Why do I believe in Jesus? That’s a great question, and I’d love to answer it, but first let me ask you why you believe in the wind? You haven’t ever actually seen it, have you? Of course you see what it does–leaves swirling and trees bending–but you’ve never actually seen the wind itself. You might think you’ve heard it, but scientists tell us that’s just the vibrations from the wind blowing past various objects. Neither have you touched it or tasted it or smelled it. So why do you assume it exists; why can you say with certainty it’s there without seeming ridiculous?
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:27 NIV)
Well, obviously, because you’ve seen what it does! It may be invisible, but it’s effects are not. They are clear to anyone observing. And I’m not just talking about rustling leaves; it’s effects can be momentous–just ask someone who’s lived through a hurricane.
That’s why I believe in Jesus–because I can clearly see what His Spirit does in someone who doesn’t know Him. I can see someone who doesn’t yet believe and is still lost to God–the deadness in his eyes, the sadness and hopelessness, the life of quiet despair. Then, after Christ gets ahold of him, after he is born again of God’s Spirit, everything changes! The deadness is gone–there is life! There is hope, and a future, and even though he may not know very much about God, he knows enough to know he is Christ’s and Christ is his! And it’s not the excitement of someone who’s gotten enamored with a new preoccupation–it’s literally like the difference between a corpse and a living human being!!
I also know the miracles God can work through people who have surrendered themselves to Him and obey Him–the seemingly nonsensical things others don’t get because they don’t understand the concept of working for eternal treasures. Like spending your life, resources and energy creating a home for recovering addicts. Or moving to Calcutta to minister to the forgotten. Or taking in deformed babies and raising them as your own. Or any one of the “so-selfless-there’s-no-explanation-but-Christ” things He does through His people submitted to Him. The list is endless, but they all involves losing your life for His sake–giving up your pursuits to further His.
Most of all, I believe in Him because I know Him. That, I can honestly say, is the real reason I believe in Jesus–because I know Him. The other reasons are great for convincing those who don’t yet know Him, but at this point of my walk with Him you couldn’t convince me Christ isn’t real anymore than that you could convince me my husband isn’t. And it isn’t because of some kind of altered perception, it’s because of two experiential reasons–things which I’ve personally experienced myself.
The first is answered prayer. So imagine I were to pray to a great frog who’s holding up the earth on its back. How many times would you expect me to get what I’ve asked for? Statistically speaking I’d expect a favorable response 50% of the time, right? Because there’s a 50/50 chance something could happen or not, correct? But praying to God isn’t like praying to a nonexistent entity like a great frog–God’s real! That’s why He actually answers my prayers–and during the course of my life it’s been way too often for this to be mere coincidence!
The second reason is because of His Holy Spirit. It’s Romans 8:16–“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” What does that mean? It means that as we fellowship with Him in prayer–as we come before Him and seek His presence, we get it–we really truly experience His presence, as well as confirmation of our status as His children!
Actually, let’s put that verse into its proper context to understand better:
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:5-17 NIV)
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)
When a child of God prays, something miraculous happens–we are brought into the very presence of God!
So, why do I believe in Jesus? More accurately, how could I not?
Thank You that You are real; thank You that Your Spirit intercedes for me according to Your will; thank You that I can cry, “Abba, Father,” to You; thank You that You show Yourself freely to those who want You; please help me want You more than anything else! Amen.