To borrow a saying, if I was paid a penny every time someone asked me why God doesn't just prove he's there, I would be rich. I've been asked this a number of times recently - no money though.
Sadly, it seems when God does provide incontrovertible proof; the proof doesn't have much staying power with humans. The revelation seems to quickly wear off. There's so much evidence of this; from the Jews in the Old Testament forgetting their miracle working to God, to first hand experiences of people healed in prayer and then walking away from God.
Indisputable evidence is a poor motivator.
Consider; we have proof that we're changing the climate to the detriment of all, and we won't engage in any substantive action. No-one denies that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, yet few respond. We know our politicians are largely at the beck and call of lobbyists, yet voting apathy seems to be at an all time high. Drugs destroy, yet we take them. Materialism fails to bring joy, yet we are passionate for acquiring the latest offerings. And so it goes on.
Yet belief ... now belief, there's a strong motivator. Well, blind belief; not so much - that vaporises under pressure. Although belief rooted in fear; that gives rise to violent jihadists. But belief founded in hope and joy; now there one finds sacrifice and service that seems indestructible even in the face of death.
Why is that? Is this why God does not simply show himself in undeniable proof? For even Lucifer, in the very face of God, and knowing that he was not God, yet still chose to rebel. It seems this is not only a human condition.
Belief is our individual conclusion based on evidence presented. Belief cannot be taught, only discovered. And what we learn for ourselves is more valuable than any knowledge we're taught. Because its mine, I examined it, I reasoned it, I realized it, I articulated it, and so I believe it because I know it.
Of course I continually re-examine it. And when I come to the same conclusion (whether I like it or not), the belief gets stronger. There's a lot of beliefs I find uncomfortable and maybe wish were not true, but I can't deny evidence and still be honest with myself.
This Christmas, will you re-examine your belief?