Thursday, 31 March 2016

Faith - No leap in the dark

What if it isn't really true? 

What if I've based my life on a lie? 

Ever had these thoughts? These midnight doubts? I have.

How do I deal with these thoughts? Push them away and hope they stay away? Don't think too hard about it, just press on anyway?

Well, first I pray, and then I remember...

1) Jesus rose from the dead

My belief in the resurrection of Jesus is based on overwhelming evidence.

The empty tomb, the transformed disciples, the witnesses. The stone rolled away, the attempted cover-up, the lack of a body.

It is a concrete, historical, well attested event.

2) The Coherence of Scripture

When I read the Bible - the more I read the Bible - the more I marvel at such a consistent and beautiful narrative. The echoes of Christ found throughout the Old Testament, or a word or phrase in John's gospel which conjures up a rich image because of the Biblical history behind it.

As I read, I am confident that this is indeed the Word of God, and that I can believe what is written.

3) The Bible's View of Humanity

The Biblical picture of human beings is compelling. People are seen as immensely valuable, made in God's image. The shedding of human blood is a serious offence because of who we are. The poor and weak are valued.

Men and women are also described as sinful and wicked. Even the best are seen in all their weaknesses, and sometimes in dreadful sin.

We are depicted as torn between a desire to do good, and an inability to carry out this good.

This picture rings true with my experience of life, and of what I see as I read books, or teach my children history, or listen to the news.

4) The Person of Jesus

I have been helping my husband lead a Christianity Explored course over the last couple of months, and it has been a great experience to look once again at Jesus - his words, his actions, his death and his resurrection - in Mark's gospel.

We have read about Jesus' compassion and his power; his love and his words which cut to the heart; his predictions of his death, and then the moving account of the crucifixion itself, when the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Once again, I have seen a Saviour who I am compelled to trust and to follow.

When all is said and done, I am glad that I am not clinging to a world view made up by clever men.

I am not shutting my eyes and stuffing my fingers in my ears to protect me from facts in case they upset me.

I am not just a follower of an ancient tradition, or a moral code of conduct that I admire.

I depend on the true word of the living God, who has chosen to make himself known - and known in history.

I place my hope in the risen Lord, who has defeated death.

I trust in Jesus, God and Man, Saviour, Prophet, Priest, King, and Friend.

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