Thursday, June 4, 2020

LHM Daily Devotions - June 4, 2020 - "Doubt"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


June 4, 2020

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

This is a really weird story. The disciples see Jesus risen from the dead; they talk to Him; they worship Him. Okay, that's what we expect. But then we hit these words: "but some doubted." Right smack in the middle of the biggest miracle that has ever happened, looking right at the risen Son of God—"some doubted." That's just bizarre.

And Matthew just leaves those words there. He doesn't tell us who doubted, although it looks like it was some of the eleven. Matthew also doesn't tell us what the problem was exactly. And what happened next?

The doubt just sits there like an inkblot on the page in the middle of the story. We know nothing else.
Except we do know something. We know that there are days when doubt comes to us as well, like an inkblot in our own story—something that messes up the faithful life we're trying to live, something that makes us uncomfortable, that seems out of tune with the Christians around us. It is there. We may try to hide it, but it's there. It worries us—maybe even terrifies us. What should we do about it?

Matthew sets us a good example. He tells the truth and doesn't try to hide anything. He admits that there is doubt, even here among Jesus' closest followers. We can do that, too. We can be honest when doubts come to us, and let our fellow Christians help us out.

Because look what happens next. Jesus comes to them—worshippers and doubters alike. He comes and does not stay away. And Jesus does not say, "Oh, shame on you, how could you possibly doubt Me after all I've done for you?" Just the opposite. Instead, He says to these people He loves so dearly, "This is what is going to happen next. God has given Me all authority, and I am using it to send you out to tell the world and make disciples. And I am with you always, to the end of time."

He says this even to the doubters. They have doubts—fine. They are still His disciples. The Holy Spirit will help them, and continue to work in them. Jesus Himself will be with them forever. This doubting episode is not the end. Jesus still trusts them with His work and has every expectation they will show up for it.

The same is true for us. If you doubt, you are still a disciple. You were baptized into Jesus, and He is not disowning you. There is no doubt you can possibly have that the Holy Spirit does not have an answer for. If you have doubts, go looking for those answers! Ask your pastor, your fellow Christian, the Lord Himself! You will not be the first person in two thousand years to ask your specific question. Get it out there.

And while you are asking and looking, cling to Jesus, who is holding on to you, too. You may have to wait for a complete answer to your doubt until the Lord returns. But you do not have to wait to have Jesus Himself present with you, caring for you, claiming you, and entrusting His work to you. He is yours, and you are His.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know when I have doubts. Please help me. And thank You that You are mine, and I am Yours. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Does doubting make you nervous? Why or why not?

2. When have you had doubts about your faith?

3. What helps you deal with faith issues most?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Does doubting make you nervous? Why or why not?

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