"The Struggle of Faith" - Wednesday, August 17th

"The Struggle of Faith" - Wednesday, August 17th

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed. Therefore, many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:27-31

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Today’s Scripture recounts for us a significant encounter between Thomas and Jesus that is loaded with rich benefit for those who read it. It had been eight days since the resurrection and all the disciples were gathered together. Jesus first appeared to them on the evening of the day he was resurrected, but Thomas was not with them. On that occasion they were inside with all the doors shut and Jesus appeared in their midst. Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you” and then he showed them both his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Later on they said to Thomas, “We have seen the Lord.” Then came Thomas’ famous reply for which he has been known as “doubting Tomas” ever since: “Unless I see in his hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

We identify with Thomas when we stop to consider our own struggle of faith regarding the reality of the resurrection. We also feel a bit of incredulity toward him when somewhere inside ourselves we say, “if I had been there, I would have believed the report of the other disciples.” Consider how Jesus handles Thomas. Jesus’ encounter with Thomas begins with an invitation for him to explore his wounds. This is not done to chide him for his struggle with faith but rather to help him overcome it. Jesus’ first invitation is immediately followed by a second: “do not be unbelieving, but believing. Jesus invites Thomas to step into the realm of faith in his living Savior and Lord. This is exactly what Thomas does as evidenced by his response: “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus does come back to the struggle of faith and doubting which Thomas had previously experienced by saying to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Perhaps Jesus did this for the rich benefit it brings to all of us down the line who were not on the scene to see for themselves and would also struggle with faith and doubt regarding the resurrection. Jesus says to us as well, “do not be unbelieving, but believing. He also says to us, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” The ending to our passage is so very helpful for our struggle with faith and doubting: “these (things) have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I hear you saying to me now, “Peace be with you.” You speak peace into my heart just like you did to the disciples. I know it is because you care deeply about my struggle with faith and doubt. I choose to abide in your peace and to be at rest within the realm of faith. Truly, you are My Lord and my God!” I believe in you with all my heart and soul. Amen!

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