Weekly Devotion – 11/4/22

Weekly Devotion with Bill Mayall

A while back, Pastor Will offered a sermon that touched on the subject of doubt. That got me to thinking of the many times Jesus spoke of the subject as recorded in the Bible. Two instances are among the most well known stories…Peter walking on water…until he became afraid he might sink (Matthew 14: 28-31); and, Thomas expressing his doubt when the other disciples reported that Jesus had appeared to them (John 20: 24-29). There are, of course, many other instances where the issue of doubt is addressed.  Thankfully, the passages on doubt are often linked with expressions of faith as well.

It strikes me that it is only natural for us to encounter instances of doubt on our life and religious journey.  We each encounter challenges, obstacles, unfortunate events, whether to ourselves, our families, and/or friends. Sometimes life seems unfair. We know from Matthew 5:45…his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. To paraphrase Pastor Will’s words from his sermon…Where is God in the midst of this dry season…?

I often wonder when I read the story of Thomas and his expression of doubt, of what my reaction would have been to hearing the other disciples declare, “We have seen the Lord!” Would I have jumped for joy and rejoiced and accepted their statement on face value? Or, would I have aligned with Thomas and said, “Really, that’s great, but…I need to see some proof.” After all, these same disciples who believed because they were there and saw the Lord, just a short while earlier doubted Mary when she attempted to tell them that she had seen the Lord after he had arisen from the grave.

Doubt is a very natural part of our faith. I believe we can find great comfort in thinking about how Jesus reacted to Thomas’ expression of doubt. He didn’t berate him; he simply shows him his scars and encouraged him to believe. And, what does Thomas do…he responds with those heart-felt words of faith…“My Lord and My God.” While we won’t get to touch His scars, we can take comfort in His words. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

One of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs is “Brilliant Disguise.” The last line in the song says, “God have mercy on the man who doubts what he is sure of.” Each time I hear those words I am reminded that sometimes our belief…our faith… is neither simple nor easy. But, this day, let us affirm once again what we are sure of…that we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, just as cited by Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, help us in our moments of doubt. Let us recall the words in 2 Corinthians 5:7: For we live by faith, not by sight. Let us reaffirm, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And let us not doubt what we are sure of. Amen.

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