Updated: Sep 6, 2019
by ASHTON RICHTER
Luke 15:6-7 (NASB)
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
I trusted Jesus as my Savior at 5 years of age. I remember the evening well! I was at a Christmas Eve candlelight service at my families’ home church and I felt that everything the pastor was saying applied to me. I remembered realizing that I was a sinner, and that I was separated from God without Christ and His work on the cross. I chose to ask Him to be my Lord and Savior that night. When I have faced challenges in my faith as an adult; I have always looked back on that night.
I would like to say I have always been as full of faith as I was that Christmas Eve night. I have, however, had times when I completely doubted the Lord. When I was a teenager, I went through a few months where I doubted that He even existed or that He was really who said He was. Even through those times God was always faithful and patient with me. I prayed to God and asked Him to show me a physical sign to prove His existence to me. Even though I now wish I could have just had faith without a sign, I can honestly say that the Lord showed me that physical sign I asked Him for. It still amazes me that God would care enough to reveal Himself to me in a way that I could understand. It reminds me of the story in the New Testament where Jesus speaks about a flock of 99 sheep and 1 sheep who got lost. The shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep. God truly cares about every one of us. He shows much patience towards our faults, and He is always there to draw us back to Himself. I do not think that asking the Lord for a physical sign is the best approach, however, because it is very reminiscent of Thomas in the New Testament (John 20:24-29). When Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to His disciples, Thomas claimed he would not believe that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes. Jesus did appear to Thomas and revealed Himself in a way that Thomas could understand. Jesus, however, tells Thomas that it is better for those who do not see but believe rather than those who need to see a physical sign in order to have faith. Even with my human desire to see a physical sign and the lack of faith that shows, God did reveal Himself to me because in a way I could understand because He is patient and loving. While other faith-testing events have happened since my teenage years, I continually look back on my doubt and God’s goodness in that time of my life. Looking back on those dark months of my life, I now realize that I will never doubt the Lord in the same way that I had doubted Him as a teenager.
Now, it is not the fact that He revealed Himself to me that draws me to Him, but it is the fact that He cared enough to save me and help me in my darkest time. Even when I lack faith and am consumed with worries, I can look back at that moment and realize that He is sure, He is real, and He is who He says He is. God may not always reveal Himself to each one of us in the same way, but He is here with us through the Holy Spirit, and His Word and power are just as strong as ever. Pray to Him and trust the Lord to bring your heart peace.
ACTIONS OF THE DAY
MONDAY: DAY ONE
Share on the blog, if you feel comfortable doing so, areas of your faith in which you struggle with doubt?
TUESDAY: DAY TWO
How has God shown you that He is still with you even in the midst of trials or doubts?
WEDNESDAY: DAY THREE
How can you increase your faith without relying on what you can merely see with your eyes?