Personal faith rarely depends on one item of evidence. Think about it. Your faith almost certainly balances between several things that you find compelling. Personal faith is like a planet in a solar system; it is held in orbit by the gravitational pull of a sun and other planets. Each element supports our faith to a different degree. So, what convinces you to keep following Jesus?
- It probably includes the Bible. Scripture is vitally important. The Old Testament heralds Jesus, the New Testament witnesses to Him and explains Him.
- For many people it includes personal experiences of the risen Jesus at work in their lives, and experiences shared with others. Experience comprises one giant “planet.” We see Him working in verifiable ways through healings, revelations that only He can give, and tangible intervention in the lives of our friends and ourselves. That evidence ranges from objective observations that we can document to subjective senses of His presence that are hard to explain to other people. But even the subjective is valuable to the individual. It is a valid piece of the evidence holding our faith in place.
- Anchoring all those interacting forces and greater than them all, should be one central “sun”—the historical bodily resurrection of Jesus. An open, empty tomb and folded body-wraps convinced Jesus’ friends. His entry into a locked room, the feel of His wounds, and the sight of Him eating boiled fish locked the faith of disciples in life-long orbit around His resurrection. Even when God seems to us silent and inactive, and experience becomes fading memory, raw faith revolves around the resurrection.
Never belittle the parts of the constellation of faith in God, but center your life on the risen Son.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Cor. 15:3-8)
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