Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." Matthew 28:17

Is seeing believing? Can you always believe your eyes? Have you ever believed something that you haven't seen?
Yesterday in the skies over Colorado, authorities were flooded with calls concerning a UFO. What first appeared to be a flying saucer turned out to be a silver mushroom shaped helium balloon. To me, it looked like a flying Jiffy Pop popper pan.
Seeing wasn't necessarily believing.
Currently, authorities are trying to figure out what happened with the saucer-shaped balloon and the 6 year-old boy. They look like a normal all-American family, but was this truly an accident, a boyish prank, or an elaborate hoax. Everyone is watching and analyzing, but seeing is not necessarily believing.
I am trying to get a weather forecast for this week-end. I have checked online each day this week and each time it has been a different forecast. Seeing is not necessarily believing.
Once I went to a sales training seminar and the first thing they taught me there was that a "good deal is a state of mind". In otherwords, people believe what they want to believe and a good salesperson should try to influence the customer to believe his offer is a good deal. A deal is struck when a customer believes what he sees, even though what he believes may not be true.
For over fifty years I have been a believer in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. I have never seen them. But having never seen them, they are as real to me as any person I have seen. I believe though I have never seen and there is no person that I can see who could convince me that the God I can't see doesn't exist.
So, I wonder how these eleven disciples who were beholding the Resurrected Jesus standing right before them could have doubts. Maybe seeing is not believing.
Maybe believing is believing. Maybe believing is seeing. That sort of sounds like what Hebrews 11 tells us - "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."
So, could the key word here be "hope"? Does what we hope for drive what we believe? Were these disciples who doubted afraid to hope? Remember what they had been through during the past few weeks. Their hopes had been crushed and their dreams had crashed through the events of the arrest and killing of Jesus. Ever had your hopes crushed?
Were their doubts driven by self-doubt? Had they lost hope in themselves and not in Jesus?
We will never know for sure. What we do know is that doubts or not, the disciples were there in obedience to Jesus. And we do know that they obeyed His command to go make disciples. So, they brought their doubts to the feet of Jesus. They hoped through their doubts and they obeyed through their fears and they changed the world!
Are you plagued with doubts? Are you paralyzed with fear? Is hope hard to come by?
Don't believe what you see, believe what He says! Hope through your doubts and obey through your fears!