How Difficult is it to Believe

In scripture after scripture following Jesus’ resurrection, we see some of the most passionate disciples of Christ fail to believe Jesus was indeed alive. I think at times we get a bit “bold in the faith,” as we condemn the “weakness” of the disciples back in that day because they had Jesus with them and at times would not believe. We often assume how much easier it should have been in those days since they had the Anointed One in their actual presence. Yet we discount the impact of the numerous years we have with this huge Bible; having all of the stories from the Prophets and Apostles with their first hand knowledge of Christ, that we have to ability to refer to regularly. However, I offer this “It difficult to believe and even more when you’ve been hurt/heartbroken.”

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Following Jesus’ death on the Cross; the disciples were scattered. Their world’s had just been turned upside down. And now their refuge; protection; power and security had been dramatically taken away. The very thing they’d believed was being crucified, like a criminal. So yes everything they knew had seemingly become a lie. Even Thomas, who was one of Jesus’ closest followers; at one point even ready to die for Jesus; found himself here at this very scenario, where he would need to see Jesus’ nail pierced hands and feet before he could even entertain the possibility of Jesus returning from the dead. Why do we still attempt to clown Thomas till this day, when if we’d be honest struggle with the very same things that those disciples struggled with back then.

Therefore, their first obstacle of believing in Christ Resurrected was:

1. They Believed Wrong: Many of the disciples believed that Jesus had come to earth to become the new and physical King. He was to replace the natural order they were under at the time. The disciples believed that very soon he was going to take over the current kingdom they were living under, they assumed that Jesus would slowly begin taking over the local synagogues; the High Priest, eventually the governorship, then ultimately kingship. However, God’s plan and Kingdom were always going to be different. We have to be on the same page of Jesus and not put our plans above His. Sometimes we believe that things should go a certain way. We think God’s plan works together for our comfort and our prosperity; but it works out for what God believes is good for us, according to His plan and not ours. If these plans are not aligned (and they are not always) then we will definitely have some grieving to do, when God’s plan prevails. Stay close to Him, His Word, His direction; you will not always get it right but it will be pretty close.

2. They Didn’t Trust the Unseen: Jesus was crucified just a few days prior and even though at times Jesus had been seen by so many (1 Cor 15:6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once), there was not way to fathom what they’d just witnessed. They had never seen someone so powerful and so close executed in this manner, like a criminal. And they definitely had not seen such a death be overcome. I mean they had definitely been up close and personal to Jesus resurrecting others back to life, but of course this seemed different. They were unable to resonate with the very person/power that raised Lazarus; Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son back to life, needing the same miracle. They wouldn’t allow themselves to trust or believe in something they had never physically seen; someone killed so gruesomely; someone not dying a natural death; someone not so very close and essential to them dying…yet rising again. Because they had not seen it, made it very difficult to process the possibility.

3. They Were Afraid to Believe Again: Luke’s Gospel tells us that “Luke 24:37-38 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?“ The disciples were terrified and frightened, even though Jesus Himself was speaking to them. There is one thing to be devastated, heartbroken and/or utterly disappointed. But to enter again into a situation that could potentially produce the exact same outcome…that is more difficult than you can imagine, yet every single individual Jesus showed Himself to was immediately put into that situation. Will I sign up for all of this again? If I don’t believe what I’m seeing or hearing then I will not subject myself to it again. However, if I say yes…it starts all over again. It was risky but worth it. They were being vulnerable with someone worth the vulnerability.

Are you willing to believe Jesus again? Will you align your beliefs with God’s Word? Are you willing to believe for something you’ve never seen before? Can you push past the fear of being hurt again to believe Jesus is worth the risk? If you can honestly say yes to these then you can expect to see mighty miracles in 2023……

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