October 14 I Sunday
1 Thessalonians 2
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’” —Luke 24:44
If our faith is based only on our experiences of God, we will have plenty of reasons to doubt, because our experiences are only so reliable a witness. When a Christian walks out of a car accident unscathed, he thanks God for protecting him, but an unbeliever says, “Phew! I was lucky!” Which is the right perspective and how do we know?
There are two things Jesus talked about after His resurrection that are vital to the conviction of our faith and the truth of Christianity. There is the testimony of Scripture, as discussed here, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that everything must be fulfilled that is written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. He then opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Jesus presented a crucial reason why they should believe in Him. To paraphrase, “What you have visually witnessed regarding Me is not the grounds on which you are going to believe, but rather you believe on the grounds that this goes back to Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Many people might say, “But I’ve had great experiences of Jesus,” but others will say the same of Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism. This is why Jesus says the grounds of our confidence are not simply in what we have experienced, but in the prophecies of Old Testament Scripture in which His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation are recorded. All these prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus’s birth, the earliest given already in the Garden of Eden. And since each prophecy about Jesus came to fruition exactly as foretold, our confidence must be in the fact that the Word of God has shown itself to be true.
There are wonderful times when we sense and experience God at work in our lives, but there are also times we walk in the dark. What do we do then? We place our trust in the truthfulness of Jesus, the Gospel and the authority of Scripture. In Luke 24:48, Jesus said to His disciples, “You are witnesses of these things.” But in this context, He is also saying, “You are witnesses to the truth of Scripture.” The disciples waited to be clothed with power from on high, but their confidence and security was based on the witness of Scripture. We must know what Scripture says, believe it and live day-to-day with the conviction and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Though personal experiences will influence us, our faith in Jesus Christ should not be founded on subjective criterion alone, but in objective fact as well.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am incredibly grateful for the Scriptures. Thank You for how they nourish and strengthen my faith, bringing me increasingly closer to You.