We all want shelves of home-canned food that we grew and preserved ourselves. Electric canners are all the craze right now, both for water bath canning and pressure canning. So let's take a deep dive into the pros and cons of using electric pressure canners, and I'll share my thoughts on whether or not you'll find one in my kitchen.
If you've been around here for long, you know that I'm an avid preserver. I pride myself on being a “modern homesteader.” Meaning I like to take advantage of the many conveniences we have living in a modern world (unlike the conveniences my father lacked growing up during the Great Depression).
These conveniences are not lost on me, I promise! They're why I love using an immersion blender rather than a whisk for my homemade mayonnaise recipe, why I love my espresso machine that makes my latte each morning, and why I'm a massive fan of the quick and easy meals made possible by my Instant Pot.
Please hear me when I say that this modern girl loves me some convenience items! However, where I won't relent is when it comes to safety and food preservation. So let's dive into electric canners.
Pressure Canning vs. Water Bath Canning
First and foremost, I need to differentiate that pressure canning and water bath canning are two separate methods for preserving food. Sure, they have their similarities, but for safety purposes, they're completely different.
All food has to reach a specific temperature in order to be properly preserved to be shelf-stable. When thinking about foods, they fall into two categories: acidic foods and non-acidic foods.
- Acidic Foods: For acidic foods (4.6 pH or lower), the proper preservation method is water bath canning. The temperature of a water bath canner, 212°F (or 100°C) is adequate to kill off any dangerous bacteria and create a proper seal on the canning jar.
- Non-Acidic Foods: For non-acidic foods, the proper preservation method is a pressure canner. Non-acidic foods must reach higher temperatures to kill off botulism spores in order to be considered safe for long-term, shelf-stable storage.
This is why it's ALWAYS important to follow tested and approved recipes. Something I teach all the time in my home preservation class inside the Pioneering Today Academy.
Furthermore, I'm so passionate about this that I wrote my own home canning and preserving book, Everything Worth Preserving.
Everything Worth Preserving
In this book, I share every food product that you might grow in a home garden, a fruit orchard, or animals raised on the homestead in alphabetical order. Then, under each item, are listed all the safe ways of preserving each food, along with tested and approved recipes.
It's the preservation book I always wish I had for the past 20+ years that I've been preserving foods. You can get your copy of Everything Worth Preserving here.
Types of Electric Canners
There are many electric pressure canners on the market today. Here are some of the brands you may have heard of:
- Presto Digital Pressure Canner
- Nesco Smart Canner
- Carey Smart Electric Pressure Cooker and Canner
- Ball Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker
Pressure Cooker vs. Pressure Canner
It's important to realize the difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. Though most pressure canners can also pressure cook foods, not all pressure cookers are tested and safe for canning.
This was a common misconception when the Instant Pot first came out (back then it was called InstaPot). Many people began pressure canning in the Instant Pot. YouTube videos were even published about the safety of the canned food.
However, after some third-party testing, it was discovered that the Instant Pot didn't maintain the proper pounds of pressure necessary during the entire canning process.
If you've ever done any pressure canning, you may or may not know, if the pressure dips below the recommended number (even slightly) during the processing time, you must start the entire time over again once proper pressure is resumed for that food to be considered safe.
Now hear me closely here. Not all food that hasn't been properly canned will be harmful. Furthermore, botulism can hide in many foods beyond just canned food. So just because someone used an Instant Pot to home-can food and lived to tell about it (or never got sick), doesn't mean that's a safe method for home food preservation.
Pros of Electric Canners
I completely understand that there are some things about electric canners that are intriguing. The fact you can “set it and forget it” is one of them. However, in all my years of canning, never have I “set it and forget it,” even with a water bath canner. But some of the other pros are as follows:
- Easy to Use: With a quick read through the instruction manual, you'll likely be able to use your electric canner with ease.
- No Concern with Glass Stovetops: When it comes to canning on a glass stovetop, there's a lot of debate on whether or not it's considered safe. While I won't weigh in on this as I don't have personal experience with glass stovetops, I've heard both for and against it. With an electric canner, there's no more need for concern.
- Portable: With an electric canner, you can use the appliance anywhere you can get electricity. Whether that's on a table outside on the patio, on the go in an RV, or at home in your kitchen. They're not as heavy as a traditional water bath or pressure canner, but neither are steam canners and those can be used safely for water bath recipes.
- Multi-Purpose: Electric canners advertise they can water bath can as well as pressure can, and usually work as an electric pressure cooker as well. As mentioned above, you all know I love my Instant Pot, so if you're in the market for all three of these things, this might be appealing, though read the con and safety concerns further in this post. (Pro Tip: Any stock pot can double as a water bath canner as long as the water covers 1-2 inches above the jars. Simply place some canning rings on the bottom of the pot so the jars aren't coming into direct contact with the bottom of the pot while canning.)
- Size: All of the electric pressure canners I've seen on the market are smaller in size. Some people may love this because they're easy to pick up and move from a shelf in the cupboard to their kitchen counter. They won't compare to the All-American 41-quart pressure canner that can hold 31-pint jars or 20-quart jars at a time (or my preferred size All-American Pressure Canner)! But for those who can on a smaller scale, this might be appealing.
I'm sure there are more pros to the electric pressure canners that I'm not aware of, but for now that's a pretty good list of pros.
Cons of Electric Canners
Funny enough, many of the pros of using an electric canner are also cons (at least in my eyes).
- Must-Have Electricity: While I love the convenience of being able to grab and go an electric/portable canner, what I really desire is an appliance that will be there for me when I most need it. Living in a rural area, we can experience power outages that last for days, so I need to know I can put up my food when I need to and not have to rely on electricity. Having a gas stove (or a portable propane camp stove) means I can use my water bath or pressure canner any time.
- Digital: Remember, I love the conveniences of this modern world. But I've already had to replace my Instant Pot once because the electrical panel went out. When it comes to a water bath canner there's nothing fancy about it. And with my weighted gauge pressure canner, all I need are my ears to tell me if I've come to the right pressure, I'm not relying on the digital display.
- Pressure Adjustments: With the digital electric pressure canners, there are no dials or gauges where you can adjust for high elevation. If you are 1001 feet above sea level, you must increase (on a weighted gauge) from 10 lbs to 15 lbs of pressure (or by one number on a dial gauge). Though the electric canners say they adjust for this, there's no way to be certain. I personally don't like this because it's hard for me to know that the technology is doing what it's supposed to do.
- Size: As I mentioned above, all electric canners I've seen are far too small for the scale of canning I do every year. I don't grow enough food for a year and put it up in tiny batches, that's just not good use of my time. These don't compare to the All-American 41-quart pressure canner that can hold 31-pint jars or 20-quart jars at a time! Also, be sure to read the fine print. When a pressure canner says it's a 12-quart canner, that doesn't mean you can fit 12 quart-sized jars into the canner. What that's telling you is how much liquid the canner reservoir holds. So it's important to distinguish the difference and get the right sized canner for your needs.
- No Third-Party Testing: At the time of this publication, I couldn't find any documented third-party testing on the safety and accuracy of electric pressure canners. Keep in mind this is for pressure canning only. A water bath will do the job with boiling water, so as long as you can visually see a rolling boil, that's proof enough for me (but then why spend the money when a stock pot will do!). But I don't trust that these canners aren't losing pressure during the canning time. At least not until I can read a third-party test.
- Misleading Information: Presto states, right on the box, “The first digital pressure canner that meets USDA safe canning guidelines.” Then, in small print, it says, “The USDA does not certify or approve home-canning equipment.” (See photo above.) What Presto is portraying is technically false or, at the very least, misleading. The USDA hasn't approved any equipment used for home canning. Presto refers to guidelines for using pressure canning on non-acidic foods, not the pressure canner itself.
Now please hear me, these are my own opinions on the electric canners. I've heard rave reviews from fellow homesteaders that I completely trust, and am glad that they've had such overwhelming success. But where my trust lies is in the third-party testing.
Does this mean, if a third-party test comes out that shows them to be reliable and safe, that I'll get one? Probably not, and that's for my personal reasons listed above.
Ultimately this comes down to a personal decision. But I like to put this information out there so everyone can make their own informed decision and not fall prey to the master marketers behind these large corporations.
If you're looking to get started with pressure canning, for a limited time you can check out the replay of the free online webinar I did right here.
I also have the Pioneering Today Academy which includes classes on freeze drying, pressure canning, water bath canning, dehydrating, fermenting, root cellaring and all the ways you can safely preserve food at home.
This membership includes step-by-step videos, along with downloadable pdfs filled with everything you need to know to get started preserving food at home.
The membership is currently open (June 2023) but will be closing doors soon and won't open again until later this year.
Verse of the Week: John 20:24-29
Two Days of Truth Summit
The annual Two Days of Truth Summit is coming up at Polyface Farm with Joel Salatin. It will be held June 23-24, 2023. If you'll be in the Virginia area and can make it, I highly recommend you checking it out.
Joel Salatin is a wealth of information. He was just on my podcast discussing mRNA in meat and it was a very eye-opening conversation (even for me who still purchases some organic meat from time to time).
For more information, visit the Polyface Farm website.
More Posts You May Enjoy
- Proper Canning Headspace (Is it Important?)
- Does Pressure Canning Ruin Bone Broth?
- A Complete Guide to Home Food Preservation
- Canning in Electric Pressure Cookers & Other Pressure Canning Questions
- How to Store Home Canned Food Safely (Jar Stacking & Canning Rings)
- Canning Problems and Solutions: Siphoning (Liquid Loss in Jars)
- Pressure Canning Like a Pro
- What You Don't Know About USDA Canning Rules
- 10+ Easy Home Canning Recipes
Hey, pioneers. Welcome to episode number 393. Today's episode, we are going to be talking about electric canners, both the electric water-bath canner and the electric pressure canner, things that you need to be considering, what you need to know about them before you decide to use one or before you decide to purchase one. And this is a topic I love talking about. And one of you guys asked if I would address this issue and actually had left that comment on our YouTube version of the podcast.
So as you can see, for 393 episodes, we have been doing this podcast for a very long time. So if you are one of our longtime listeners, welcome back and thank you so much for hanging out with me. But it was only about, I think, four or five weeks ago we started doing video versions of the podcast and posting that over on YouTube. And this comment and question actually came from one of our podcast viewers over on YouTube. So if you didn't know that we had it on YouTube, if you prefer to watch a video vision, that is now available for you, or if you're watching this on YouTube and don't always have the option of watching on video, you can also find us, the Pioneering Today podcast with me, your host, Melissa K. Norris, on all of the podcast apps so you can listen to that in the audio format while you are on the go.
And I did not get a podcast episode for you guys last week, so sorry about that. We rarely miss a week. But thanks for being back here with me this week. If you get my newsletter, you saw where we had a lot of stuff go wrong last week and I just was not able to get a podcast episode out. In the span of three days, we ended up having an electrical problem where one of our circuits for our lights in our kitchen and laundry room. We did finally narrow it down with the help of our electrician because it kept tripping the breaker and losing all of our lights. We had one of the wires between two outlets and where it was wired through the house was actually touching the ground wire. And so it was constantly tripping that breaker, which meant no lights, but we weren't sure what was causing it all of a sudden.
Our hot water tank sprang a huge leak and flooded part of my laundry room, so we had to get that hot water tank cleaned up and out and a new one installed. And then my pump for our well. There is no public water services where we live. We're very, very rural, so we have our own pump. Well, then I had my hot water tank fixed because I'd been without hot water for two days. We got the hot water tank fixed, and for 30 glorious minutes I had hot running water. And then the pump went out. And so our pump was out for two days. I finally, at the time of this recording, thankfully have hot running water and regular running water. And let me tell you, when you go without those two things, you are so much more appreciative of them when they come back on.
But that is the reason we were dealing with all of that, that I was not able to get a podcast episode recorded for you guys. But here we are. So welcome back. And I'm going to be talking about, we'll be linking to some different things. So if you are listening to this, you can always find those with a blog post that accompanies every episode for this particular episode at melissaknorris.com/393. And that's just the numbers 393 because this is episode number 393. And we will also make sure to put that in the video description beneath this video if you're watching it in video format.
But let's jump into today's topic, and that is electric canners. So the first one that we're going to talk about is the Ball freshTECH, which is an electric water-bath canner. So I'm making that distinction right now because that one has not been billed, advertised, or is meant for pressure canning. It is electric water-bath canner.
So we know that we can safely water-bath can acidic recipes, and specifically a recipe that falls on the pH scale, on the pH scale of 4.6 or lower. Because remember with pH, the lower the number, the more acidic an item actually is. So if an item is 4.6 on the pH scale or lower, those are things that we can safely water-bath can.
Now, pH is very important, but also the density of a food. So sometimes people will say, "Well, I know that I am pickling eggs, for example, and because I am using vinegar, of course my pH level is 4.6 or lower, so I should be able to safely water-bath can my pickled eggs." But that is false because the pickled eggs themselves, the eggs themselves, I should say, are not acidic, right? And they're also very dense. So even though you are putting these eggs in an acidic brine of vinegar, that vinegar cannot fully penetrate the egg all the way to the center to fully make it acidic enough that botulism spores could not grow and proliferate. So pickled eggs are wonderful, delightful things, but they are made to be stored in your refrigerator or a cold storage as the means of preservation. They are not safe to can.
And yes, pickled eggs have tested positive for botulism. Now, I know somebody watching this is going to say, "Well, I buy pickled eggs at the store and they're not in the refrigerator and they're just fine." Well, friends, commercial canners, both commercial pressure and if someone is doing different things like that, commercial canners can reach much higher temperatures than any home model, including home pressure canners. So just because you see something canned on the store shelf done commercially does not mean that you can safely can that item at home because it is not the same type of equipment.
So the reason that an electric pressure canner can be used for acidic recipes and we're not worried about it is because it is holding at a temperature of boiling and it's the actual acid component that keeps home canned food from having botulism spores grow inside the sealed jar. So knowing that it's acidity as well as density though, which doesn't mean that you can just take any food item and try to pickle it or say the brine is acidic and therefore that item is safe, you do need to be using tested recipes. And especially if you are looking at using the electric water-bath canner from Ball.
They have stated very, very much so, very explicitly I should say, that it is to be used for a certain set of recipes only. And so you are limited a bit by the specific recipes that they say can be used with this electric water-bath canner. So is it safe to use? Yes, it is safe to use. Do I have one? No. And here's where I want to talk about kind of pros and cons and things for you to consider. Is it safe to use? Yes. Do I have one? No. Do I plan on getting one? No. And here is why.
I prefer for water-bath recipes, acidic recipes, I like to use a steam canner. Because the argument that I hear from folks is, "Well, I really want it to be the easy button. I want to put my stuff into this electric water-bath canner, just push a button. I'm not having to pack big pots of water back and forth, et cetera." Okay, I get that. But you can achieve the same effect with a steam canner. And steam canners are approved. I've got videos on that here on YouTube. I have recipes on my website. We'll link to those for you so you can see that in action and in more detail. But they have been approved for acidic recipes. And I don't want an electric canner because when something on that little old computer board inside there goes wrong, I'm going to have to replace it.
Now, I am an Instapot user for cooking, not my home food preservation. I love my instant pot. I've already burnt through one of them. I have not ever had to replace my water-bath canner. I'm not ever going to have to replace my steam canner. And when the power goes out, I am still able to use my canners because they are from a heat source, not electricity. We have a propane stove. I also have canned on propane burners outside, et cetera. So for me, I don't want to have to replace something if something goes faulty with a button or electricity. We do lose power here quite often, even in the summertime. I don't want to be dependent on the electrical grid to be able to can my own food and quantity.
So with the electric water-bath canner, you are limited to the jar sizes that will fit inside and be able to put the lid on. So it's only for small batches. So I prefer to use the steam canner because I can do quart-size jars in it. I can do my pint jars in it. I'm not limited to a small amount that will only fit into this electric component. And I still have my big water bath tub or my pressure canner, which you can adapt as a water-bath canner.
So for me, it is just not a option that's going to suit my needs. I think it's a much more sound investment to get a steam canner for water-bath recipes or just use a large pot as a water-bath canner. I just don't think that it's worth it. And as I said, as far as water, heating up water, heaviness of carrying water back and forth and getting it heated up, the steam canner is your answer to that. And it's not dependent upon electricity and it doesn't have anything that can go wrong or short out, buttons that don't work anymore, et cetera. I tend to a little bit more control. I don't like being at the mercy of push buttons when they won't work or programming goes wrong and I don't know how to fix it. I would much rather use those other items.
So the electric water-bath canners are fine and safe to use for specific recipes. Those are some of the limitations that I see with it and why I don't choose to use one.
Now, we definitely need to talk about the electric pressure canner. And this is not by Ball, but Presto. So Presto is one of the other manufacturers of actual stove-top pressure canners, right? And they have a whole different line of food preservation items. So well-known company. But I'm going to be honest, I'm a little disappointed with a lot of their wording that they have used in their marketing for their electric pressure canner.
So they have a 12-quart electric pressure canner listed. Now, just so you know, when you're looking at buying canners, when it says 12 quarts, this is even true of regular stove-top pressure, I happen to have the 21 and a half quart All-American pressure canner, that is the total volume of liquid that can fit inside the canner, not the jars. So you are not able to put 12 quarts into this electric pressure canner. I can't put 21 and a half quarts and can quart jars inside my All-American. I can fit seven quart jars in there. So just making sure that you understand that.
So back to this electric pressure canner from Presto. So they launched these, it's been I think a couple of years back. So relatively new, not something that just came out this year. They've been out for a little bit. But what really bothers me about their digital electrical pressure canner is they have this huge seal that they've created or this big thing on marketing and it's plastered all over their stuff that says, "The first digital pressure canner that meets USDA safe canning guidelines." And then in small print they've added this, it says, "The USDA does not certify or approve home canning equipment." But you can clearly see in the comments by reading it that a lot of people don't see that smaller fine print and they think that this canner is certified by the USDA. So they are moving off the assumption that it's 100% safe and approved and da, da, da, da, da, da. That is false because the USDA does not approve any pieces of equipment for home canning.
The USDA safe canning guidelines are to use pressure canning for non-acidic foods. So all that this is really saying is this is a pressure canner and therefore that meets the USDA safe canning guidelines because it says you need to use pressure in order to reach temperatures that are high enough to kill botulism spores in non-acidic foods. It does not mean that this is approved by the USDA in any way, shape, or form.
Now again, same things with the electric water-bath canner is you are limited to the amount of jars that you can process at one time. So small amounts. But that can be true. You can buy smaller pressure canners as well. General guidelines is you shouldn't be canning in anything unless it can hold four quarts, needs to be big enough that it would hold four quart jars that you could can at one time so that it can actually reach the pounds of pressure that are needed, which for non-acidic vegetables meets combination recipes is 10 pounds of pressure, which is about 240 degrees. And the only way that you can reach that is under pressure.
You can boil water for four hours, but it's never going to get above 212 degrees Fahrenheit because that is the temperature of boiling water. Doesn't matter how long you boil it, it still will never exceed that temperature. So that's why you have to use pressure in order to reach those higher internal temperatures. And that's why our non-acidic foods have to be canned in a pressure environment to reach those higher temperatures. So just in case you were, I know some people don't know that. If you're newer to home food preservation or learning about pressure canning, you might not realize that.
Which brings me to my next point. With the electric digital pressure canner, there are no adjustments for high altitudes. For high altitudes, so if you are 1,001 feet above sea level, so sea level all the way to 1,000 feet, you are going to be canning at 10 pounds of pressure for your vegetables, meats, combination recipes, that would be like soups, et cetera. Okay? If you're 1,001 feet above sea level, you have to increase on a weighted gauge. That would be where you can select five, 10, or 15 pounds of pressure. You for pressure canning would select 15 pounds of pressure on that weighted gauge. You don't increase the time, you increase the amount of pressure.
Now, if you have just a PSI, which is the dial gauge, where it's the needle, da, da, da, da, da, da, then you would go from 10 to 11 to 12 in increments of different thousand feet above that 1,001 feet above sea level. So slightly different there if it's a dial needle gauge versus the weighted gauge where you're in just those five-pound increments is all you have to choose from.
So no adjustments needed for high altitude. I don't personally like that. Now, it says it's because they have tech that they've developed that goes by temperature, not pressure, and so it will automatically increase the pressure in order to maintain the internal temperature. So that's all great as long as it actually holds the entire time. And the reason I am skeptical and don't recommend it at this point personally is because 10, 12 years ago-ish when a lot of the electric pressure cookers came on the market, so Instapot, for example. I know there's a couple other brands. I don't know, I'm trying to think of some of the other name brands. I don't know because I use the Instapot, but there's a few other name brands of electric pressure cookers.
Well, a lot of them in the beginning came out and in their manuals and in their advertisement said you could use them for pressure canning as well. But then they went through third-party testing and the third-party testing showed that was false, that they did not maintain the temperature required, the pressure required to keep it at that high enough temperature the entire time of the canning process. And so then they failed the third-party testing. And so that had to be pulled from their marketing, had to be pulled from the manuals, which is why now when you go to buy a instant pot or a pressure cooker, it does not say anymore that you can pressure can in that because it failed the third-party testing.
So I have not been able to find anywhere from Presto that says it has went through third-party testing and has passed the third-party testing. So knowing the history of other electric digital pressure canners and that they did not pass third-party testing, until I see some third-party testing that has come through of these, I personally can't recommend them and won't personally use one of them.
Now, if they go through third-party testing and that third-party testing shows it, then that is great. I still have the issue with, as I said, I've already went through one instant pot. It lasted me about five years and then I had to replace it. My pressure canners, I've never had to replace them unless I wanted to go up to the bigger model, which I did with the All-American because I wanted be able to double stack my jars. But I don't want to buy a piece of electric equipment like that that, again, is dependent upon power. Because with my pressure canner, if our power goes out and it's going to be out for a very long extended period of time, I know that I can fire that baby up and take food that is in the freezer that I can save by canning it and I can pressure can it without electricity.
So I guess because I've lived out in the country for so long and went up to 14 days without power and extended outages and lose power multiple times throughout the year, I would never rely on an electrical canner because I like knowing that I can use it without electricity. And then in the summer months, I'll pressure can outside. Now, with an electric pressure canner, I'm sure you could probably set it up outside and it's not going to be heating up the house as much, et cetera. But for me personally, I am not comfortable using one and for all the reasons stated.
So that's where my stand is at this moment from what I've been able to find. I know people who have told me that they have emailed into Presto asking them for third-party testing data, was it tested by third parties, could they see the third-party test results, and have not received anything back at the time of this recording. So if you have one and you're using it, I'm not saying no or that you need to be extremely worried, I'm just saying I don't trust it without all of the aforementioned reasons.
Now, if you are interested in learning more about home food preservation because there's actually a lot of ways to preserve food at home aside from canning, there's many of them, I have a free class that we just did. You can still catch the replay of it at the release of this. So we'll put the link beneath there. And then also inside my membership, which is the Pioneering Today Academy, we have a extensive home food preservation courses from freeze drying, water-bath canning, pressure canning, fermenting, root cellaring, dehydrating, all the different ways that you can preserve food at home. And there are full courses with video step-by-steps, the download guides, all of the recipes, et cetera, to take you through all the ways that you can safely preserve food at home.
And we are open for new members right now, but we will be closing the doors on Monday, June 12, 2023 for new members because we will be working through all of the home food preservation over the summer as a group. And if you've ever thought about joining the membership, now is the time to do that because we will be raising the price again when we open for new enrollment, which won't be until much later in this year.
Now, if you're interested in learning more about food and health and how those go together, then you may want to check out the Polyface Farm and their third annual Two Days of Truth Summit. This is going to be two days, June 23rd and 24th of 2023, so coming up here very shortly. It's at Polyface, which has Joel Salatin. Joel was just to guest a couple of episodes back where we were talking about the mRNA in meat and what you need to know about that. So Joel will be presenting at that along with Dr. Sina McCullough and some other presenters. So we will place a link for that both in the blog post as well as the video description so you can go and check that out as well.
Now on to this portion of the podcast, which is our Verse of the Week. And this is actually multiple verses, but I wanted to share this from John chapter 20, starting in verse 24. So many of you are probably familiar with this passage. If you've ever heard the old adage doubting Thomas, well, that comes straight from the New Testament. And so in John's account here we have where Thomas, one of the 12, was not with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them after the resurrection. So the other disciples came back and told him we have seen the Lord. And Thomas says to them, he makes this very bold declaration, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and I put my finger where the nails wore and put my hand into his side, where he was pierced when he was on the cross, I will not believe that it is Jesus and he has risen from the dead."
So he makes this very bold declaration. He doesn't believe them and these things have to happen in order for him to believe that is true. So I love this because a week later they're all together again, the disciples. Thomas is with them this time and the doors are locked. And despite that, Jesus is standing among them. So all of a sudden, he appears in the room with them even though the doors are locked, meaning he did not unlock, come through the door. He supernaturally entered the room. And he says, "Peace be with you."
And then he turns to Thomas and he says, "Put your finger here. Put it in the nail hole that you said that's the only way that you would believe who I am. Reach out your hand, put it in my side, then stop your doubting and believe." And of course, Thomas says to him, "My Lord and my God," and then Jesus tells him, which I've always loved this because I felt this is where Jesus was talking to me directly in this time and to you in this time and says, "Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet still have believed." So meaning you and I who have not seen Jesus, blessed are we for still believing. So I've always loved that verse, number 29.
But one of the reasons that I wanted to share this is because so often, doubting Thomas, so he gets kind of talked about like, "Oh, don't be a doubting Thomas." Or, "Don't be like Thomas." Yet, there's been a lot of times in my life where I have made a very bold declaration, like, "For this to happen, Lord, you're going to have to show me X, Y, Z." Or have just made a very adamant thought on something and really stood by that. And not that that's always a bad thing. I don't mean that. I think we do need to stand for what we believe. But also we can learn things and discover new things and that can change some of the things that we believe or that we thought were to be true.
But what I love about this is this is included to us because one, Jesus wasn't there, but he absolutely knew exactly what Thomas had said and exactly what Thomas was believing. And it was very much in doubt of what the Lord was capable of, right? Because he didn't believe that Jesus actually had risen from the dead. He did not believe what God's promise was. I've been in that. I can know what God's promises are in the Bible, but there are times when I doubt they're true for me or I am not sure that I believe them on a personal level.
And it's not that I don't have the thought I don't believe this, but it's my actions and my words that are showing that maybe my faith isn't really as strong as I would like to think because if it were I would not be sitting in this moment of worry or I'd not be trying to figure out these different things. I would truly believe what God's word says that he has me, that he is working things out for my good. All of those promises that are given to us in the scriptures, if I truly believe them, I would not have some of the thoughts that I do.
So I love that, one, Jesus hears every single thought that we have regardless if he is in the room with us or not, as in this case from this story, but that he comes and he immediately meets Thomas and he gives him what he needs in order to believe. He's like, "Okay, Thomas." He's telling him to stop the doubting and just believe me at my word, but if this is what you need in order to believe in me and to have peace, then I will meet you there. I will meet you in your unbelief. I will meet you in your doubting because I love you that much and I died for you. And I think that this is actually a beautiful piece of God's love and that even if we have those moments of doubt or moments where we're making this very bold declaration, even if it's wrong, that he's like, "That's okay. I'm going to meet you where you're at. I will come in. I will meet you where you are at even if you don't fully trust me the way I wish that you would."
So I wanted to leave that with you. I felt like that was a fairly profound revelation. We actually were in Bible study just last night, the night before I was recording this, and this was the section of scripture that we were going over. And I had never looked at it really in that light, especially with Thomas, because we all know, oh, don't be a doubting Thomas, but I'd never actually really looked at that in the application that I'm sharing with you here. So I hope that that brought you something because it surely did for me and sheds new light on how much God really does truly love us and how we can be at peace and rest in that.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed today's podcast, and I will be back here with you next week. Blessings and Mason jars for now, my friends.
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