“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”John 3:14-18
In some ways, I confess I am similar to doubting Thomas in the way I’ve approach my faith. For me, I so desperately want to be accurate in interpreting God’s will for my life that I ask for signs, confirmation, or affirmation for what I believe He might be calling me to do. Many times in my life, I have questioned what God is doing because I’m curious. But when it comes to questioning who God is, I was taught reverence and respect for God from an early age.
As a dad, I want more than anything to pass on the legacy of faith that has been shared with me by my parents and grandparents. As we read in Psalm 78, I want my descendants—even those I will never meet—to hear the good news of Jesus Christ because their parents have been faithful to pass it along to the next generation. My prayer is that I have been faithful to model and to pass along to my children a foundation of faith and the truth of God’s Word. There is a lot that I do not know or may never understand about His plan. But because He lives, I really do believe!
I do not doubt that God is the Creator of heaven and earth and everything in it. I do not doubt that Jesus is my Savior. I do not doubt that Jesus was crucified, that He was buried, or that He rose from the grave. I do not doubt that He is coming again for His bride, the church, and that those who believe will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Because I believe, I pray. Because I believe, I have confidence that God will do what He says He will do. Because I believe, I try not to allow physical stress and anxiety to affect me the way it used to. Because I believe, I do not fear what lies ahead. Because I believe, my heart sings a new song. Because I believe, I try to live differently than others who do not yet know Christ. Because I believe, I want others to know Him, too. Because I believe, I look at life through a different lens than many other people. Yes, in the flesh I still have my days. But through Christ, my foundation is the solid rock of His truth. In a world of increasing uncertainty, I want to always be tethered to His truth.
I heard an interesting sermon recently where the preacher said that we are not physical beings with the “add-on” of a spirit. Rather we are spiritual beings with the “add-on” of a physical body so that we have an earthly life for a season. I’m not sure when our souls were created. God hasn’t revealed that insight to us yet. God told Jeremiah that he was known before being formed in his mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). We may never know in this life if that assurance reflects a soul’s creation date of infinity past or at conception. Maybe God was simply referring to His own omniscience. Either way, I understand what the preacher was getting at in that our spirit lives on for eternity while our earthly bodies return to dust. As Jesus taught us in John 3, those who believe in Him will have eternal life. We are offered eternal life because of what Jesus did through His death, burial, and resurrection. What we believe here and now affects our spirit for eternity. Because He rose from the grave—because He lives—I believe!