Today's verses are Mark 16:11,12: "But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After thee things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country." The women return to the disciples and tell them they had seen Jesus alive (see John's account of the resurrection, chapter 20, where the women actually see the resurrected Jesus). What was their response? Unbelief. Was it because of a prejudice against women bearing witness? Was it protecting their hearts from further disappointment, not wanting to risk believing in Jesus again? We don't know. They simply didn't believe.
Unbelief. It kills faith. It basically believes that God is not good, he is not in control of his universe and he is not working all things together for our good and his glory. Unbelief embitters faith. It sucks life from hope.
It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith continues to believe when visible eyes cannot see. Though we have not literally seen Jesus, we still believe in him and love him (I Peter 1:8). Though times may be exceedingly difficult and not understandable, we continue to trust in him.
How do we trust in him? How do we build faith?
1. By believing that God is good. His eternal character is good. Faith rests in a determined commitment to the accuracy of the character of God. God is good. That's the core of faith.
2. By believing that God is in control of his universe. It's either Christ or chaos. Either God oversees everything in his world or he doesn't. Faith tenaciously clings to the belief that God is in control of everything.
3. By believing that God is working all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Somehow, some way, everything that happens to us is overseen by a good God who controls all and is working it all for good because he is good. Faith believes this truth no matter what may be going on.
The resurrection of Jesus from the grave should be the foundation of all faith. It proves God is good. Death cannot contain him. It proves he oversees all, even death. It shows he even uses death for our resurrection glory!
The women tried to tell the other disciples. Initially, they didn't believe. But Jesus wouldn't give up. He continued to reveal himself to other followers, evidenced here by another appearance to two who were walking in the country after his crucifixion (see Luke 24 for a full revelation of this appearance). Eventually these two believed. Jesus continued to reveal himself to others, including the disciples. Eventually they too believed.
All of them garnered faith. Eventually they too believed that God is good, in control of his world and is working all things together for our good and his glory. This faith transformed their lives and the world.
Today, I pray your faith in his resurrected glory also continues to grow. It can change your life and world too.
Just believe! He is risen!