“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
I could tell you the same thing but I’d be resorting to circular reasoning. And if you’re not already inclined to believe (read: humble yourself), you’ll see the flaw in my logic. But no, seriously. I am not making this up. I may be borrowing what I write and, therefore, you read. But it’s not like I’m saying anything other than what’s already been bandied about a million times over. Does that sound argumentative or pessimistic?
Peter, above, says “we…were eyewitnesses of His majesty”. And so, beyond a certain point the same applies to me. I can’t keep talking about this stuff unless I’m crazy or, I too have been an eyewitness. Well, I haven’t actually seen Jesus with my eyeballs. Part of the reason is because I wasn’t alive back then and every other part must necessarily (yes) require faith.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
Here’s the thing about faith. It’s something that is given if you really want it. If you (figuratively in this case) “sell all that thou hast” (Luke 18:22). It doesn’t take the divesting of stuff into a forced asceticism to realize the supernatural. It takes a heart that is willing to accept Jesus on His terms. There’s no other way around it. How hard is it to say I’m sorry and to care about others’ feelings more than your own? Sometimes, it’s impossible. But you realize you’re already forgiven, right? This, then, is a kernel of faith.
“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
For instance, play the part. Dispense with all the modern-day jargon as to how wonderful you really are and how you can do no wrong and how you must save yourself. Put that on hold for a moment and think of yourself in the worst terms imaginable. Then layer on top of that all the mistakes you’ve ever made. All the lies you’ve told, all the ways in which you (wow, I’m getting negative here) could have been there for someone but chose not to. All the things you’ve ever done wrong. And steep in it for a second. Like wading through a swamp. I’m not just trying to create need. I am actually quite serious when I say that you can severely alter your day and your mood should you face your past and then let it overwhelm you.
Now, continuing on with this thought experiment, think about Jesus. Did you know that He lived a whole life for you? The thirty-three years (thereabouts) He walked this earth were like a trial run. If you’re not quite that old, think about your life as not even starting till after that age. If your life is all you have and you were then asked at the outset to give up about half of it even before birth, how would you respond? Would you be upset? I can imagine so. There are things that haven’t happened in my own life that make me want to crane my neck up to God and ask Him what the deal is. I digress
“Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1 Peter 2:23)
Peter’s talking about Jesus again. Meeting Him changes everything. The way you work, the way you play. The way you feel and the way you act. It all comes under His banner. I am not making this up. And for Him to take His life and give it up after just getting started (and also rubbing all the powers-that-be in all the wrong ways–seriously), means we could at least approach thinking about (and quite-possibly doing) the same.