"Blessed are they that did not see, and yet believed." John 20:29
Since I was a child, we were taught to, "Say the blessing." In our home, it was an honor to be called upon to do it. Dad would often be the one who said it, before we sat down to eat, but all four of us kids knew we better be ready to do it. One of Dad's favorite tricks was to wait until one of us tried to sneak a bite of food before he prayed, and with a bit of righteous rebuke, he would assign the duty to pray to the wayward child with the full mouth. He wasn't above adding the dig, "Including what is already in your mouth." We couldn't ever get anything past Dad. Good times.
Blessing comes from finding the sweet spot in life. The Greek concept of life involved feeling happy, content, self-contained, in need of nothing else to be satisfied. The Duck Dynasty boys may have hit the nail on the head. HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!, indeed.
To believe was to place, continued active trust or confidence in another person or cause. A person's cause for belief has always been based on their confidence in the person asking them to believe in them. For the Christian it means to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something. In this case, it means saving faith. When a person activates their faith, they draw on God's resources, not their own.
The blessing Jesus gave, after revealing Himself to His disciples, could be considered a command performance. He honored the request of doubting Thomas, by inviting him to feel his way to belief in Him, as The Resurrected Christ. Still, Jesus was not above adding a hefty dose of rebuke with it. Thomas had said, he would never believe what he couldn't see and feel. After Jesus jumped through his hoop, He asked Thomas,
"Because you had seen Me have you believed?" v. 29a
Jesus was not placing a vote of confidence, in the kind of belief Thomas had just placed in Him. He was questioning it. The Kingdom Jesus came to establish wasn't built with the same materials demanded by the world. In the material world, seeing is believing. In the His world, believing is seeing. There is a big difference between the material and the spiritual worlds. Never confuse them.
Blessing and believing are two sides of the same coin. One does not arrive without the other. Running on parallel tracks, imperceptible to anyone but God, blessing and believing arrive simultaneously, at the junction of faith. Trust in The Resurrected Christ creates a celebration in the heart of anyone who puts their confidence in what they hear The Spirit of Christ reveal, from God's Word, about Jesus.
"Receive The Holy Spirit." Jesus - (John 20:22)
Faith in Jesus is birthed by the Holy Spirit revealing to a person what God's word says about The Son of God. Faith is the confidence one places, or trusts in the facts, The Spirit of Christ reveals about Jesus, in God's Word.
"Consequently, faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ." Romans 10:17
Jesus came into this world to become a personal Savior and Lord to the citizens of The Kingdom of God. Believing in Him, involves relying on Him to be Who the Holy Spirit reveals Him to be when they read God's Word, or hear it preached.
This belief or trust means that Jesus is no longer an historical figure, a religious icon, or a dusty doctrinal position. The living, breathing, Resurrected Christ takes up residence in the heart of every believer, through the work of The Person of The Holy Spirit.
"Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." John 20:29b
Remember, believing is seeing. Believing in the finished work of The Crucified Christ should never be minimized, but it becomes a blessing through the Presence of The Resurrected Christ. Receiving the Holy Spirit's good word about Jesus is more than just a single leap of faith. Walking out of the darkness of unbelief and into the light of God's love at Calvary is no small step, but it is the start of a great journey.
The life of faith is a life of leaps. Faith is belief in action, not just one action followed by prolonged paralysis of analysis. It continuously collides at each point in time, and every place where, a believing person is tempted to doubt what The Holy Spirit says about Jesus. Faith obeys. Doubt delays.
Faith begins as a breath, but just as life is sustained, by breathing, the faith life is sustained by believing. No breath, no life. No breathing, no believing. The material world seeks to conform the believer to its way of life. The blessing for every believer is to be transformed into a citizen of The Kingdom.
The blessing of Jesus cannot be passed down, from generation to generation, only the message of about Jesus can be passed on. Daddy can't believe for you. Momma can't put trust in Jesus for you. Belief is a very personal choice. Actually to be pro-choice is to be pro-life. The world has turned that concept upside down.
People immigrating across the border from the darkness, and into the light are only granted citizenship in Christ's Kingdom, when they place their trust in Jesus. There is no general amnesty available that can release the blessing of citizenship. Each immigrant must place their trust in Jesus, to be their personal Savior and Lord, in the Kingdom of Christ.
Believing leads to blessing when seekers look at the cross and say, "Jesus did this for me!" They look at the empty tomb, and say, "Jesus conquered death for me." They admit their sin and say, "Jesus, forgive me." They open their hearts and say, "Jesus, fill me!" They crucify their pride, and say, "Jesus, lead me!"
Citizens of The Kingdom of Christ believe life in this new Kingdom is all about Jesus. It is not about them. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life." (John 10:10) He is still the only path to citizenship. "I am the way, the truth and the life." Jesus - John 14:6
Through their believing, believers find His blessing. The blessing of Jesus is as close as your next breath. Jesus is never any farther away from you, than your next prayer to Him. Prayer puts your faith in action. Believing is seeing, and prayer provides the vision to see what God is up to in the dark. Pray and obey. Don't doubt and delay.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!