Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him,
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and
yet have believed" (Jn.20:28-29).
Is seeing, believing--or is believing, seeing? Do we, like Thomas, require some sort of
visual affirmation to assure us that what God says is true--believing only through seeing?
Or do we believe that God is faithful without requiring any sign or wonder? Have we seen
that "what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Rom.4:21), and
therefore because we believe, we are able to see?
In the flesh, seeing is believing--but in the spirit, believing is the means by which we
see. For truth is not confirmed to us in the flesh, as the flesh is corrupt and will
distort truth to suit self-interests. But truth is confirmed to us in the spirit when no
physical evidence is available to substantiate it. To trust in the "evidence of
things unseen" is how Hebrews 11:1 (in part), defines faith. The verse adds to this
that "faith is the substance of things hoped for." How many of us can see an
abstract thing such as hope as something that has substance? In the flesh it does not have
any substance of itself. Instead, hope is a vague idea in the eyes of the flesh, that can
only be substantiated through end results and physical evidences. But in the spirit, faith
and hope are not abstracts, but concrete realities. Not because of what they are, but
because of Whom they are within. As faith and hope are placed within God, they become firm
and secure. They provide us a foundation upon which we can stand and not be shaken, they
provide us a seat of security in which we can rest, and they provide us bed of contentment
in which we can find peace.
Jesus said, "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign"
(Mt.16:4). He spoke this of people in His time on earth, but how true is that of this
generation today? There are television evangelists that would have you to believe that
God's power can only be substantiated through the evidence of signs and wonders. There are
Christians and churches who agree and promote the same. It would seem that we do not see
the work of the Lord and the manifested power of God unless it comes in extravagant,
"thunder and lightning," type packages. Many people seem to live just to hear a
word of such occurrences, in hopes to experience the same kind of things in their own
church or lives. And yet in all of the external alertness to super spiritual activities,
many remain empty within. They seek so desperately to see God move mountains, and miss out
on the power of God that can change their own soul. They seek desperately the signs and
wonders that will substantiate their faith, all the while God would seek to secure them in
their faith through His internal workings in their hearts--teaching them that believing is
the beginning of sight, and that, "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
In the spirit, believing is seeing. And we require no proof that God is who He is, or that
He will fulfill His Word to us. God is substantiated within Himself and need not present
himself in the fire, thunder and lightening in order that we might believe. Those who seek
signs and wonders will find signs and wonders. In seeking to substantiate their faith,
they will produce evidences of God at a level necessary to provide them security in their
faith--helping them affirm to themselves that what they believe is true, so that they can
have what they need to overcome their own doubts and fears that what they claim to be
true, might not be. And seeking to believe because of what they see, they remain insecure
in their own faith--continuously needing it affirmed to them through miraculous signs
large enough to overcome their own anxieties.
But those who seek God himself, and not the signs and wonders, will find God. For God has
said, "And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your
heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). For the incredible power of God is far greater than the
external, mighty, moving events--it is a power that can reach into a hopeless human heart
and change it forever--providing it all it needs to be secure, without the extravagance of
signs and wonders.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the
LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the
rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an
earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire;
[but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was
[so], when Elijah heard [it] that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and
stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and
said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:11-13).