“We believe and know you are the One…” (John 6:68-69)
Do you ever find it hard to keep believing in Jesus? Even though I have been a believer for many years, the persistent knock of unbelief seems to keep tapping away at my mind no matter where I am. I have had the opportunity this past month to worship in places where Christian believers have worshipped for nearly 2,000 years! I have stood on the same stone pavements where many hearts have worshipped in Spirit and in truth, believing in the One Lord Jesus to save them. It has been an incredible privilege to explore and to ponder these matters in some of the world’s oldest cathedrals, along with a sense of joining in with the long stream of fellow pilgrim brothers and sisters. But even here I have not been immune to the waves of doubt – not what I expected.
This week in Heartbreakingly Beautiful we have been looking at the encounter between Jesus and Peter recorded at the end of John 6. When things got tough for Peter to keep believing, he made his incredible declaration of belief in Jesus as the promised Saviour and the only One he could turn to for life. As I dwell on this significant interaction of long ago, I imagine the look of desperation and hope that may have passed between Jesus and Peter. Did that brief connection reveal a glimpse of the will of the Father that would lead to suffering and death, not just for Jesus, but for them both? Was there a knowing, intimate look that passed between Jesus and this precious man he loved? The love shared between these men is obvious from this passage and elsewhere through the Bible. Did this loving gaze confirm to Peter that believing in Jesus and following Him unto the end was in fact the only option and the only road that would eventually led to real life?
Through my times of doubt, confusion and fear, I too have heard the very personal call to choose to believe. I have felt the intimate gaze of Jesus searching my soul and sensed that belief in Him is my only real option – the only life-giving direction I can turn. I am also learning that while the call to unbelief feels constant, the call to BE Believers is stronger! The call to ‘repent and believe’ is an ongoing, daily directive. In fact, this is the heart of our daily ‘work’. Earlier in John 6 Jesus declares, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Dear fellow believers in Christ, let us not forget to live up to our name and BE Believers! Let us keep spurring each other on to turn from our unbelief, whatever forms it may take, and believe again. As my old pastor used to say, “We choose moment by moment to repent and believe – it is NOT just a one time event but an ongoing one. Now put that in your little black book!”
Inspiration for the Journey:
What happens when, as a community of people, we find ourselves in desperate trouble and need a place to turn? During the early months of Beth’s trial in 2010, we were blessed by participating in two extraordinary expressions of corporate belief. Our friends from Wycliffe organized two prayer vigils on our behalf. People from different spheres of our lives were drawn together to pray and keep watch with us. There was a collective sense of horror at Beth’s situation, yet as a community of believers we were aware that the only place we could run was into the arms of the Lord. There were many tears shed as we worshipped and interceded together. Some labored into the wee hours of the morning on Beth’s behalf. Thank you Raj and Maureen for organizing those precious nights -they gave us great encouragement to keep believing and we know that every single and collective heartfelt cry was heard and received by the One who alone has the words of eternal life.
Songs to encourage you:
I Turn To You by Todd Smith and performed by Selah
I Believe by Barlow Girl
I Will Run To You by Darlene Zschech
Words of affirmation:
Please feel free to add your voice of belief to that of countless other believers throughout the ages…
The Apostle’s Creed 390 AD
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
And he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church,
The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.