Today’s Devotional: How Does Knowledge Affect Faith?

In the Gospels, Thomas famously doubts Jesus’ resurrection. Thomas even went so far as to say that unless he could put his fingers where the nails held Jesus to the cross that he wouldn’t believe Jesus had been raised. A week after Thomas’ proclamation, Jesus appeared to the disciples and Thomas called Jesus his Lord and his God. Thomas’ first-hand knowledge strengthened his faith.

In the following devotional, Our Daily Journey with God reflects on the relationship between knowledge and faith:

The preacher asked his audience whether they believed he had a $20 bill in his closed hand. After a woman said that she believed he did, the speaker announced that he would destroy her faith by opening his hand and showing the money. “Now that you know I have a $20 bill,” he said, “you can no longer have faith that I do.”

If the preacher is correct, then the return of Christ will destroy the faith of His followers, for our faith will now be sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And Jesus would not have told Thomas, “You believe because you have seen Me” (John 20:29), but rather “Because you have seen Me, you are no longer able to believe.”

The preacher mistakenly thought that empirical proof destroys faith. Instead, proof strengthens faith by eliminating the uncertainty that often accompanies it (Hebrews 11:1). Firsthand evidence confirms our knowledge, which bolsters our faith.

Faith is not the opposite of knowledge. Faith actually rests on knowledge. The more we know, the more we’re able to believe. Knowledge itself is not sufficient for faith, for even demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but it’s impossible to have faith without it.

Read the rest of the devotional at

Have you had any experiences where knowledge has strengthened your faith?

6 Responses to “Today’s Devotional: How Does Knowledge Affect Faith?”

  • In our cultural discourse, “faith” means “believing without evidence.” And this is contrary to biblical use of “faith.” But our culture is so entrenched in this, we need to keep repeating over and over. Faith isn’t “childlike” or “ignorant” or “wishful thinking.” Faith is trusting evidence. And our trust varies.

    Jesus rebuked Thomas, on my view, not because he should have believed without evidence, but because Thomas had the evidence of his close friends’ testimonies. That was sufficient (just like a testimony is often sufficient in our day in a court of law). But Thomas distrusted (was faithless) the facts and asked for more. Jesus is gentle to Thomas’ but reinforced that the testimony of the trustworthy is enough to believe something is true–to keep our heads and not throw out our minds.

    It took a Thomas for us all to benefit from added evidence and a brilliant statement from Jesus. And we should be glad for it.

    I talk about this kind of faith in my book “Living with Questions” and our forthcoming title, “Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk” for those who want to know how to use “faith” talk in their conversations.

  • Mark Giampapa says:

    I have recently renewed via email a friendship with someone I haven’t seen or talked to in 25 years. It has been a real blessing for both of us, which has served to resolve and reconcile some issues between us that had been lingering for all this time. In one exchange, she asked me what books I’m reading now and I replied that I’m currently reading “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis. She asked me why I would be reading such a book. Though she was brought up with a Christian background, I don’t believe she has developed any particular spiritual beliefs, preferring her purely secular life style and “good feelings” among close friends as her source of strength. How do I discuss my heartfelt beliefs and my extensive reading (the Bible and mostly books by R. C. Sproul) without turning her off, appearing judgmental, and looking like I have become some kind of “nut” or “freak” in the intervening years. Thanks for your advice!

  • Ira Kirkpatrick says:

    faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. faith is the substance of thing hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. The hard thing is believing without seeing and being able to touch what we believe in. To believe in Christ, God and the Bible is a demonstration of our faith and should be done daily to increase our faith.
    I could not live without the faith that Christ died for our sins and God is in charge of the whole universe and all that is in it.

  • Gail Brown says:

    Faith is in God and in the word.We have to beleive in God in order to have faith,because we are all her by the grace of God,he is a awsome God,and I know he is real.

  • Oluwakemi says:

    Yes the knowledge of the word of God strengths my faith. Ex yesterday i read my devotional(Open Heaven) writen by Pastor E.A adeboye and He talked about breakthrough is painful. 1 kings 17v8-16. and i just did something for the Kingdom of GOD. and this verse in particular doubled my faith 1kings17v14a says For thus says the Lord God of Isreal; the bin of flour shall not be used up,nor shall the jar of oil run dry. To me it is only the Knowledge of the WORD OF GOD that builds Faith. His Word says Faith comes by the hearing of the WORD OF GOD.

  • Ola says:

    According to the bible you dont have to see before you believe now that is faith. When we accept Jesus to our lifes we are not sure but we did it in faith through an arrangement by grace. So you really dont need knowledge to strenghten your faith. This is what the greek seek and that is why they did not believe in Jesus. Faith is the evidence of things not seen and not the believe in the things seen.