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Daily Devotional: The Light Shines | The Gospel of John | A red background with gold and white light bubbles. Daily Devotional: The Light Shines | The Gospel of John | A red background with gold and white light bubbles.

Daily Devotional | To Believe or Not to Believe


According to the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, earlier this year researchers were surprised to discover new underwater species in the Ha Long Bay of Vietnam. Peering into a “semi-dark” tunnel, they identified a new species of sea sponge: Cladocroce pansinii.

In John 20, Jesus had risen from the dead. While this was wonderful news to His followers, some of them struggled to accept the reality of His resurrection, even after seeing it with their own eyes. After leaving the tomb, Jesus encountered Mary Magdalene (vv. 11–18), His closest disciples (minus one) (vv. 19–23), and then all the disciples, including Thomas (v. 26).

Thomas struggled with the idea that Jesus rose from the grave. Although he witnessed firsthand the raising of Lazarus from the grave (John 11:43), he quickly forgot that death was no match for Jesus. His mind would not accept the fact that Jesus had actually risen. Thomas was so adamant that he stated, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (v. 25).

It is human to struggle with belief. In the Old Testament, God said Sarah would have a child, but she didn’t believe (Gen. 18:12–15). In the Gospel of Luke, Zechariah is told that his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son, but he didn’t believe (Luke 1:20). God’s people often struggle to accept the seemingly impossible things God says He will do.

When Jesus encountered Thomas, He had a word for him (and us): “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29).

>> Learning about a different species of sponge is interesting but not life- changing. Knowing Jesus and believing the truth about Him is imperative. He gives new life! As we approach a new year, let’s resolve to take Jesus at His word and believe what the Bible says about Him (and us).

Pray with Us

At times, faith is a battle with our senses! Help us remember that, as the Creator of this world, You are not limited to the natural processes of life as we are. Help us believe and celebrate Your work, even when it seems impossible!

BY Eric W. Moore

Eric Moore is Professor and Chair of the Applied Theology Field at Moody Theological Seminary. Eric is graduate of Michigan State University, Dallas Theological Seminary, the University of Michigan, and Western Seminary. He is the author of Pastoring the Small Church and a contributor to the One Volume Seminary (Moody Publishers). He has pastored Tree of Life Bible Fellowship church for over two decades. Eric and his wife, Marilyn, live in southeast Michigan and have three children.

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