Believe it or Not!
Believe it or not, the month is marching on with warmer temperatures, new life, and maybe even a return to normalcy after a year of strangeness. Easter has come and gone somehow signifying that believe it or not, summer will soon be here. Sometimes it seems like this past year of the weird and strange life we moved into wasn’t real. But seeing is believing and we have all been witness to it. As Robert Ripley said, “Truth is stranger than fiction” and it has been one strange year. But what about the things of life that we can’t or don’t see? Does that make them not real or signify that they don’t exist? This is where we must examine the facts, gather our notes, and decide to believe it or not. When we are in this place of doubt, we must take to considering our faith.
“Believe it or not,” was the title of America cartoonist, entrepreneur, and amateur anthropologist Robert L. Ripley. He created Ripley’s Believe It or Not! newspaper panel series, radio, and television shows that feature odd facts from around the world. His first “Believe It or Not!” cartoon was published in the December 19, 1918, issue of The New York Globe newspaper. It was such a hit that it began appearing weekly. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! tagline, reads “Where the unbelievable comes alive right before your eyes!” It certainly stands to reason that for many of us, seeing is believing.
Is Seeing Believing?
This is certainly the stance of Thomas, Christ’s disciple that is now known for his doubt. How quick we are to criticize him for his unbelief after all he witnessed. But if we put ourselves in his place and were honest would we not also declare our need to see something real before we can believe it? We all find it easier to believe when we see something, show something, or hold the proof in our hands. Thomas wanted something real, not just meaningless words. His question is our question, “How can we see the risen Christ?” But sometimes seeing isn’t always enough. For there is looking and there is seeing. Seeing doesn’t always lead us to faith. This is why Jesus came back. He came to show His followers what they needed to see just like He shows all of us what we need to see too. That is the Easter proclamation, and this is where we consider our faith.
They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” but he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.”John 20:25 (NLT)
Where to Take Doubts
Poor Thomas, all these years later, and what we remember him for is his doubt. Sometimes we need to doubt before we believe. Doubts often lead to questions and questions lead to answers. And if the answers are accepted then doubt completes good work. Thankfully, Christ wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubt, and He isn’t hard on us either. For if we are honest, we all have moments of doubt. Wouldn’t we like to see Jesus, touch Him, and hear Him speak? Thankfully, our God doesn’t limit Himself to one physical body. He wants to be present with us at all times and so He is always with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when doubt creeps in or stops our search?
When we begin considering our faith, questioning what we know, or refusing to move beyond doubt we lead ourselves right into the character of stubbornness and pride. This is where we harm our faith and why it is important to not stop at doubt and keep searching. When we choose this method, we allow our doubt to deepen our faith through our search. We all want proof and there is so much found right in the scriptures of the Bible and testimony of those who were there and saw. This is where we can come to know the real Christ. A physical appearance of Christ will not make Him any more real to us than He is now. Many in the Bible did see Him, witness miracles, but still doubted. Seeing is not always believing. But Jesus can be as real to us now as He was to Thomas through His Words to us found on the pages of the Bible.
Open the Door and Let Your Doubt be Blinded by the Light
Christ comes to us through locked doors too and we can act like we don’t see Him, but He is persistently knocking. If we willingly crack the door, we will experience His blinding light of peace and acceptance. This is where we can take our doubt and reconsider our faith knowing that He is going before us. He is waiting for us at home where we belong too. This is God’s promise for everyone who believes.
This is the Good News and what was offered to the disciples that gave them the courage to stand before others declaring His glory, no matter what. And it is this ultimate promise that we are offered as well. But it is also much more than just a means to an end. For how we choose to live daily makes a difference in our lives here on earth too. Our faith gives a motivating hope that keeps joy moving consistently in the community of believers that allows others that doubt to seek, search, and believe too.
Won’t you challenge yourself to put your doubt to rest? Seek the answers you crave through the conviction you experience through the Words of Christ. Allow your motivation of joy to shine through so others can experience the peace of Christ too. Find comfort in knowing that even in your doubt Christ does not condemn you for He came so you can have life.
Love in Christ,
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.Saint Augustine
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you ever had doubts that made you consider or reconsider your faith? Do you have the attitude of “believe it or not?” or ‘Believe it or not!” Share your thoughts on the promises of Easter and your faith.