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April 22 – The joy of believing

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1

Scripture reading: John 20:24-29

Thomas wasn’t present when the resurrected Jesus revealed Himself to the other disciples a week earlier. When they told Thomas about it, he said he wouldn’t believe unless he had visible and tangible proof. Thomas was ever the practical skeptic. It wasn’t that Thomas had no faith, but I think it is fair to say that he had weak faith.

In John 11, when Jesus told the disciples that He was going to Bethany because of Lazarus’ death and they all knew this was dangerous because the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus, it was Thomas who said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” In John 14, when Jesus prepared His disciples for His imminent departure and said to them, “That where I go you may be also,” it was Thomas who said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

And here in John 20, the loving Jesus humbly submitted to this skeptic’s demands. All the disciples were gathered behind locked doors and Jesus came to them and spoke directly to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side…” And that was enough for Thomas who responds with a beautiful profession, “My Lord and My God!”

That’s when Jesus mentioned you and me. He said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” This means that if you are a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ and the gospel, Jesus says you are blessed!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit would work to increase your faith and that the knowledge that you are blessed would fill you with joy.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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