As we celebrate Easter, I remember several crucial moments in my life where my faith has been renewed during this time of year. I always try and remember those moments in my walk with the Lord, like the year that I sat in the Easter service plagued by doubts and the gospel choir sang "He lives!" and I believed it again.
Easter is a story of renewal, but for me, that exists inside of the normal cycle of doubt and faith. In my walk with the Lord, I inevitably experience both. As I was reading the children in the Jesus Storybook Bible, I was reminded that after Jesus rose from the dead He stayed with the disciples to reassure them.
"This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead."(John 21:14 ESV)Jesus appeared to his disciples, both men and women, after his resurrection many times so that they would be reassured. Jesus knew that they would doubt even in their faith.We too need reassurance. We don't believe as easily as we should. We feel alone, or unloved, or we wander from belief into doubt. John reminds us that we too can have reassurance:
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29 ESV)Easter is a time to remember the power of reassurance, and then renew our faith in Him. He died once for all, but He doesn't just come back once. He comes to reassure us, not just once, not even three times, but over and over again. He visits our hearts continually through the Holy Spirit, just as He visited with the disciples repeatedly to remind us that we should believe.
... these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.(John 20:31 ESV)
" And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)If we are to believe, we must continue to seek Him. Mary Magdalene was rewarded that day she went to the tomb, because even though she believed Him to be dead, she was still drawn to seek Him where he lay.
That verb "seek" isn't past tense. It isn't like the finality of death. If our faith needs to continue to grow, so that our doubts receed, we need to keep seeking Him. During Easter I hope you find this renewal of faith, reader. By continual seeking, our faith can find renewal again and again in the resurrection and life of Jesus.