Without a Doubt
How to believe in Jesus Christ and make God smile.
by J. Grant Swank, Jr.
“Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27, NIV).
How many people refuse to believe in Jesus Christ? Too many.
Some of them put themselves in the center of their universe — like a god. Some worship things and success. But where does all this get them — ultimately and even today?
Consider this: Unbelief hurts God. It grieves Him.
Have you ever seen the longing in a father’s face when he wants desperately to have a relationship with his child? The adolescent refuses to consider the days and nights of parental sacrifice that have brought him to this point.
Magnify this many times over when considering the ache in God’s heart. He sent Jesus to the cross! He went to death to get His holy point across. Yet folks still dally with whether or not they are going to believe Him. Their spiritually fallen craniums balk at the thought of Christ’s death. Such faithlessness causes the divine much sorrow.
The devils’ veil
Has God ever tried to reach you, but you have turned Him away? Have you been too busy with worldly things . . . material matters . . . the day’s hurt and hurrah?
Have you ever felt the divine presence but simply moved on to more self-centered things? Or have you responded to His love by doubting that He is even present — there, alive and well?
What brings us to such a wall of doubt when a side of us cries out, “I believe. Help my unbelief”?
It is a veil that devils can drape across our heads and hearts. This is one of the cruelest of times for the soul. The veil is heavy. It is thick. It seems to have no right or left ends. Instead, it goes on forever — at least that is the way we feel when it blankets our everydays.
Person to Person
Keep this in mind: When Jesus died on the cross, the temple veil in Jerusalem was cut in half by the powers of heaven. That meant that every follower of Jesus can now come into God’s presence directly — without aid of anyone else or anything else. One can talk to God person to Person.
In this kind of intimate communication the believer can throw the self upon God’s mercy, being set free from sin, its guilt, and its penalty.
Call upon the precious, divine blood of Christ to release you from the veil’s bondage. That temple veil does not have to be sliced in half; it has already been sliced in half — centuries ago. The act has been finished — perfectly so. It is over and done with. No more veiled vision. No more trepidation. No more confused head. No more depressed heart.
See what God wants you to see. No need to doubt; it is time to believe!
Make God smile
Once you’ve accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sins, start each day with one goal in mind: to make heaven’s face smile.
If you really want to identify with Christ so your faith will have an eternal impact, then set your aim for life to make God glad. What better reason could you discover than that? Your faith in Him will do it!
God formed you. God can watch over you. God loves you. God died for you. God will meet you at the judgment seat. God wants to usher you into the fellowship of forever’s angels.
You are then to lay aside your selfish desire to live chiefly for God — the first of the Ten Commandments. The true God must be your God. Then act that out by making Him happy. What a delight!
So what does it matter what happens to you in this life if you make God’s face smile? Is not all else irrelevant? The animal crackers of this life crumble in your hand when you realize how foolish they are for life goals. But when you look head-on into deity’s countenance, then you’ve discovered the sharp vision. Take on the more precision vision.
Gift to God
Have you ever thought of what surprises you can bring to honor God? They are your gifts from a child’s heart. Jesus told us to become like children in order to enter the Father’s reign, because God truly needs a child’s surprises. He needs your childlike whimsies. They make Him smile.
What does it mean to you when your little one brings that hand-drawn picture — crooked lines and soiled edges, but placed lovingly in your palm for you to admire? It is the highest point in your day. You take that awesome art to a neighbor, showing it off as if you had just put down big money at the auction for one of the master’s renditions.
Imagine how God desires you to bring Him your salvation-faith drawing, stained edges and all. It does not matter. You will have made heaven’s face smile when you put aside your doubts, sins, worldly ways, and hopelessness. That is the impact that saving and ongoing faith has upon the unseen glory world.
Start making the eternal skies ring with holy laughter. It is time for you to stir up the self-giving — the saving faith reach-out — within your own soul, bringing on the broad smile of God.
In short, it is time for God!