Selected by reader, Ann, from South Carolina
Because I often feel weak in faith and doubt my salvation.
Scripture Focus: Matthew 28.16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Reflection: God of the Weak and Doubtful :: Readers’ Choice
Originally published January 28th, 2019
By John Tillman
Some of the details that ring the most truthfully from the scriptures regarding the resurrection of Jesus, is how long it took the disciples to fully believe and understand what had happened. They were incredulous. They did not trust their eyes that saw or their hands that touched. They couldn’t believe it.
We sometimes skim over the many mentions of the disciples’ doubt looking for examples of strong faith to emulate. We should emulate faith. This is the purpose of the great chapter of faith in Hebrews and the descriptions of faithful moments in the lives of many throughout scripture. But we shouldn’t overlook the importance of the presence of doubters among the disciples.
If God placed examples of faith in the scripture, he also placed doubt in the scriptures. Stories of faith come from doubt. When God shows us a story of the faithful, he points us to where he is calling us. When God shows us his doubtful children, he comes to where we are, puts his reassuring hand on our shoulder, and claims us as his children as well.
The ones who touched with their hands experienced doubt. The ones who saw with their eyes struggled to believe. Even up to the moment of Christ’s ascension into Heaven before their eyes, doubt was among them.
It was these doubtful few with whom Christ placed the responsibility of his most precious and vital mission. It is to this confused assemblage of rebels and failures, that Christ entrusted the gospel.
Oh, you of little faith…
He accepts and encourages you today. You who doubt his care. You who doubt his provision. You who doubt his presence with you. You who doubt that you are loveable, that you are valuable, that you are called, that you are his precious child… He calls. He loves. He holds out his hand, and trusts the gospel, to all of us doubters.
Christ did not allow Peter to sink in the waves when his faith was too weak. He will extend his loving hand to you as well.
He did not turn away the father who struggled to believe. He will not turn you away.
Thank God, that he is the God of the weak and the doubtful.
In doubt hold out your hands.
In weakness cling to him.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in your; show me the road that I must walk, for I lift my soul to you. — Psalm 143.8
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Judges 20 (Listen – 7:13)
Acts 24 (Listen – 4:11)
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Joel’s admonition is to go beyond public signals of mourning or confession. It is our heart that we must rend in mourning and confession, because God looks at the heart, not our outward appearance.