Do you ever have doubts about what you believe?
Some people are very skeptical about what Christians believe. One of my friends came to university and discovered people still believing in God and compared them all to still believing in Father Christmas – something that maybe people do for a bit when they’re younger but generally as they grow up they realise that it’s Mum or Dad drinking the Scotch and hanging the stockings on the door handle. I personally gave up believing in Father Christmas the year I managed to wake up at 9 am on Christmas Day had he didn’t seem to have come. But I digress… For some, believing in God and Jesus is hard.
But Peter had been there. He had been a close friend of Jesus. He had heard the voice of God during Jesus’ baptism saying “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased”. He had eaten the meal that fed 5000. He had even walked on water. He knew it was all true. He was an eye-witness to all that had occurred – and to the majesty of Jesus.
Maybe that isn’t enough for you. Maybe you find it hard to believe the words of someone written in a book from long ago. Maybe you find it easier to believe in Father Christmas – I mean, at least you get presents that way, don’t you!
The thing is, there is actually a whole shed load of evidence that what is written in the New Testament actually happened. There are more copies of much of it (which is how it was passed on from one person to another) than of any other document from the Ancient World – you don’t tend to find many people arguing whether Julius Caesar really did the things history tells us that he did. Plus, the things written about in the New Testament happened to a whole community – somebody might have said if they had been porky pies. And then, you just don’t give your life for believing in something that isn’t true – and many of the disciples were tortured and executed for refusing to deny their faith in Christ. This stuff isn’t made up.
When we know this is true, what does that mean for us? It means we have to choose to follow it and let it shape our lives, and shine it’s light into the darkest places in our lives. It doesn’t mean we don’t ever wake up and think “what on earth am I doing here believing this?” but it means that when those doubts come, we can look at the evidence and trust in what we already know of God and what we know to be true.
Lord God, help us to have faith in you. Help us to see you at work to the extent that we can never fail to trust in your goodness to us. Help us follow you more closely today. Amen.
Got any other questions about your faith? Why not have a look on websites like this one http://www.bethinking.org and see whether they might have the answer.