Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
How can simply believing be so life-changing? What is faith that it can be so powerful?
Sometimes we misunderstand the word faith. It means that we are convinced and have assurance. The confusion is often in how we gain that assurance. We travel down many different paths. Some of us believe because we have read God’s Word and it has touched us, some may have found their faith as a reasonable response to their intellectual pursuits, some may have experienced an unexplainable, perhaps miraculous, event in their life.
The disciples had similar experiences. When Jesus walked into the room they were in after he rose from the dead, they saw Him and talked to Him. Their belief was certainly based on a strong personal experience they could not rationalize away. Yet even at that moment Jesus said it was even better to believe when you haven’t seen.
The important thing is that we are convinced that Jesus is the Son of God and has died and rose from the dead to forgive our sins. We may get there in a number of ways. Faith does not require us to be either rational or illogical, intellectual or ignorant. We are not obliged to have a certain experience, or not have one. Faith means that however we have come to Jesus, we are confident and certain that we are relying on Him. Yes, often that means we go against what seems realistic to others. Our hope is still in things that are unseen and that is difficult for many people to understand.
The power of faith is that God treats us all as unique and comes to us where we are with what we individually need. Jesus offered to show Thomas the scars on His hands. He came to Paul in a flash of light. Others were told of His love and came to believe, with nothing particularly dramatic. Some were children, some were scholars, some were lepers, some were poor, some were slaves. And some were just people getting water at a well, and Jesus said “believe in me.” The power of faith is that the One we believe in is powerful. He finds us, and gives us what we need.
Do you believe?