TRUE FAITH. What do you believe in? Keeping healthy? Your wife or husband, or old friends? Good food? A good brisk walk every day with the dog? Two holidays a year? Touching wood for good luck? BREXIT? Burnley FC?
Believing in something, or someone, means a lot more than just “I think they exist”. And, actually, proving something exists can be fiendishly difficult. If, like me, you are not young you might remember arm-chair philosophers arguing about whether we can be sure that anything really exists: “How can you be sure that what you are seeing or hearing is really there – you might be imagining the whole thing”!? Does anything really exist – how can you be sure?”
It’s actually easier to believe in someone or something than to prove objectively that they exist! For example, if your spouse or friend keeps turning up at home every day, behaves in loving and caring ways, and acts as if they trust you, you know that you can believe in them. But you might still have difficulty proving to the arm-chair philosopher that they really exist!
And it’s the same with the existence of God. We can argue forever about Jesus’ body disappearing, despite an armed guard on the tomb. And about the religious and civil authorities inability to find the body (which would have stopped Christianity ever getting started). But the best evidence is that that people who say they saw Jesus alive again believed in Him – and trusted Him with their lives. Those people made personal sacrifices, choosing to live differently because they wanted to be His followers. Many of them were prepared to leave home and travel round the world telling people about Jesus. Some were even persecuted and chose to die rather than give up.
And it’s the same for us, today, 2000 years later. There is plenty of evidence to support believing that Jesus existed but, in the end, we believe in Him because we have found that He still exists.. We have met Him spiritually: in answered prayer, or in worship, or through the ways He has helped us in life. That’s how we know we can believe in Him. He is with us, as we follow His Ways through the ups and downs of life.
So the way to come to believe in Jesus isn’t to forever go through the facts and arguments (though the facts are important!). The way to come to believe in Him is to find out what He was like, what He did, and what He taught… and to respond. Why not re-read the Gospels in the Bible? They were written “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. Then ask Him to come into your life more and more… and ask for His help to live life His way – the way of love, peace and joy.