Anglican Devotional 2 April 2024: Hope In Times Of Discouragement

The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 2 April 2024 – Hope In Times Of Discouragement

TOPIC: Hope In Times Of Discouragement

READ: John 20:19-25 (NKJV)

  1. Then, the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace [be] with you.”
  2. When He had said this, He showed them [His] hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
  3. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
  4. And when He had said this, He breathed on [them,] and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
  5. “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the [sins] of any, they are retained.”
  6. Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
  7. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

THE MESSAGE:

The disciples out of fear shut the doors, secured and locked them against any unwelcome entry. However, this couldn’t hinder Jesus, Who came and stood in their midst. After deserting Jesus on the day of His crucifixion, the disciples probably expected words of rebuke or blame. Instead, Jesus brought words of peace, reconciling peace. “Peace to you,” is an assurance that there is no cause to fear, and that all is well: for they (Luke 24: 36) were alarmed by His manifestation.

The same words Jesus speaks to us today in the midst of our fears, past, doubts, difficulties and challenges. Jesus breathed on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It was an act of re-creation, just as God breathed life into the first man. Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit, bringing new life and authority for their mission. In the same way, we’ve received the same Spirit that empowered and enabled Jesus’ words and works as an empowerment for an effective application of the work of Christ. Unfortunately, Thomas was absent, thus missed the blessings of being ‘present.’ Being absent in His presence will make us doubt the testimony of many and reliable witnesses, and miss the blessings of being in His presence.

PRAYER: Lord, may I not miss Your visitation at all times, especially when I am down. Amen.

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