What do you believe? And why do you believe it? We have searched our hearts in times past to find a genuine answer to this question ourselves. This question arises in John 11. Jesus was conversing with his disciples and when he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep” (verse 11) they did not realize that he meant he had died, “they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe’” (verse 15).

The account of the drama of Lazarus coming out of the tomb “his hands and his feet bound with linen straps, and his face wrapped with a cloth” (verse 44) was surely an overwhelming experience for those privileged to witness it. This happened “so that you may believe”, said Jesus; that is, have the certainty of complete conviction in your hearts.

We believe in the return of Jesus – this is the only hope for a discordant, chaotic and troubled world. The troubles vary depending on where we live. Many troubles are man-made; others are natural disasters. Do we possess such conviction that we will it not be shaken when this world starts to be torn apart in the time Daniel was told about? It is the time immediately preceding the resurrection. He was told “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time” (Daniel 12:1). Jesus also predicts this; see Matthew 24:21-27.

Is our conviction of belief such that it creates complete confidence and sureness of mind? At the end of that marvellous chapter about the sureness of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), Paul tells them, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”.

Our personal experience is that the more we abound in the work of the Lord the stronger becomes our sureness of belief.