April 14, 2017
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:29 (NIV)
“Why would he tell me he would never break my heart, and then he did? He lied!”
Her eyes brimmed with tears as she pleaded for answers I didn’t have. “People change,” I offered helplessly. “He probably meant it when he said it, but something happened.”
I floundered. The response wasn’t good enough as the right words eluded me. Then, in the wounded moments after her first breakup, my daughter declared she would never trust again.
Betrayed. I’ve been there too, and it marks you for life. I’ve had someone abandon a promise when it became inconvenient … choose a selfish path that left me standing alone, paying the price. The scars of betrayal creep around your heart, a little more each time, making it very hard to trust again.
So often, trust is like spun sugar, beautiful and fragile. We offer it like a delicate gift, only to snatch it back when it’s not honored, and hold it more tightly the next time. Why give such a valuable gift to someone who won’t care for it?
I wonder, Is that how the disciples felt the day Jesus was crucified?
They’d put all their hope and faith in Him, only to have Jesus submit to arrest, an unfair trial and death like a common criminal.
Did the disciples doubt everything Jesus had said in their three years together as they hid behind closed doors? They must have been filled with questions that all started with “Why.” Why did He leave us? Why did He make that choice?
Maybe you’ve felt that way too, as you’re left standing alone in a dark place. The other side of betrayal is bleak, lonely and hopeless. You can feel like things will never be good again. Certainly the disciples felt some of those emotions.
However, what the disciples didn’t know on that devastating Friday was Jesus hadn’t betrayed them. In fact, the opposite was occurring as they sat in despair. Jesus was honoring the hardest promise ever: Follow His Father’s path to the cross. Jesus wasn’t selfishly leaving them alone, He was selflessly leading them to the Father for all eternity.
In the moments that looked most hopeless, Jesus was working out our greatest hope. In the moments that looked darkest, Jesus was forging a path to the light.
And Jesus still does that for us today.
A friend once told me, “Don’t doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light.”
Faith truly is a choice. We can choose to doubt, or we can choose to believe. I’ve come to discover faith isn’t fragile when it’s placed in the right person. Faith in Jesus is rugged, strong and sustaining when we make the brave choice to trust Him.
Easter Sunday is proof. The Bible records that on Sunday, three days after Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus fulfilled His promise as He rose from the dead!
Imagine the shock, joy and hope that exploded when Mary saw Him first in the garden. Imagine how the disciples felt when they saw Jesus in person that evening. It was all true! He was faithful!
But there was one disciple missing that Sunday evening: Thomas. Thomas didn’t get to see the resurrected Lord, and He doubted the reports of Jesus alive. So one week later, Jesus came to the disciples again, this time to show Himself in the flesh to Thomas.
Thomas finally believed, after putting his fingers on Jesus’ wounds. And I’m pretty sure Jesus was thinking of us when He said these words to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Today might be your dark Friday. Hope may be lost. Doubt and fear might be all you have left to give. But might I encourage you to try and trust one more time?
Jesus wants to breathe a fresh wind of hope into your heart. It may look dark now, but He is forging a path to escort you into the light. And though you can’t see Him with your eyes, He invites you to trust Him with your heart.
Today is Friday, but Sunday’s coming. Jesus will hold your faith secure and show He is worthy of it now and forever. Jesus will keep every promise He’s ever made. He proved it then, and He proves it today.
Lord, thank You for being completely trustworthy. Help me take every doubting thought captive and trust that even when I can’t see You with my eyes, I can trust You with my heart. Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross so I can walk in the light of Your love for eternity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (NIV)
John 6:35, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (NIV)
John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (NIV)
If you have had your heart broken, but are willing to trust Jesus today, please leave a comment today. Just a simple declaration of your faith in Him is all you need to say. Jesus will know, and our team, and your sisters (and brothers) in Christ who read this devotion, will pray for you.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
If you have been hurt and betrayed before, what part of you feels damaged or dead?
Present that need to Jesus in prayer, and trust He will heal, restore and redeem every wounded part of you. Thank Him now for what you believe He will do.
© 2017 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 14 April 2017.