The Resurrected Life: Day 4

Encounters with Christ: Thomas

by

Today's Text: John 20:24-31

Text: John 20:24-31

There was a period in my life when I identified with Thomas’ doubts. I read his story and was uncertain about the basics of my own faith. I questioned what I believed. Was Jesus who He said He was, and did He really rise from the grave? Has His resurrection truly brought me my salvation? Like Thomas, I wanted to see Him in the flesh and lay my hand on His scars.

It was a hard but good place to be. Wrestling with doubt and being honest about our questions can bring us to a deeper faith in a powerful way.

These days, I don’t spend as much time struggling with this type of doubt. By His grace, the Lord has somehow brought me to a more secure place, and I’m grateful that I no longer doubt as I used to. But as I read this story in John again, I realize it’s not that my doubting days are over, it’s just that my doubting looks different now.

I think we’re all “Doubting Thomases” in our own way. Maybe I don’t doubt my faith as much as I once did, but I doubt other things. Take God’s character, for instance. I’ve sometimes wondered, Is He really good? Does He care for me? He was faithful those other times, but will He be faithful this time?

Some days, I doubt the cross and its effectiveness in my life. I get stuck on questions like, Did Jesus really save me? Does His sacrifice still count, even when I continue to commit this same sin again and again?

I doubt Christ’s steadfast love and the permanence of His forgiveness. Surely He’ll give up on me this time. Surely I’m no longer worthy to be called God’s child. Surely grace is for everyone else, but not for me.

No matter where we are in our faith/doubt journey, we all struggle with unbelief. That’s what makes Thomas’ story so encouraging. Although we doubt and question and are fearful in different ways, the answer—the proof we need—is the same for us as it was for Thomas. It’s found in Jesus’ words:

“Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”
-John 20:27

I think it’s incredible that we serve a God who doesn’t shun us in our doubts but actually moves toward us in the midst of them, offering us the proof we’re asking for. In the midst of our unbelief, Jesus tells us to look to Him in order to believe again.

What do you need to believe in today?

Is it the basics of your faith? Look at the resurrection.
Observe the scars on His hands and put your hand into His side.

Is it God’s goodness? Look at God’s Son whom He sent to save us.
Observe the scars on His hands and put your hand into His side.

Is it His grace? Look at the cross.
Observe the scars on His hands and put your hand into His side.

Jesus’ scars are not only our proof—they are our hope for every doubt. They are the Truth that casts out every fear and lie.

Jesus comes to us just as He came to Thomas in that room with the disciples. He invites us to see and believe for ourselves, so that we may trust in the resurrection and what it means for us—and what it will mean for us, every day of our lives and after. SRT-ResLife-Instagram4s

  • Nikravesous

    Thank you for another great devo, SRT! I think I most often doubt God’s promises and thus, in a way, His goodness. I have been praying for years to become a mother and we finally got pregnant last November just to lose the baby in February. I had felt while pregnant like this was finally the answer to my cries. He used the miscarriage as a powerful force to draw me closer to Him but despite this new depth to my faith I often doubt His plan. Scripture says children are a blessing and I know it is God’s desire to bless HIS children, but I also know there are faithful, wonderful couples who remain childless. This is hard to reconcile and though I try to be ok with it, I often fear I will be one of the faithful barren. It has been a painful process of giving up my dearest hopes and dreams to God and trusting that He will cherish them as I do and I often slip. But His Word declares His goodness and I trust that whatever His plan is for my family it is better than any I could devise. Praise the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever!

    • Tina

      My heart breaks for you! Through the pain you have found your strength. Days come and go where I’m lookin for mine. God is good and always faithful. Even if I don’t understand what he’s doing all the time.

  • Kasey Summers

    “Jesus’ scars are not only our proof—they are our hope for every doubt. They are the Truth that casts out every fear and lie.” Love love love this.

    • Kylie Argo

      Amen Kasey!! I love this. Yes. Jesus died on the cross for us so that we wouldn’t have to. He loved us so much that he would do that. Like Kasey said, his scares aren’t just our proof that he did do that. IT IS OUR HOPE!!!!! I loved this.

  • I definitely see God provision in my life, but I’m really at a tough season in life and I just have such a hard time believing God is right. Like all the hard stuff I have to deal with everyday. If I give him my doubts what if he fails me. It’s brutally honest and it really upsets me. I have had so much taken away and I came to terms with all of the things that were gone, but I’m still so upset and uneasy about the effect it has had on me. And I was so faithful then. This was a really on point devotion for me. It’s scary. And I don’t know what I can to apply it. And in just struggling. Pray for me please.

    • Nikravesous

      Taylyn, I am praying God gives you His strength and His wisdom in this time of doubt. As the devotional said, we all go through times of doubt and it sounds like you have been in a rough spot generally, which the enemy loves to use to turn us from God and His goodness. God is from everlasting to everlasting and is the same yesterday, today, and forever; He promises in Scripture to answer us when we call to Him with our doubts, our needs, and our weariness, and that is as true for you now as it was for the apostles then. He is our Father and it is His delight to unburden us and draw us nearer to Him!

      Matthew 7:7-11

      “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
      “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

    • Roberta Lopez

      I hope this is encouraging to you. Jesus came as a babe to earth and lived a sinless life. He was perfect, as He walked and talked and lived among us on earth. Yet look at all of the torment that He endured. He was perfect, but betrayed by those that He loved the most. He was perfect and yet was blasphemed by those He came to serve. He was perfect yet was crucified. He came and lived and died, as a example for us, so that we too, might be able to endure suffering. We are all going to go through terrible things in life, but this world is not our home. We need to live each day, focusing on the cross of Christ and remember that even Jesus, the perfect one, suffered immeasurable pain while on earth. Our hope is in Heaven, not on earth. I would ask, how are you obeying Christ in your daily life? Are you sharing His glory with others? Are you telling others about the hope of heaven? Are you washing the feet of those around you in service to your king? When we take our eyes off of what is before us, by obeying Christ, our faith is renewed. I pray that the Spirit would relay this in a way that blesses and encourages you!

  • Michelle of Los Angeles

    I really love this reading ………. I have been weary lately due to some health issues but my faith is strong I do at times have doubts that God is not hearing me or forgiving me or loves me . Every ounce of my body tells He loves me but it’s the mind telling me to have these fears . Thank you so much for making me feel like a normal christian today .

  • Madison F

    I’ve never felt more like Thomas. It’s been months of job searching and I know His plan is greater than mine, I know His timing is perfect but I lose hope everyday that goes by. Definitely needed to hear this today.

    • Dara Perreira Balmores

      Hang in there Madison F. God will have the perfect job for you. I pray that He sends you the people or resources you need during this time. Of waiting.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Madison – Your response caught my eye because I just spent nearly 6 months without a job. I was scared and doubted God’s plans and my own abilities. Eventually the Lord did provide – just not in the timing I expected!! During that period of waiting, the Lord taught me to lean in to him, and showed me His love through my friends, family, and even strangers who surrounded me with prayer and helped financially. This time is difficult, but I pray that you will know you are loved dearly by a GOOD God, and that a job will come along quickly!

    • Rebecca

      I understand completely, Madison. Five years ago, I went through seven long months of unemployment, waiting, hoping, interviewing, being rejected, and doubting. But, I learned to lean into Him and seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:25-34). That time became the sweetest time with Jesus in my life. He taught me SO much, and turned my doubt into steadfast faith like never before. So draw close to your Savior. He’s there with you, ready to work in and through you to do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

  • jessiechatchat

    “Some days, I doubt the cross and its effectiveness in my life. I get stuck on questions like, Did Jesus really save me? Does His sacrifice still count, even when I continue to commit this same sin again and again?”

    This! This is why I’m reading a day behind. Thank you, Andrea.

  • Cristine

    I love that Christ does not expect us to just take the Bible’s word for it–that he is who he says he is. But he encourages every one to find their own testimony, ask and then receive her own witness that he is the Savior. He says, “Come unto me” and feel the prints in my hands. I think we all do that in different ways but what matters is that I come to the knowledge that he is my Redeemer.

  • This I must learn I certainly am a doubting Thomasina

  • Buttercup

    It seems like a catch 22 at times. God’s Word says we can approach Him anytime and ask anything. Yet if I question His love, authority, ability, concern or anything else I feel as though I’m unworthy of grace. I feel like He will become angry and turn His back on me. But I have to realize, daily, that my faith is not based on feelings. It is based on faith and God’s grace. His Word is what I must listen to, not some weird voice in my head. Isaiah 1:18 says “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” When my Father tells me to come and reason with Him He is letting me know it’s alright to ask questions because He has an answer. But I must take it to Him and seek out the answer thereby getting deeper into His Word and knowing Him better. I’ve been so angry at God before that I was shouting. I was accusing Him of things that weren’t true yet He didn’t turn His back on me. He showed me, in a very powerful way, who He was and what He could do. He comforted me and gave me peace. He understood my grief and frustration. He’s a wonderful teacher and I only hope to be able to emulate His behavior toward me when others accuse me of things that aren’t true. I love Him more every day because I know He loves me and really will never leave me. Thank you Father for showing me that my security as your daughter is what I have always wanted and needed.

  • Samantha

    It’s so cool to realize that wrestling with doubt can draw us closer to our Savior. <3

  • WorkInProgress

    I am so deeply grateful God does not shun me when I am full of doubts and anxiously question Him of His plan for me. Then I lose faith because I question my faith and know I shouldn’t, it’s a rabbit hole I allow myself to fall into, while knowing that is not what He wants of me.
    I so deeply need Him to grab my hand, place it on his side and shake me, and say 27 …”Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
    I forget He has greater plans for my faith, and this was a much needed reminder.
    Three times, three times this week I have asked, begged, pleaded God to just end my suffering, to end this life He gave me. Three times I was selfish, short sighted, and did not see any point in my suffering.
    So ironic considering the unfathomable suffering Jesus went through for me.
    I am tired, but God leaves me these shining little pieces to hold onto; to believe more deeply in Him and know He has a greater plan. How my innermost being longs to no one of whom believes, undoubtedly, without seeing.

    Please say a quiet prayer for God to shake me out of my numbness and darkness and to lead me and use my life for His Will and to believe and be grateful again.

    • Heidi

      Praying that you will be gently reminded of His unfailing love for YOU, that He will illuminate your path, that you will be held close in the grip of His grace, and that your heart will recognize His faithfulness and be able to respond with gratitude. May His healing hand be upon you and may you know that you know that you know that your life is a gift to this earth. Praying over you. You are loved.

    • AndreaHope

      Don’t give up! He is the author and finisher of our faith. I’ve been in those dark places and God has brought me through to times amazing beauty, love, and happiness. I would have missed all that. Sometimes when the suffering is so great and the darkness so black we forget that it is not always this way. Cry out to Jesus. He is with you in the depths. Prayers to you.

  • Jodi-Ann

    Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Blessed are those who dont know how God’s gonna,work it out but believe that He will!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I BELIEVE!!!!!!

    I also sooooooo relate to the commentary, but I am activating my WILL to believe

  • Paige Garrison

    I’m so in awe of such a mighty Savior. I am sobbing over this devotional, not just because of it’s amazing truth, but with how God perfectly placed this in my life as an assurance that He is listening and He is here. I’ve prayed and prayed for Him to take my doubt away and as soon as I do He shows me that He is here. He gives me a devotional about doubt. Two in one, really. I am filled with inexpressible and glorious joy. Jesus commands me to stop doubting and believe. That is what I will do in Jesus’ name.

  • This is well written and spoke directly to my heart! How often I am like Thomas, doubting an aspect of who God is, what He has done and that He loves me. I have been like the man in Mark 9 who cries out to Jesus, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” so many times…and in a lot of ways that is a great place to be because in your moment of unbelief you are believing God enough to ask for His help. That seems a bit ironic, but it is really profound! I am, along with Abbey, thankful that Jesus continues to show me that I am not alone in my doubts and that He is there constantly reassuring me of who He is. He has never failed me yet, and continues to pursue my unbelieving, doubting heart in relentless pursuit. Sisters, continue to look to the gospel hope we have in Jesus…His wounds have paid our ransom and have allowed us to live freely without fear and doubt. Praise the LORD!!

  • Life was definitely just breathed into me through Jesus showing me that I am not alone in these questions and showing me His love even when I am skeptical and afraid! He is truly amazing and unending in His love!! Praise!

  • Ahhh this speaks to me! I often feel like Thomas and have been praying to be brought to a more secure place. I want Jesus to meet me where I am at. I want His presence in whatever way He knows I will receive it. This has been a continued prayer of mine. I feel bad for having doubts, because I know He is for us.. not against us.

  • My doubts come in the form of me needing to pull myself (my plan) together BEFORE believing that God has already answered my prayers.
    This sounds confusing, I know. I don’t mean that I have to shape up and get my act together before I pray or before He will forgive me, again. I mean that in charting out my life, I feel I need to bring a grand, perfect plan to God and then wait for Him to bless it so that I can move forward. But this is actually a little backwards, huh? My process is linear: plan, pray, wait, move. But in my actual experience, God’s ways and plans are so much more fluid and usually begin with me praying and then moving in faith simultaneously.
    Because the truth is that God holds my life in His hands. He knows all of my days before they come to be (Psalm 139:16). He is not waiting for me to bring my best plan to Him. He is encouraging me to believe Him as I walk in faith and love. Because I do not always have the perfect plan right before me, and if I wait around for it to come to me then I will miss my life. Instead, I can trust His truths over each day of my life because He HAS already answered my prayers. I am already delivered through Christ, the rest is just pure grace. And concerning my daily prayers over my plans, they are already answered too. The answers may not be what I expect, hope, or imagine and they most certainly may not come on my own time – but I know that He works all things out for my good (Romans 8:28). So I can rest securely in Him, in His great love and unending grace over all of my days.
    But for those days, when doubt and fear try to overtake my faith… I can bring my doubts – of “what if” this or that and “why” this or that – to Him. I can pray through them with Him, realizing that my best plan is always going to require surrender, of letting go of control of my perfect plans or lack of plans. And then I can leave those doubts and fears, those uncertainties and unknowns there, with Him, at the foot of the cross. Because it is there that I receive His mercy and abundant grace. My best plan is not one that I carefully and perfectly lay out. Jesus is my best plan. Walking with Him is the perfect plan.

    • Caitlin

      Thank you so much for this. This is something I have been struggling with this week especially wondering when or if my plans will come to fruition but over the week I’ve come to realise if they are God’s will they will happen and they will happen in His time. He will give it to us when we are ready and not before, I just have to wait on Him and serve him in the waiting!
      Thank you for this encouragement today!

      • Beverly

        Yes, resting in His goodness and grace as we go about our days. Thanks for sharing, Caitlin!

    • Alicia Edmundson

      This is so me. My doubts definitely come in the form of my anxiety, and my anxiety is usually because I worry that my plans will not pan out. The past few months I’ve had the most amazing experience, though. Every prayer (every one!) that I have prayed to God about and specifically said to Him, “I’m leaving this in your hands. I know I cannot control it”, has been answered. I’m learning to let go of that anxiety and be more trusting of His plans for me! It’s been so liberating. I know there will be times when I still feel overcome with worry, and I know that He will forgive me for those moments when I ask, but I’m trying to remember to ALWAYS leave it in His hands.

      • Beverly

        I love this part of your prayers: “I’m leaving this in your hands. I know I cannot control it.” Thanks for sharing, Alicia!

    • Michelle

      Ohh, your words spoke straight to my heart! I have discovered I am a secret control-freak-planner… trying to nail down every last hypothetical “what if” detail, before anything ever comes to be. And it is such a waste of time, because no matter how much I fret and plan, life shows up completely unrehearsed. God has really been revealing to me lately that I do this out of fear and distrust, out of selfishness. Your comment, Beverly, is such a timely reminder for me to fall back into a life of surrender.

      • Beverly

        “…no matter how much I fret and plan, life shows up completely unrehearsed.” Yes, love this, Michelle! The life of surrender is so good.

  • Caroline

    This devotion came at a good time…as many devotions do. Today has come the doubt of God’s faithfulness. Three years and three weeks after my dad passed away from cancer, I find out that my mom now has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is very easy to claim how unfair this diagnosis is, and even easier to cry to God saying, “Why would you let this happen? Why are you not being faithful to my mother, especially when she has such great faith in you?” However, today I have been reminded God is still here, he is still answering prayer, he cares deeply for my family, and has never left us. A little good news and a comforted mother show God has and always will be faithful to our family. Thank you for your words today, and for helping me remember to evaluate my doubt.

    • Carly B

      So sorry to hear your news. Praying for you and your mom that you know God with you and see his faithfulness in your situation.

    • Abbey

      Praying for your family! Your honesty about your situation is very encouraging, thank you!

    • Danielle I

      Caroline, I am studying to be a Radiation Therapist and have seen many, many patients and seen their pain, hope, faith, and genuine fear. My mother-in-law just got diagnosed with breast cancer and it was incredibly eye-opening for me to suddenly experience more closely exactly what it is like to be in the patient’s shoes. Being diagnosed with cancer is never fair, nor easy. However, I want to tell you that despite your family’s experiences, this diagnosis does not mean the end. It can mean the beginning. It is all about your faith, optimism, and overall attitude. I am so sorry you and your mother are going through this, but keep on praying and keep on lifting your mother up emotionally. It’s not an easy road, but this is a diagnosis that she can beat. Have faith in her doctors, radiation therapists, nurses, and other care providers. God bless!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Lifting you all up

  • Mary London

    Yes & amen. Thank you!

  • I love that Jesus doesn’t shun us when we doubt him. I used to feel like doubt was such an unforgivable weakness A weakness that I could never talk about, let alone bring before God. Now I see that God became man so that he could be a God we can relate to, that Jesus walked this very earth and knows how I feel. God is bigger than my doubt. It doesn’t shock him and he can deal with it. It does no good to pretend like it’s not there and hide it from God because he already knows and he wants to use it to get closer to me.

  • I loved this reading today! This was actually a big part of my pastor’s Easter sermon. Jesus is always there with us and is patient with us through our “doubts”!

    -Ashley
    messymilestones.com

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us, Ashley! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Carolyn Hutson

      This was a big part of our Pastor’s sermon on Sunday too. He spoke about the evidence of the Resurrection. Thomas was really an inspiration because he didn’t act like he didn’t have doubts. He was truthful in his doubts. So many times as Christians we think we have to hide our doubts from each other and be that perfect model of a Christian when all God really wants is for us to be real. Real with Him and real with each other!

  • I often find myself doubting the big picture — if the gospel really did happen. It’s terrible I know but sometimes it seems a little far fetched.
    Today was a reminder to turn to God in these times of doubt. “Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
    When I reach out to God he renews the steadfast spirit within me and reminds me of the realness of his Word.
    If God can create me and you to have 10 fingers and toes and for the earth to give us food and air, and for rain to fall from the sky, then why can’t he also save our souls by the blood of Jesus?
    Stop doubting and believe.

  • I think it’s incredible that we serve a God who doesn’t shun us in our doubts but actually moves toward us in the midst of them, offering us the proof we’re asking for. In the midst of our unbelief, Jesus tells us to look to Him in order to believe again.

    These words really jumped put at me as I read this. It verbalized my own personal experience! I can attest these words our true ladies! He has indeed moved towards me in the midst of my doubts. He has indeed shown me Himself. He has indeed turned my face to look to Him and helped me to belive again!

  • I long to be one who would believe confidently, with NO doubts, who would never throw Jesus’ sacrifice for me in his face. And yet…
    He knows. And he loves. And he accepts. When I come to God with all of me, all my fears, all my doubts, all my desire to be more like HIM…he meets me there. I am gathered up in his arms. What great love is this, that KNOWING the times I’d fail, the times of doubt and unbelief, he’d make a way for me to come. A way to try again. And that no matter what, he loves me and HE IS FAUTHFUL to finish what he started – making me in his image!
    “Listen, oh daughter…the King is enthralled with your beauty…”
    Always. I choose to believe the truth rather than my feelings. I place my hope in him.

  • LOVING the “Reflection” portion in the Resurrected Life study book! I would love to continue to see more of these in the future!
    1. What is Jesus doing in this passage?
    2. What is Thomas’ statement of faith in V. 28?
    3. What does each part of Thomas’ twofold statement mean?
    4. What doubts do you have that keep you from embracing the resurrected life?
    5. Read vs. 30-31 again. What is Jesus asking you to see and believe today?

    • Gina

      I’m enjoying the questions, too! Today, I’m struggling with with the third (2-part) question. Maybe I’m over-thinking it? “What does each part of Thomas’ twofold question mean? He said “My Lord and my God!” If you don’t mind sharing, how did you answer that question?

      • Liz

        Hi Gina! I look at it as if Thomas is finally understanding that Jesus is not just “Lord” – Christ as fully man, but is also fully God. I picture him encountering Jesus, seeing the evidence of his marked hands and side, and finally getting it…”my Lord AND my God!” Thomas finally understands that Christ is who he’s said he is this whole time! Hope this helps :)

  • Lately, I’ve been doubting because I’m afraid that sometimes, I put my feelings before God’s plan and it’s making me blind to his will. And if I don’t follow his will because I cannot see, will he be angry at me? How do you confront that? Thanks in advance.

    • Bonnie

      Alex! I combat those feelings with 2 truths!
      1- Jeremiah 29:13 – “you’ll seek me AND FIND ME when you seek me with all your heart.” I seek the Lord with everything I have, daily!
      And 2- Job 42:2 msg – “I’m convinced you can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.” I trust that God’s in control and that no matter what I do I can’t mess up his plans.
      Hope that’s as helpful for you as it has been for me. :)

    • Jeanne

      Hi Alex!
      I would consider a few things. Are your feelings leading you in an ungodly direction (meaning, are they leading you to do things that wouldn’t honor Christ, such as sin)? If not, keep in mind that God speaks to us in different ways. I know for me I can “hear” Him best by how I feel. Not that I’m placing my own emotions before Him, rather that I know He places things on my heart until I notice. Perhaps the overwhelming feelings you’re experiencing were placed there by God, and that’s how He’s communicating with you!
      God is acutely aware that we go through various seasons in our life and faith, and isn’t angry at you for that. He wants you lead you in your darkest and brightest moments, and will never ever shut you out. When we start to feel distant from God, it makes it easy to give up and walk away. However, He’s not truly distant, but rather calling on us to call on him (like he did to David– read Psalm 13). Come to Him everyday in prayer and praise, and you will hear in response.

      “But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” – Isaiah 40:31

      Blessings to you!

      • Alex

        Thank you Jeanne! It’s a struggle, because I have a personal situation where in order to protect myself, I have to behave in a way that makes me ashamed and I realize now how much God would want me to do otherwise. I’m stuck between taking care of myself in a toxic situation vs. doing what God would want. I’m going to work on it everyday- thank you for your post :)

  • Caroline

    I love that the Lord calls us “blessed” for believing in Him!!! So honored that He admires our faith!

    “blessed am I that the Lord WILL fulfill His promises to me” Luke 1:45

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • It struck me as so amazing that Jesus comes to us and helps us find our faith in a way that makes sense to us and speaks to our own hearts.

  • The disciples repeatedly “don’t get” the truths Jesus spoke of. They have doubts, fears, confusion just like we do. But I love the patience of Jesus and that he meets them in their humanity and takes time to explain or even show (as in Thomas’ case). He is a gracious and patient father! My prayer is to grow in my faith and not have to learn things the hard way or ask Him to prove things to me. I want to know who He is and act in simple obedience.

  • This is such an awesome story! I am ALWAYS doubtful and always question am I still in gods eyes, does he still love me? I feel since I have fallen short of the relationship I used to have with Jesus he is mad at me. So this really opened my eyes and made me realize NO MATTER WHAT God will always place his precious grace and beauty in front of my eyes. This is just Jesus calling me back, and I am o ready!

  • BohoBetz

    This Speaks to me today. I don’t doubt God, or doubt what God can do. But I’ve been feeling that I don’t deserve my prayers to be granted. We’ve been struggling with infertility for 7 years. And yesterday I found myself completely low and feeling like maybe it isn’t God’s will that I get to be a Mom. I need to remind myself that God loves me and completely forgives me and isn’t mad at me or withholding a child. It’s just 7 years of waiting and praying is starting to wear on my Heart, like what if it isn’t his will? But that’s giving up…. I need to Hang On and be patient and Believe that he loves me and will grant my prayer because of his Goodness, not withhold it because of my lack of worthiness… The unknown future of it wears on me

    • Rachel Wagner

      My heart aches for you, and I pray that the Lord gives you a healthy baby and pregnancy! It’s so difficult to trust when your heart tells you you’re a Mom but you have no child to love. We have lost two babies in early miscarriage and it was such a painful season filled with doubt. Praying for you. I wanted to share some Scripture that ministered to me during that unknown time of waiting/doubting. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jer. 31:3b

    • Caro

      BohoBetz I am with you… I have been also waiting for 10 years now to become a mother, going through the ups and downs, denying the situation, crying, and even revising my life if I ever have done something that bad that now he is punishing me for, but those thoughts DO NOT COME from God dear friend. The enemy is an expert messing up with our brains attacking the character of our God. He loves us. He created us with a purpose that goes beyond maternity. We are precious in His eyes, and He is a faithful God.

      For the sanity of my mind, I decided to believe that He is good whether he gives me a child or not and yes it was a painful decision to make and while I mourned, I allowed him to console me and comfort me with His love and He did. This decision helped me to put this dream in his hands, and enjoy life no matter what He decides at the end. As I observed my life during this season, the flexibility I have for not having kids had allowed me to enjoy His presence and grow in my faith like never before. It has helped me to strength my marriage, to serve the church, serve my step-daughters, serve women, travel to mission trips, enrolled in a Master degree and finally, consider adoption, an option that I would have never considered if I had a child of my own. I am not trying to tell you what to do, but your life is in His hands and He is a good God who cares about you more than you can think or imagine and it is my prayer for you that He will reveal the purpose of this season in your life because He loves you, and He is a covenant keeper.

    • Jodi-Ann

      lovely

  • I can definitely relate to Thomas. There have been many times in my life, particularly in times of struggle, where I have doubted whether God even cares what I’m going through since it pales in comparison to the struggles of those who are starving, or homeless, or battling diseases. But it’s not about comparing struggles. Jesus is who He says He is and I have life in His name, whether I’m wrestling with doubt or not.

  • “PUT your finger here, and SEE my hands; and PUT out your hand, and PLACE it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
    Maybe this is too obvious, but this devotional helped me to really understand that our faith is not a passive attitude of simple waiting but a clear action that bring us out of our comfort zone.
    Jesus helped Thomas cross the line from unbelief to belief by asking him to DO something that will test his unbelief. Jesus understood that Thomas needed proves to believe. He did not rebuke him but instead HE encouraged him to do whatever was necessary for Thomas in order to believe. I can see that in my life as well, in his mercy He always challenged me to COME and TEST my unbelief because that way I can truly brake my rigid thinkings and assumptions and experience his power, provision, protection, healing, and so much more in a new level. Praise Jesus for his steadfast love and faithfulness!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Love this, Caro! Thanks for sharing your heart with us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I think it’s interesting that Jesus waited 8 days to show himself to Thomas. Eight days of Thomas doubting, 8 days of him listening to his fellow disciples and wondering if they were telling the truth….hoping against hope that they were. Those must have been hard days for Thomas. Jesus knew what Thomas needed and wanted yet He waited. I’m not sure why but that wait seems important because there are times in my life when I feel like I need and want God to show up in a big way to prove or remind me that He’s real, that He hears, and that I matter….and He waits. He’s always there of course, but sometimes He seems silent or distant. Reading this devotion leads me to believe that maybe the wait has purpose and just maybe part of the purpose is to prepare my heart and mind for His answer.

    • Rochelle

      I didnt even think about it like that. Great perspective, thank you for sharing it.

  • This is exactly what I needed. I think it’s amazing how relatable Thomas is yet so many paint him as being in the wrong. Christ doesn’t strongly rebuke him, but as you pointed out goes toward him in his doubt. But I really loved how Christ knew exactly what he needed. He addressed Thomas’s doubts (Here, look at my hands) He knew what Thomas’s trouble was, and He knows what each of our troubles are every day. He wants us to believe and we are blessed when we do, but He isn’t shocked by our doubt.

  • churchmouse

    It seems to me there is the questioning of Faith that comes from knowing ones sins and trying to grasp God’s grace and forgiveness. But I see Thomas here as doubting in a different way. He presents his doubt as “if God doesn’t present Himself in this manner, then I will never believe!” I want to say, whoa Thomas, chill a minute. You are no stranger to Jesus. You are one of the 12. You’ve seen the miracles. You’ve heard the testimonies. These fellow disciples are telling you they have seen the Lord! Does all this mean so little? I sense an arrogance. A defiance. It’s your way Thomas, or no way. That’s a dangerous position to take before a holy God. For eight days, Jesus does not appear to Thomas. I would think Thomas would dismiss the whole Savior idea and abandon the group. Go on his own way. But after 8 days, where is Thomas? With the rest of the disciples, indoors. Being identified as a disciple, at this time, in Jerusalem, was a dangerous place to be. Yet there is Thomas. What drew him to stay if his doubt was so strong? Perhaps because what was offered outside those doors offered no hope at all. Thomas couldn’t completely deny and let go of what he had seen and heard when he walked with Jesus. And then Jesus appears-even though the door was locked. Jesus tells Thomas to take the peace that comes with knowing for sure that Jesus is who he said he is. No condemnation. No saying “all of you disciples get my peace except for you, doubting Thomas.” Nope. Jesus meets Thomas ‘ specific need. He meets him where he is. And so He is with us. Jesus knows our doubts and our questioning. And every day, He is working to do what it takes to draw us close and keep us there. A locked door can’t keep Him out Our doubts can’t keep Him away. Oh how He loves us!

    • Autumn

      Amen! Oh, how he loves us! I read this scripture in an application study bible. There was a passage under this scripture that said, “Despite his skepticism, Thomas remained loyal to the believers and to Jesus himself. Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a prideful lifestyle that doubt harms faith.” I really liked that perspective. It went on to say to let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answer.

    • Rochelle

      That’s so good! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodi-Ann

      wow you wrote a whole other devotional

  • This is so timely for me, doubting my Salvation experience, if I prayed the right words or knew enough. Jesus saw and heard my heart seeking Him. That is what matters.Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved! Romans 10:13
    Thank you for sharing this! I am so thankful to have such a loving and gracious Savior!

  • Amanda Mae

    Thomas’ candor in admitting his struggle yet sticking with the other disciples, still clinging to whatever hope was left, was very relatable to me. I hold this tension more often than I’d like to admit – yet how beautiful and comforting it was to witness God’s grace towards Thomas! Jesus knew what he needed to believe and actually gave him that! So grateful for Jesus’ mercy and patience towards us too.

  • Such a great reminder. This season of life for me has brought some doubts and “why God” type questions. It’s a good reminder that the cross is proof and my
    Hope that He hasn’t forgotten about me or isn’t listening or caring. I needed this reminder today. Thank you.

  • Nadine Would Say

    My church did a sermon this past Sunday on this text. I enjoyed it and it led to some really good conversation at my community group as well. If you want to listen, go to wchurch.ca to listen (Vancouver campus). Maybe it’ll encourage you in your faith journey.

  • Mary Joe

    “I doubt Christ’s steadfast love and the permanence of His forgiveness. Surely He’ll give up on me this time. Surely I’m no longer worthy to be called God’s child. Surely grace is for everyone else, but not for me.”

    Yes.
    This echoes, exactly, my thoughts and feelings of late. I identified more with Judas than anyone else in the Easter story this year. Which is why every time I saw, or think of, Jesus’ love and compassion, even for Judas, I am moved to tears.
    May the Lord bring me through this time with a deeper sense of healing from my past -in some ways, my present- than before.

  • How absolutely beautiful that Jesus – God incarnate who could have instantly…supernaturally…removed those scars, instead chose to keep them to prove to a doubting world that He is who He says He is. “I am.” Just think!: it may well be that the only man-made things *in Heaven* are Jesus’ scars! What great and unfathomable love He has for us! Praise His name!

  • I love the fact that Jesus is not looking for the “perfect people”. Sometimes I feel like Christians are labeled like they have it all together and are better than everyone else. I guess it somehow comes off that way, but it shouldn’t, because Jesus is all about those who are broken. He chases after the ones who are sinking in sin and carries the weary in His arms. I am so beyond thankful for that, even though I don’t fully grasp the depth and width of His love. He never gives up on us, even in our doubts and fears. We put our trust in Him not because we are instantly made perfect, but so that He can perfectly forgive, forget the sin, clean us, and embrace us, even though we sin and continue to sin. All out of His love and grace towards us. He makes me new. He makes me brave. He is with me on this journey. Lord, help me always look to you and be reminded of your cross, your love, everyday of my life.

  • It is so encouraging to hear of others doubting. Since it seems to come in seasons of our lives, it can feel like I am the only one who has doubts, and that is a lonely place to be.
    I’m praying that each of us can find the Peace that Jesus offers today, in the midst of doubts, of busyness, of anxiety, and of discontentment. His Peace surpasses all.

  • Brittany

    I’m in a place with many unanswered prayers and sometimes doubt who God is, if He hears me, and if He loves Me still. So thankful for His Word this morning and the truth that has helped my disbelief!

    • Rachel Wagner

      That’s one of the hardest places to be. Praying that the Lord ministers to your heart and meets with you even in the waiting – even in the silence.

    • Jodi-Ann

      He doeeeeeees! Believe and live it even if you don’t feel it

  • I am so flawed. I can identify with Thomas and today’s devotional very much. I often think “well, this is it. I’ve asked for so much, there’s no way He’s going to listen” or “how can He continue to stay with me given my weak nature and mind?” Where’s the evidence? Where’s the proof He won’t abandon me?

    And here is the basis of faith. To believe without seeing. To trust. To know our Father will never leave us, even if the circumstances are dire. If we let go and give Him everything, including the doubts, He will never forsake us. And that no matter how challenging things may be on earth, there is paradise after this.

    http://youtu.be/qv-SXz_exKE

  • It has really struck me in this series so far how Jesus meets people exactly where they are: Mary Magdalene in her grief, the disciples in their fear, the people on the road to Emmaus in their confusion, and Thomas in his doubts. He never criticises them, just comes alongside them, and his words are the same in almost every situation: “Peace be with you.” His presence is enough to deal with their grief, fear, confusion and doubt and give them peace.
    Praying that we will all know his peace today, whatever situation we are in.
    And thank you so much to those of you who have been praying about my anxiety over the last couple of days. I can’t say it’s completely gone but it has been significantly better over the last couple of days. I really appreciate all your prayers and words of encouragement.

    • Leah

      I started having anxiety in January-severe. Turns out my b12 is extremely low. Maybe check yours….I’m seeing a specialist now to bring it up. Prayers

    • cindy

      So relevant. How very near He always is….In our grief, confusions, fears and doubts. ..He is always within us.. Thanks for your thoughts today Carly. Peace to you sister. Take a deep breath..He not only made the air, He is our breath of Life… within.

    • Michelle

      He never criticises them, just comes alongside them, and his words are the same in almost every situation: “Peace be with you.” His presence is enough to deal with their grief, fear, confusion and doubt and give them peace.
      Yes!

      • Autumn

        You are so right: he met each of them exactly where they were and didn’t condemn any of them. We have to remember that Jesus walls with us, too, during every stage of our lives… through our fears, doubts, and confusion too! I will be praying for you and your struggle with anxiety. I struggle with it as well.

    • Rachel Wagner

      Love your thoughts. And yes, His presence is enough! I struggle with anxiety/panic attacks as well and it can be so debilitating. Praying for you!

    • Beverly

      Carly, thanks for pointing out this glorious thread in each of these stories – Jesus meets us right where we are! There IS such peace in that truth. Grateful you shared this.
      Also, I understand anxiety. It is uncomfortable and gnaws away at my joy. In the past, I viewed it as a ‘bad’ thing because didn’t it mean that I wasn’t trusting God enough?
      But I read a book recently (“The Anxious Christian” by Rhett Smith) that looked at anxiety from a different perspective. It was refreshing. Having always seen my anxiety as something I needed to get rid of, instead I am learning to lean in to it and listen to what it might be trying to tell me.
      I think it is in my anxious times that I seek Him most and draw nearer to Him. Because if I’m honest, my relationship with the Lord grows when I seek Him THROUGH my worries and fears. I’m not lacking trust, I’m actually growing a greater trust IN Him when I seek Him during anxious times. Though often through tears and frustrated prayers, I know He hears me because His character is true and steadfast. He is my hope even when I worry.
      Praying for you, Carly. He may be stirring your heart to see something through it all, or to draw you closer to His heart. Praying peace for you today.

      • Carly B

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Beverly, and for your prayers. I agree that God can use our anxiety to teach us and to cause us to draw close to him and seek him more.

      • Jodi-Ann

        sooooooo correct!!!

    • Carolyn Hutson

      THIS!! Right here! Such truth! Jesus meets people exactly where they are!! Amen, Sister!! Seems to me like you are already growing through your anxiety for God to show you these truths! Cling to Him and let your anxiety drive you to Him. He alone can truly bring us peace!!

    • Carly B

      Thank you all for your prayers and advice. Autumn and Rachel, praying for peace for you too!

    • Jodi-Ann

      my own has diminished significantly with me making some forgiveness calls this week

  • So encouraging! Thankful that even in our doubts – God is there.

  • Good morning! I have always related to Thomas in this passage of scripture. I am so thankful for a Father who does not shun me for being weak and human. He is so good!

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