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Sample from Spring 2017 Newsletter:

Pray for Faith

“‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24)

All of the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection are wonderful because our Savior still lives.  However, my favorite is the story of Doubting Thomas (John 20:19-29).  I think Thomas has gotten a bad reputation that he doesn’t completely deserve.  His friends had seen and touched Jesus, but Thomas had not.  He just wanted the same proof that they had.

The best part of the story is that Jesus gives Thomas exactly what he needs to believe. Thomas says “ ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands . . . and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it’” (vs 25), so when Jesus shows up next week, the Lord tells Thomas “ ‘Put your finger here. . . reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe’” (vs 27). Our Lord desires all people to believe in Him and be saved, so He is willing to go to great lengths to save us (death on the cross) and to help us believe. 

When I was a teenager, one girl visiting our youth group was having trouble believing.  She couldn’t commit to believing in God at all, much less in Jesus.  Our teacher gave her powerful, simple advice that I will never forget.  “Pray and ask God to show you that He is real,” she said to the girl.  “If He’s real like we say, He wants you to believe in Him and He’ll help you; if He’s not real, you’ve only wasted 30 seconds of time praying.”  So she and her friends who invited her prayed.

The next day they were at the local mall, in a bookstore, and a lady none of them knew approached the doubting teen.  The lady began talking about how hard having faith is for young people nowadays and the power of faith and prayer.  She spoke specifics to this girl’s needs despite never having met her.  Whether this person was an angelic messenger in human appearance (which happened in the Bible) or a lady with a word of knowledge from the Lord, we don’t know, but this message sent the day after her prayer for help convinced the teenager that God is real, that Jesus loves her, and that she needed His salvation.  She made her confession of faith in Jesus Christ public the next Sunday. 

Like Thomas, my friend got exactly what she needed from God to have faith in God.  If you doubt Him, simply ask for help believing; ask for your faith to be strengthened.  God loves helping us to be right with Him. 

Another inspiring thing about Thomas’ story is that his friends didn’t give up on him.  They told him about the risen Jesus, but he didn’t believe.  However, they still invited him to meals and spent time with him.  Don’t give up praying for and loving on the people you know who are lost. 

Pastor Jason