Believe and See
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:7-8 (NIV).
I received an email from a 51-year-old gentleman today. He’s been attending Irving Bible Church for a year, checking out Christianity to see if he might believe. To date, he has not become a Christian because he just can’t get around the “faith” thing. If God is real, why doesn’t He just appear in our living room and reveal Himself? Why make it “so hard” for us who want to find Him to be able to do so? He also finds the concept of eternal separation from God in hell distasteful and is troubled by “the problem of pain” — bad things happening to good people and indiscriminate suffering in the universe.
Perennial Questions. No Easy Answers.
I suspect you have wrestled with these or similar questions, or if not that one day you will. As you search for answers, I recommend the works of C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, and Brian McLaren (A New Kind Of Christianity). There are no easy answers to these perennial questions, but there are answers, though not of the type that most people seek. With regard to God and the Bible, we want empirical evidence of the sort we demand when making a purchase. “I won’t buy that car until I can give it a test drive.” Reasonable. We want to believe, but only after seeing! Unfortunately, God has not left us that option when it comes to Himself. He says, “obey and understand… believe and see,” just the reverse order of what we desire. That means we are all faced with a simple but tough decision: even though I don’t like the choice God gives me to believe by faith or not at all, will I? Or because I’m ticked off that God hasn’t structured Christianity the way I want, will I pick up my marbles and go home?
Confronted with this dilemma in John 6, Peter spoke for the disciples and for so many of us down through the centuries when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).
Rebellion Produces No Light
I’ve gone through “mad” stages when, like the man who emailed me, I railed at God for making things so “unnecessarily” difficult. Here’s what I found: being mad and rejecting God and His word solves nothing. Rebellion produces no light. It may feel good for a little while, but yields no answers and leads ultimately to despair. “Lord, to whom shall we go?” He is the only one to Whom we can go. And mercifully, it’s not as hard to do so, frankly, as we (I!) have often made it out to be. God has not left Himself without a witness, i.e. Romans 1. The miracles of creation and life and beauty and goodness all point to the Benevolent One. The Bible reveals His character, His Son Jesus, and our eternal hope. In other words, there’s plenty to believe if only we can overcome our human pride that demands truth on our own terms. We can come to God on His terms only. That’s the hard news. The good news is, we can come to God. He’s there always!
Come to God
So believe Him and trust Him and follow and obey Him always — even when the way seems dim and you don’t get what’s happening. I’ve never regretted doing so in all this time. It hasn’t been easy, and not always fun. But the Lord’s goodness and blessing have followed me for simply choosing to trust what I know and simply believing for the rest.
Andy McQuitty talks about the wisdom every son and daughter needs to hear this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Adapted from Your Best Life Later by Andy McQuitty. Copyright ©2021 by Leadership Books. Used by permission.