One of the great mysteries of faith is why some people believe in Jesus and others do not. One trusts completely while another turns away. In Acts 17, Paul comes to Thessalonica and preaches in the Jewish synagogue.
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. (Act 17:2-4)
Paul was persuasive and some came to trust in Jesus, yet many did not believe. I recognize that the Holy Spirit, prayer, and human temperament all play a role, yet I am amazed that within one family, exposed to the same environment and influences, some members place their trust in Jesus and other members do not. The parents and church community express the gospel in word and deed, but not everyone hears and responds. It is like the seed in Jesus’ parable of the sower in Mark 4. Some seed falls on rocky soil, some among the weeds, some on the trodden path, and some on the good soil. Only the see in the good soil takes root and bears fruit.
Occasionally what seems to be the random nature of faith can be disheartening. My intellectual curiosity can twist me into knots. At those times, I “fold the wings of my intellect” and simply rest in Jesus. I trust in his mercy and grace. Jesus has touched and changed my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God has impacted my life. And I have seen other lives changed as well. With hope I continue to fling the seed of God’s Word, trusting in God and not myself.
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ, Romans 10:17
Lord Jesus, create in each of us a faith that bears fruit for your kingdom.