It is having sufficient verification to establish a thing as true. Secular writers at the time of Jesus confirmed the Bible accounts as accurate and, while we can’t point to God and conclusively say ‘here is proof’, in faith we believe He exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb 11:6). Numerous people in Bible times (and since) have been totally convinced that God exists and His ways are to be followed, so were prepared to become martyrs for their faith, and others were put to that test (Dan 3:18, 6:6ff; Heb 11:32-40). Archaeological discoveries continue to verify the Bible's claims.
Gideon wanted proof or confirmation that his instructions were really from God and when Zechariah asked, “How can I be sure of this?” the sign the angel gave was, “You won’t be able to speak till it comes to pass” (Jdg 6:36-40; Lk 1:18-20). Doubting Thomas needed confirmation for himself that Jesus was alive. He wouldn’t rely on the words of others but wanted infallible, personal proof (Jn 20:20-29). Sometimes God graciously reaffirms His word but when God clearly speaks we should not question but step out in faith and do what is to be done without questioning, “the Lord working with [us and] confirming His word by signs that accompany it” (Mk 16:20). Oft times there will be a period of testing, a walk of faith, before the promise becomes evident.
The religious leaders challenged Jesus, “If you are the Christ give us proof”. Jesus explained that He had already done so, appealing to the miracles as a proof of His divine mission and authorisation by God (Jn 6:36, 10:22-38). In addition, after the resurrection Jesus showed Himself by many convincing signs – He was alive (Act 1:3). These same religious leaders were termed hypocrites because although they instructed others they did not follow their own advice, so there was no proof or reality in their beliefs (Mt 23:3). Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will also be” – a conclusive proof of our values (Mt 6:21).
God proved or showed His love to us, for even when we hated Him Jesus died for us (Rom 5:8). Many new Christians lack assurance or proof of salvation. They need to be grounded in the evidence of the Scriptures having a certainty of what they believe (Lk 1:4). Provided they have repented of their sins, surrendered themselves to His Lordship and are endeavouring to walk in His ways, they are His children, based on the facts and promises of the Bible rather than on changeable, unreliable feelings. Prove the Word of God is true in your life – live by its teachings and in fellowship with Jesus and you will receive the salvation of your soul (1 Pet 1:9). Paul knew whom he believed and was convinced he could entrust himself into God's hands (2 Tim 1:12).
No-one can deny the proof of a changed life
Gal 5:24). Is there a clear unmistakable manifestation of His power in my life? The man born blind said, “I was blind, now I see” (Jn 9:25). The proof that we are His disciples is that we display Godly fruit – that which reveals His nature. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love to another” (Jn 13:35). The fruit of the Spirit being outworked in our lives will result in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22,23). The fruit is the conclusive evidence, “for by their fruit you will know them” (Mt 7:16).
Financial blessings or poverty are not necessarily proof of God’s favour or displeasure. Nor can sickness or disability be attributed to sin (Jn 9:2-3).
See also: apologetics, archaeology, assurance, evidence, facts, faith, reality, truth.