Most of us have passed through the supermarket checkout lanes and glanced at the tabloids begging us to pick them up and read. The headlines are difficult to ignore: “Boy. Two. Turns into Woman overnight.” “Family of Wolves Raises Oriental Midget”: “Cigar Smoking Toddler Wins Pretty Baby Contest.” We don’t believe such stuff. We know that some clever or greedy person is only trying to make money for their magazine.
Disbelief can be valuable. It can save us from many heartaches. It stops us from being fooled or cheated. Suspicion is our friend when it warns us against a creepy slow moving van behind us while we jog. “You Win” on the Publishers Clearing House envelope doesn’t mean that we won.
The problem is that disbelief can also cut us off from things that are true and from persons we desperately need. People thought Columbus was loony when he said he could get to the East by sailing West. People laughed at the Wright brothers when then kept working on a small plane in their bike shop.
When Jesus said he was the Christ people didn’t believe him. Many still don’t. The ministry of Jesus was one of turning disbelief to belief. The people were standing in the presence of their only Savior and they spit and tore their clothes.
Belief and disbelief are important for our everyday Christian walk. Faith included two parts: one of them is belief; the other is trust. Belief is the acceptance of the truth of the gospel. It “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”, says Hebrews 11:1.
But what do we hope for? Some things we hope for never come. We hope for a cash gift but get a bathrobe. We hope for a goal but settle for an assist. We hope for healing, but the pain remains.
The promise of the gospel is that our faith is worth holding on to. When Thomas finally stopped doubting while he put his fingers in the scars of Jesus, he said, “my Lord and my God.”
Jesus responded, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”
This is your task today. To believe even when it is hard to see. The words of scripture are true. They were written to turn our disbelief to belief.
Anyway, that’s how I see it.