Why I Believe
Why would anyone believe in Jesus Christ? Plenty of people believe He was a great man, like Buddha or Muhammed. But why would people accept Him as the Savior of the World and the Son of God, as one who has power to resurrect the dead and redeem us from our sins (if there is such a thing as sin)? Why would I accept Him as my personal Savior, the Creator of the World, and the Great Jehovah?
|All pictures are by Carl Bloch, whose works are in the public domain. I do realize that Jesus probably had a much darker skin tone, but I still enjoy the scenes from Christ's life that these paintings depict.|
The first reason to accept Jesus Christ is because of the many witnesses who testify of Him. Since the world began, prophets spoke of a Messiah who would come to save us. The prophecies were so accurate that wise men could read the signs of His birth from the stars in the sky. Faithful Jews, like Matthew in the New Testament, could also recognize the fulfillment of prophecy in the various details of Jesus’s life. Others believed because of the miracles Jesus performed. They witnessed that Jesus turned water into wine, fed 5000 with a few loaves and fishes, healed the lame, caused the deaf to hear, cured the blind, and even raised the dead. After He was crucified, hundreds more witnessed that He was resurrected. Even in modern times, prophets witness of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith saw and spoke with Him, as did Lorenzo Snow and other modern prophets. Though many have not shared their most sacred moments of communication with the Savior, all modern prophets have witnessed that He is the Christ, the head of His church, and that He is preparing to return and reign on the earth once more.
But what about us individually? Can we trust that the prophets are telling the truth? Jesus wanted us to have our own witness that He is the Christ. This is one of the reasons He sent the Holy Ghost. Christ said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the father, he shall testify of me” (John 15: 26). The Holy Ghost testifies to all upon the earth that Jesus is the Christ. When we repent of our sins, the Holy Ghost sends us peace and comfort, testifying that our sins really are redeemed through the Savior of the world. When we learn about the Savior or hear His words, the Holy Ghost sends us feelings of joy and speaks peace to our minds. When we experience trials, the Holy Ghost comforts us, helping us to know that Jesus has borne our griefs and sorrows. When we lose a loved one, the Comforter provides peace and hope, whispering to our hearts that this life is not the end.
Another witness that I have of Jesus Christ has come from my commitment to follow Him. Although I have followed Jesus in my own imperfect way, making many mistakes, I have found that His teachings work. When I make a commitment to Him, He keeps his promises. When I serve as He did, I find the joy and peace He promises. When I choose to follow Christ’s example selflessness instead of the world’s selfishness, I am happier.
Part of the test of life is that we won’t know everything. We have to develop faith, which means we must believe even when we don’t have absolute proof. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). It is hard to explain how our faith can become evidence, but those who exercise faith soon come to see that Jesus blesses us after the trial of our faith. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).
On the whole, following Christ has helped me avoid a lot of troubles. However, Jesus doesn’t promise us enchanted, pain-free lives as a reward for our faith. Rather, He promises to support us through our trails. He says, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I have found, through my tribulations, that Christ can give me peace and strength to deal with whatever happens.