Jesus: “It’s because I speak the truth that you don’t believe me…” –John 8:45
Back when I had a newspaper column my writing subject today would have been obvious. Just a look at the news headlines – Coronavirus, Super-Tuesday, and the Stock Market; it’s like there’s an open invitation for Op-ed, Commentary and Opinion.
Of course I write topical posts a lot of the time, but the purpose of this blog is geared more toward faith and inspiration. In other words, we may live in this world where the daily news unnerves us much of the time, threatening to set us adrift in a sea of uncertainty, but the Good News is more compelling and our moorings are secure. “I know whom I have believed,” the writer of Timothy declares, “and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:11-13).
This was a common theme for Jesus. “Don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life” (Matthew 6:25-27)?
Jesus: “Do you believe?”
I guess the important question is the same one Jesus had for so many people? “Do you believe?” Well what kind of a question is that, Lord? Can’t you – won’t you – please just step in and take care of things for us right now, so it’s a little easier to believe? Seriously, do that first and then we can jump on with the belief thing!
My own questioning tends to be more along the lines of, “Believe what?” And it’s not so much a question as a reminder to myself to take a look at my faith and to read the scriptures and to trust. Because you see I am firmly convinced that Jesus has never been in the wish-granting business, that God does not arbitrarily drop easy answers, or piles of money, or political stability into our laps. No, what the Almighty assures – and reassures – is that in God’s embrace we have the resources, and we have the strength, and we have the imagination to get it done; and that Jesus will walk beside us and the Spirit reside within us along the way.
And I’m not sure that I really want it to be any other way. Jesus put it like this in John 8:45, “It’s because I speak the truth that you don’t believe me.” Maybe the real reason we have trouble believing is because Jesus is always so completely true?
So what do I believe?
So here is what I do believe (what we believe), on this day loaded with disturbing politics, and the threat of disease, and catastrophic financial meltdown: I believe God loves me (and all of us) with an everlasting love, I believe Jesus has made it possible for me (and all of us) to rest in that love, and I believe God is not only present and active in this world through the Holy Spirit but that God’s great purposes will be worked out in and through me/us to the extent that I surrender all that I am and all that I hope to be to him, following the Living Way of Jesus.
I believe, Lord; please help me with my unbelief (Mark 9:24) – DEREK