Me, are powerful:You are the one True God and Lord of my life.Thomas’ confession and commitment are what I want from you concerning Me. Your problem is that I am not there for you to physically touch. That’s why I promised you the special blessing that I did:Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.The apostle Peter knew your challenge to believe since you haven’t seen Me. He taught and wrote to people who had never seen Me yet believed. He wrote to these disciples about the blessing of believing and the joy such faith brings:Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.
(1 Peter 1:8-9).I want you to remember these blessings. I want you to remember these blessings every time you struggle with doubt. I want you to remember these blessings every time someone ridicules you for believing in Me and My resurrection. These blessings are yours because you believe! The Holy Spirit will help you strengthen your faith and have confidence that you can receive these blessings.

Here are a few of the many reasons to believe in My resurrection:The eyewitnesses who wrote in the New Testament about My resurrection.People like My own family, and especially My brother James, who did not believe that I was the Messiah and Son of God until seeing Me alive after My resurrection from the dead.The change in the apostles from men who were scared and hiding to world-changing men of courage, many of whom were martyred for their faith in Me.The experiences you have had of My presence in your life as you have served Me:
– the times just the right word came from someone else,
– the empowerment I’ve given you when you were on mission,
– the rich sense of My presence when you’ve served the needy, and
– the palpable sense of My presence as you’ve worshiped.The testimony and resilience of My people over the centuries through oppression, martyrdom, and ostracism.These are but a few reasons. Verses to LiveDon’t get so hung up on the reasons to believe that you miss the two truths I want you to hear in the verses below:I know it is hard for many of you to believe — you’re like Thomas and many others like him. Keep seeking Me and you will find Me.There is a great blessing for you who find your way through doubt and come to faith in Me — for you who have never physically seen Me and yet still believe.Please receive that blessing now as you read about Thomas, his struggle for faith, his incredible confession and commitment, and My blessing for you who believe in Me, yet have never seen Me!All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas [that first Sunday evening after Jesus was raised from the dead]. He heard the accounts of each brother’s interaction with the Lord.

The Other Disciples:We have seen the Lord!Thomas:Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won’t believe what you are saying.Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus:May each one of you be at peace.He drew close to Thomas.

Jesus:Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.Thomas (filled with emotion):You are the one True God and Lord of my life.Jesus:Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share.
(John 20:24-31)Response in PrayerFather in heaven, for many reasons, some of which I don’t fully understand, I do truly believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. I ask, dear Father, that the Holy Spirit strengthen that faith and that the Spirit help me to be aware that Jesus is there for me even when I do not perceive His presence. I believe, but I want to believe fully. I long for the day when my faith becomes sight, but I also rejoice that I know this faith inspires my hope and gives me longing for the day I see Jesus face-to-face. Thank You for this hope, dear Father. I thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Blessing of Believing
Source: Passion for Praise