They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”John 20:25 NLT Some things we’re challenged to believe even when they fail every apparent test.
I have certain tests I use to determine validity. Quite naturally, they involve my senses. How do I know my wife is real? This may seem like an absurd question, but the tests I employ to test her reality are the same ones I use for more complicated issues. I see a body lying beside mine every morning, and I know I’ve seen this person before. I smell her odors…but in a pleasant way. With my ears, I hear her speak to me and others, and I recognize the voice. I can touch her. She feels like the same person I’ve touched for the last fourteen years. Touch lets me know she’s not an apparition. And if I’m really bold, I can nibble on her neck. When I’ve employed all these tests, I conclude, “She is real.”
Doubting Thomas—as he is unfortunately known—had trouble conceiving Jesus was the Messiah..much less that he had risen from the grave. The reports troubled him.
When determining God’s reality, I can’t employ the standard tests I use with everything else. I can’t see, touch, hear, smell, or taste him. But other tests are available. I can glare at circumstances over the course of my lifetime. Circumstances that couldn’t have materialized the way they did without intervention from a higher power. I can hear someone speaking to my inner spirit even though I never hear an audible voice. I can observe changes in people—changes that can’t be explained by a simple decision to turn over a new leaf.
Yet, in the end, the only way we can convince ourselves God is real is by a leap of faith. No concrete proof exists—only overwhelming evidence. And everyone must decide whether that evidence is sufficient for them. Is it for you?
Martin Wiles is an author, pastor, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized website, Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing, and Assistant Editor for Vinewords.net. He has also served as Web Content Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. Wiles has authored Don’t Just Live…Really Live (Ambassador International), A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots (Vine-Word Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Parenting Teens, Open Windows, Proclaim, Stand Firm, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, The Upper Room, The Upper Room Disciplines, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Converge, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, The Banner, Relevant, Bible Advocate, Reasons to Live, Author Magazine, and Lutheran Digest. Wiles has also written for the Bridges and Pathways Curriculum (Warner Press) and is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, Inkspirations, and VineWords and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles has also served on faculty for the Asheville Christian Writer’s Conference. crat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.