Seeing or Believing?
22 July 2017
Reading: Isaiah 36-37; Psalm 76; 1 Peter 1
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT)
I love Jesus. I know that God came to earth as a Jewish baby born in a stable in Bethlehem and grew up to be a teacher called Jesus. I know he showed us how God would live if he were one of us and he died to pay the price for our sins and was buried in a rich man’s grave. I know he came back from death alive after three days and then went back to heaven and gave us his very own Holy Spirit to lead and guide and empower us. I know he is preparing a place for us to be with him for eternity.
I believe that story. I believe in that God. I believe in that Jesus who is my example, my teacher, my savior, and my Lord. I haven’t seen him with my own eyes – yet – but I believe in him and I love him.
In today’s parallel reading from Isaiah, Judah’s good king Hezekiah was in a seemingly hopeless situation, under threat from the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The Assyrian King wrote Hezekiah a threatening letter and Hezekiah took the letter to the Temple and spread it out for God to read. God responded with a promise of miraculous deliverance and Hezekiah believed the promise of deliverance God gave him before he saw it happen! Then God fulfilled the promise exactly as he said he would!
Friends, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have chosen to believe daily in that which we cannot see. We have chosen to believe the Jesus Story of God’s love and salvation and eternal plan for us. Now we choose daily to bring the challenges, threats, facts, and fears of our lives and lay them out before God and let him interpret the facts in the light of faith – his power to make things as he wants them to be versus how things are right now. I choose believing over seeing!
Father, Like Hezekiah, I am sometimes fearful and almost overwhelmed by the challenges I face and the seeming impossibilities of my circumstances. Thank you for loving me enough to speak words of promise and hope to me in my darkest moments. I choose to believe you rather than the facts I see with my eyes. Help me to live what I believe for my family, my friends, and myself. Amen.