“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.” (John 2:23-25)
The book of John presents 8 miracles or signs that reveal the glory of Jesus during his ministry on earth. While signs and wonders were necessary to establish Jesus’ ministry (John 5:36), He teaches us today that His Word alone is enough, and that our faith should not be based on emotion, feeling, or the witness of miracles. He knows our hearts, and will not entrust himself to those with a faith that is shallow and momentary.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” (John 20:29)
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17)
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32)
Faith that comes from hearing, believing, and abiding in God’s Word alone is a faith that will last through any trial, circumstance, and season in your life. It does not depend on how we feel, nor what God is doing for us, at any given point in time. Jesus says that those who have a committed faith in abiding in His Word are truly His disciples.
Brothers and sisters, I pray that our faith isn’t based on our emotions, because emotions are fleeting. I pray that it isn’t based on whether we feel God being present or active in our lives, because regardless of whether we feel it or not, the Word says that He is. I pray that it isn’t based on seeing a sign or miracle, because God wants our faith to precede having to see miracles (see “Doubting Thomas” John 20:24-29). Relying on feelings and signs is a faith that asks God, “What have you done for me lately?”
Have hope though, because God’s desire is to not leave us with a surface-level faith, but to grow us deep in our faith. To God, the maturing of our faith is more precious than even gold (1 Pet. 1:7)!
Believe in Him FIRST. Trust in Him FIRST. Abide in His Word FIRST. Obey Him FIRST. Don’t wait for your feelings or emotions to drive you to follow Him. Many of the people in the crowds that saw the miracles of Jesus and followed him from place to place with a superficial belief, were also the same ones that later yelled “Crucify him!”
This world functions on the notion that “seeing is believing”, while God instead asks us to “believe that you may see.” I pray for each one of us, that our faith will grow, strengthen, and mature by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. May we be blessed to be those who have not seen, and yet believe.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:6-9)
[From January 2, 2019]