Postmodern sages would have us believe certainty is only an illusion in the minds of fanatics and fools. Despite such aspersions, the human mind continues to seek after certainty because the human heart craves security. Certainty begets security.
Because we live in such uncertain times, we are prone to feel insecure. Every change of color in our National Homeland Security’s alert system ratchets up our sense of insecurity. We increasingly find ourselves interpreting the world by a hermeneutic of suspicion.
Our personal psychological makeup further compounds feelings of insecurity by predisposing some of us to doubt. Bitter experiences have conditioned others among us to the same end.
God understands the desire for certainty. Doubts don’t offend Him. I wish a seasoned saint had told me as much in my early days of following Christ. Like many new converts, I vacillated between confidence one minute and suspicion the next. How did I know for sure that what I felt, what I believed, was real? Maybe what I took to be the Spirit’s assurance that I was a child of God was really just my mind calming anxieties wrought by a belief in superstition and myths. How could I know for sure?
The Bible doesn’t give irrefutable proof for the claims of the Christian faith. (Otherwise, it no longer could be called faith.) The Bible does, however, substantiate many of its claims with a preponderance of evidence.
At the core of the Christian faith is belief in the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus Himself encouraged such a belief and often provided evidence for it. To Peter, James and John, He gave special proof when He allowed them to witness His Transfiguration.
Jesus’ Transfiguration Verified His Identity
We first read about this monumental event in
Years later, Peter recalled the event and what it meant for him, as well as us. (Read
How much historical uncertainty would be set aside if only an eyewitness had come forward? What if an eyewitness had looked over Lee Harvey Oswald’s shoulder, saw what really happened to Jon Benet Ramsey, or stood post in the Oval Office for 200 years of history? As significant as such eyewitness testimonies might have been, none of it approaches the level of significance of the eyewitness testimony that verifies Jesus’ deity. Our eternal destinies are inextricably bound in the reality of His deity.
God’s Word Verifies Jesus’ Identity
As sure as that eyewitness testimony was, we have a “more sure Word” from God. (Read
Who appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus? Moses, the Law-giver; and Elijah, respected by the Jews as the greatest prophet of all. Long before He was born in Bethlehem’s manger, Moses, Elijah and all the other God-inspired writers of Scripture testified of Jesus. To that Word we continually must give heed until the day of His return dawns and doubt’s darkness forever is erased.
We posses eyewitness testimony and an inspired record, and still we struggle with doubt. Like Christian and Hopeful in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, we moan and groan in the dungeon of Doubting Castle, pummeled by Giant Despair. How are we to escape?
Christian remembered he possessed a Key of Promise that would unlock all the gates of Doubting Castle. When he finally inserted it into the lock, the door sprung open.
Faith in the promises and claims of God is the key. “Faith is not belief without proof,” wrote Elton Trueblood, “but trust without reservation.” To paraphrase Elisabeth Elliot, “True faith goes into operation when there are no certain answers.” As we so often sing, “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world,” even a world as uncertain and insecure as ours.