Faith is quite reasonable, and it has loads of benefits.
Just what does constitute as evidence for God or evidence not for God? We are all very aware of the battle between the two main lines of thinking. Are the beliefs of man in a God, just beliefs based on whims or deep seated fears? Are the beliefs that lie within a man determined only by the man? Does the man use things around him that he can latch on to in order to justify his own personal belief? Is there evidence that falls within the scientific study of the natural world? Is it really evidence or just scientists, who believe in God, that are just using facts and bending ideas to suit their beliefs? Does intelligent design have any merit or is it just intelligent men with designs to prove their point?
Or let’s turn it around a minute. Do men who do not believe in God use science and facts to logically explain away the possibility of a Supreme being? Are we all just products of Darwinian evolution, or do what we see, have a different explanation. Are there pieces of both sides of the argument, true? What ultimately is the truth about this matter? Do facts in science and from the natural world of existence lend any answers to these questions? I myself will say, yes they do. And if one would like to search them out it is possible. One will eventually find the essentials and the subtle points of truth that will ultimately lead one to the true answer.
But science and facts and reason can only lead one so far. There comes a point in one’s search, that one will come to the ocean shoreline of safe reason and factual information and must deal with one critical and overwhelming fact. A fact that will give rise to many questions, yet, unfortunately reason and facts, alone, will be both unable to supply the answer. It is because the answers to these questions can only be answered with a special kind of evidence. It is an experiential type of evidence. It is evidence that can only be accessed through the doorway of faith.
Oh, my, I mentioned the word, faith. As soon as some hear it, their reasoning and mental acuity starts to spin. The thoughts become fast and even will run like a fish on a line. Like a fish that has just realized there was something more there than just another free meal. God said in Isaiah 1:18 in the first part of the verse saying; “Come now let us reason together……God has no problem with us reasoning things out with Him. Yet, ultimately He is God, and we are His creation. You can see it in the New Testament where Jesus reasons with many people. In Luke 7:37-50, you will see Jesus reasoning with Simon the Pharisee who had been questioning and thinking that something was wrong with Jesus for He was allowing this woman to wash His feet with her tears, and was repenting in her heart.
You can see that Simon was thinking and judging and analyzing that the Messiah or the prophet who was to come, would never have allowed a sinner such as her, to touch Him. I would suppose, it appeared almost sensual to Simon as she kissed His feet. This must have made him feel very repulsed inside, that something so dirty, so filthy, could draw near and touch, the one who was claiming to be Israel’s Messiah. Who was here, to represent purity to His people and to Simon. Simon could not add it up, and his reason did not work for him in this setting.
Yet, there are times even within myself, that as I become more pure in Christ, it is easy sometimes to lift up myself in my own mind, and then to compare myself with others. I compare myself and see how far I have come in His holiness. When I see other people’s faults, I can easily be like that Pharisee internally, in Luke 18:11-14. But Jesus himself said that He as a physician did not come for those who are well, but for those who are sick Matthew 9:10-13. The flesh naturally thinks that one is better than their neighbor, and in the world, people openly do the dog eat dog, which is probably the deeper truth about competitive behavior in Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Based on the biblical account it does not even appear that competitive behavior existed amongst the animals until sin entered into the world. Green plants were to be for all of the animal’s food, as stated in Genesis 1:30.
This is one of the main reasons that reason can only be trusted so far. This is why we have to go beyond the brain, and come from a deeper place of the heart. Our hearts are where we truly live inside, not just in our reason. Jesus perceived where Simon was in his heart, and it was not in a good place. Jesus also perceived what was in the woman’s heart as well. Reason’s domain is of the brain, but belief, faith, and love are matters of the heart. You can see this right?
Even in human love of a man for a woman there is a very deep feeling that is associated with this, much deeper, than the casual debate around the campfire. While there may be a resultant camaraderie from the campfire conversation, it does not even compare with the depth of thought and feeling of love toward someone who is dear to them. Blood run’s deeper than water. Love run’s deeper than reason. This is why faith operates on a different channel than reason. Reason can lead you to the Jordan River, but it cannot get you across.
Reason, had most of the disciples scared to death when the boat they were in, on the Sea of Galilee, was almost lost. The winds, the waves, the water, and the sounds, all added up to the reasonable conclusion that they were all going to die. Then, Jesus showed up walking on the water. Their minds saw the visual demonstration of His supernatural or above natural ability. Yet, their minds thought, He must be a ghost, because normal people can’t do this, and that this, was another sign in that they must be close to death. This must be the “reason”, or “logical explanation” Matthew 14:21-33.
Even though they had been with Jesus, and had seen many miracles, their reasoning, brought about great fear. But Peter did something very interesting here. He saw all that was going on too, and when he heard Jesus say, “It is I do not fear”. He entrusted himself, notice I said the word trust, which is a heart thing, and trusted Jesus who looked like He had things under control, and I bet Jesus was smiling. Because of that little mustard seed of faith trust in Peter, which was not a full faith as of yet, there was enough faith in him to ask and to “test” with, “If it be you Lord, bid me to come”.
Peter was thinking inside, if this is really Jesus and not a ghost like it looks, and He really is overcoming the physical gravitational forces like I am seeing Him do right before my eyes, then perhaps we are not really in trouble and the circumstances are not quite as bad as they look. Everything must be ok, as He is saying, do not fear. Peter was beginning to have faith. He was not in fear like the other disciples were. I bet he was rather in a state of awe and amazement and wonder. This small step of faith allowed him to reason on another level, a freer level.
He began to think, wow, maybe He’s trying to show me something here. Maybe I could even walk on water too. That would be kind of cool. But, I need something more, I think I’ll ask Him if it’s really Him, and that’s when he asked; “If it’s you Lord, bid me to Come”, I’d wouldn’t mind walking on water too. Jesus said, “Come”. Now imagine yourself in the boat and hearing those words. What were the other disciples thinking now? Can you see them cringing in the raging storm looking and hearing all of this?
What was Peter thinking inside?
He was going from little faith to bigger faith. I can see him thinking, “I’m game”. Remember, Peter was a veteran at fishing and had been through many storms from before. I can see him looking at the waves for a moment and then looking back at Jesus and then bringing himself over the side. He was “out of his natural mind”. His reason and natural mind were temporarily ignored. He was going on Jesus’ word, whom He known for awhile now. Jesus’ word is what Peter was entrusting himself too.
That is when his faith or trust in Jesus’ word began to come alive. He could actually feel a buoyant power under him like he was walking on something solid, but there was nothing there to relate to the solidness feeling. I would even say it was like a warm kind of spongy kind of feeling, as he felt himself suspended over the water. The wave’s were kicking up over his feet, but he felt his body being “upheld” by the word.
He’d take a step, then another step, and then another, all while looking at Jesus smiling at Him, looking down at his feet in amazement that he was really doing this impossible thing. He took another step, and another, as he got further and further from the rational boat of safety. I can see some, if not all of the disciples standing up to see this now in wonder. There minds had dropped some in fear as well as they were trying to somehow process this real event in. I wonder if Peter looked back at them and there eyes caught each other’s.
After a short while, Peter kept on thinking, wow this is so amazing, I can’t believe I am doing this. But Peter wasn’t doing this, it was his trust in Jesus’ word that was allowing him to be suspended by the power of God. Reason was of no value here. In fact, as soon as Peter began to more and more, shift back into natural reasoning, he began to convince himself that he wasn’t supposed to be doing this. Back, and forth, were his thoughts, and as he began to do this, he began to sink in the water. This then, would feed his fears all the more and as he sank in his doubting thoughts, he continued to sink into the water. It got to a point that he really felt like he was in serious trouble, and said “Lord, save me”. He had slipped back into his fears. Jesus said, “Oh, man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Jesus then lifted Peter up, and they both walked back on the water to the boat. It should be obvious here that doubt, is a negative type of reasoning that contradicts faith.
This is why reason and scientific facts, and proofs, and historical facts, and all other types of facts, can only bring you to an understanding and a persuasion. Reason and facts and science can be used to cause one to deny Jesus, or worse than that, even reject Him outright. The big question is this. Are you willing to completely trust your reasoning, or your brain, to the point of excluding yourself from what Jesus’ has proclaimed to offer us. And what does He offer us?
Well, the list could go on and on, but I think I will keep it to a short list:
- He offers us the ability to become immortal and actually have immortal bodies.
- He offers us great peace, and joy, and even wisdom.
- He offers us great treasures in the afterlife, but he also promises an abundant life now as well John 10:9-10.
- He offers His help as a eternal Creator, and His Father’s help in this life in solving life's problems.
- He offers to show that the way of His love in us and through us, is a much better way of doing things than predominately doing things for me, number one.
- He offers blessings, gifts, and many kinds of things.
- I think this one is a great one. He offers friendship. Wow, why would God do that? Because God values, our fellowship and friendship. What can a child give to a father? Only his respect and love. I don’t think that is much to ask.
Unfortunately just like above in John 10:9-10, we have an enemy prowling around and lurking behind the scenes. Jesus was referring here to the devil when He spoke of the thief, who desires to steal, kill, and destroy. Do you see a lot of stealing, killing, and destroying, going on in the world? Yeah, but that’s with people. Yes, it is, and the devil will use people. He will put different kinds of “me first’, and “maybe you next”, desires in us. That just right there can cause a whole lot of trouble. Look at this verse and see if you don’t see this as true?
James 3:16 “For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.”
Oooops, it looks as if James, who lived 1600 years before Darwin, had the real scoop about the “dog eat dog” poop. Selfish ambition, can lead to evil and every vile practice. Why would that be? Well if I am into number one, and everyone else is number 2, or worse, I might have to step on a few people from time to time, in order to promote myself. I might have to talk about someone or put them down, so that I am not seen as less then them. After all, I am first. When it comes to the bottom line, it is you who will be on the bottom, not me.
While we might be friends during the best of times, what will happen when the pressure is on? If it’s between you and me, guess who it’s gonna be? Our reasoning gets messed up sometimes with life’s pressures on us, don’t they. Perhaps, just perhaps, Jesus means what He said, when He said “The meek shall inherit the earth”. Why will they be on top? Because Jesus said, the one who seeks after being the least in the kingdom will be the one who end’s up on top. That means it’s ok to love people. To serve them, find ways to up-build them, or even, physically bless them. It’s ok, not to be first, because in Jesus’ love economy, the last will be first, and the first will be last. Wow, what a paradise it would be.
Therefore, use your reason to end the confusion, and bring yourself to the conclusion; that it is ok to trust Him, and to receive Him as your Savior. To begin, to walk in a new way of life. Allow Him to teach you His way, by Faith. It is not a religious way. It is a blessed and holy way, full of abundance, and great benefits. Take a look at what David said about this:
Psalms 103:1-4 Amplified
1 BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and
2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits—
3 Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
This seems reasonable to me, how about you?