“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:8-9
Our modern society thinks very highly of its scientific evidences and findings. “See and believe” is a motto for many people who are grasping for an excuse to not believe in God. “I need evidence and proof”, some say. It is really a cover up for loving their sin and not wanting to be held accountable for it. Anyone who truly sets their mind to disproving God’s existence, if they diligently work hard to do so, will end up disproving their own atheism and turning to belief and faith in God. One of the most notable cases of this is C.S. Lewis, who was a professor at both Oxford and Cambridge and the acclaimed author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many other prominent literary works, and he said,
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.” ~C.S. Lewis
Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25) There is something inside of all of us that responds to the unexplained mysteries of the Spirit with, “I want to see it with my own eyes.” This is called the sinful nature and God can change it in us. He can change our sinful “see it before I believe it” attitudes so that we can believe in what we have not seen.
This passage (1 Peter 1:8-9) is so important for us to pay attention to because of the way Jesus responded to Thomas after he had said that he would never believe unless he saw first. John 20:27-29, “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Not one of us have seen Jesus, yet for those of us who believe in Him and love Him, from His own mouth Jesus has called us blessed. When, by the grace of God, we can let go of our finite thinking and put our trust in His words to be true then we are truly blessed. That special grace of God leads us to do something very curious and even ridiculous in the eyes of the onlookers in the world, we “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” over someone whom we have never laid eyes on. But we are in excellent company….
Hebrews 11: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah…
“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13 ESV
We will not see heaven, or the face of Jesus, until we die, so we must be like these mighty men and women who lived their lives in faith and who saw the promise and greeted it from afar. We are confident that our God will not forsake us and that He is not a man that He should lie, so we can look forward to the day when we obtain the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls, with joy and assurance.
Preparing the Way,