1 Brothers and sisters, I want to call your attention to the good news that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. 2 You are being saved through it if you hold on to the message I preached to you, unless somehow you believed it for nothing. 3 I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with the scriptures, 4 he was buried, and he rose on the third day in line with the scriptures. 5 He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve, 6 and then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once—most of them are still alive to this day, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me, as if I were born at the wrong time. 9 I’m the least important of the apostles. I don’t deserve to be called an apostle, because I harassed God’s church. 10 I am what I am by God’s grace, and God’s grace hasn’t been for nothing. In fact, I have worked harder than all the others—that is, it wasn’t me but the grace of God that is with me. 11 So then, whether you heard the message from me or them, this is what we preach and this is what you have believed.
Faith isn’t the easiest thing to lean on. Sometimes, it bends under the weight we try to put against it. Other times, it outright breaks.
It’s in moments like that when we need some reminders. We need to come back to the things we know. To put some stakes in the ground and re-establish the basics. It’s easy to get distracted by all the details of Christianity in its many denominations and manifestations, and lose the big picture of what faith does for us.
At its core, Christianity is about a man who rose from the dead. It’s about the power of God at work in the world, and in every human life. It’s about a hope that need not fear anything, including death.
When the church at Corinth was struggling to hold on to faith, to find hope and a footing in right and wrong, Paul had a simple message: remember that you are not alone. Through the ages, millions and millions have put their trust in Jesus, and had their lives transformed for the better. The power of Resurrection is real.
Still, even the most faithful among us can be challenged by difficult circumstances, by surprising losses, and by the fraying of relationships. If faith puts us in good company, so too do doubts. When you find yourself in that place, come back to the basics.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
How have you navigated seasons of doubt in your life? Do you know anyone who is going through one now? How might lessons you learned help them?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for the long line of witnesses that have come before us. When we struggle to hold on to faith, remind us that we are not alone, and that millions before have found comfort in knowing you, despite the doubts that threaten to separate us. When we feel ourselves drifting from trust to fear and anxiety, remind us of the truth of the Resurrection in which we stand. Amen.