Friday, August 24, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Believe

Someone’s Rooting for Us
A devotional by Gail Kittleson

“While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true. He asked, “Do you have any food here?” They gave him a piece of leftover fish they had cooked. He took it and ate it right before their eyes.” 
– Luke 24:36-41 (MSG)

It’s impossible to center on just one verse today because we need the context in order to understand the monumental event in history that’s going on. What we see in this passage is the aftermath of Jesus’ suffering and death. We see resurrection. Along with that picture, God reveals His desire for us to believe.

If you’ve ever tried to convince a child to try some new delight, but they have to overcome their fear first, you’ll know the emotional set-up of this scene. It’s like teaching a child the joys of bicycle riding. They’ve learned a lot on their tricycle, but there’s so much more ahead...if only they can believe and plunge into this new arena.

The disciples had gotten to know Jesus on Earth, but they’d also seen him die on the cross. Now, he must convince them that, against all odds, He’s still—or newly—alive. Of course, this makes no sense to them, even though he prepared them in many ways for His resurrection.

We note in the passage how Jesus opened himself up. He said, “Look...touch...look me over...” He made himself fully available to his disciples. Then he appealed to their logical-mindedness. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.

What conclusion does that thought lead to? Okay, this is not a ghost...He ties this experience to another one in His history with these men—once before, they thought he was a ghost, when he came to them walking on the water. If not a ghost, then this must be...

A little later, He asked if they had any food and munched some leftover fish right then and there. It’s as if He couldn’t do enough to help them believe.

When I think of all the times I’ve tried so hard to believe, but still doubted, I don’t think I saw Jesus in this way. He acts as instructor and cheerleader in this passage. He knows it’s tough for his friends to embrace what’s happened, but he’s determined. We can come to believe little by little.

As we go through our trials, He’s on our side, like a watchful parent or another kind adult. He assesses every angle of each situation, guiding us to the kind of help we need. He’s not our enemy in the struggle for our faith. He’s our truest Friend. 

My Prayer: Help us, Lord, to realize you’re rooting for us, and willing to do whatever it takes to help us learn.

Author Bio:
When Gail Kittleson's not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit of her 1940’s novels, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. 

She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband like to spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.

Favorites: spending time with grandchildren, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

1 comment:

  1. I think doubt comes from being human. I know I shouldn't have doubt, yet there are times when it seeps into my thoughts. Stress begins, heart rate quickens, nervousness takes over. When I pause and pray and ask God for help, He answers in His way and His time. There is no doubt He loves me and I am thankful for His love.


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