John 20:24-28… 24) Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came, 25) So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “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. 26) A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27) Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe,” 28) Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (NIV)
Doubt comes to us when we reach the limits of our understanding. When we encounter unexpected hardship. There have been times when we prayed for something noteworthy but somehow the opposite became apparent. When a respected Christian suddenly rejects Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. We have done things we thought was right then we suffered for it. When we have worked a lifetime at a job doing the best we knew how, we find out the best just is not good enough anymore. When we take a course at school that requires more sense than faith beyond our understanding. There are twists and turns during our lifetime that make extraordinarily little sense. Situations or circumstances that precipitate unsettling uncertainties… But should we be afraid of those questions? Run from them? Never!
Christians who honestly face the questions raised by their doubts would “be thinking Christians.” A question asker… one who finds in every experience something that requires further investigation. Thomas was such a person; he was a thinker. He dared to question, to admit that he also had struggles, he dared to raise his hand and say, “Wait, hold on there just a minute, I just do not understand what you are talking about. You are not making sense. We need to think like Thomas for a moment. After Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion his faith spun out of control, touched off by the powerful uncertainties that mocked everything he believed. “There is no kingdom. Jesus a Messiah? He is dead! How could he call himself a Messiah? Was he a fake, we do not understand? What a fool I have been. He was not about to say he believed what he did not understand. He had to be sure.
Faith and obedience were never an easy thing for Thomas. He was the type of person who had to be sure; he was the type of person who had to count the cost. But once he was sure, and once he had counted the cost, look out! Step aside! He was the type of person who went to the ultimate limit of faith and obedience. A faith like Thomas’ is better than any earthly profession; and an obedience like his is better than an easy acceptance which agrees to do a thing without counting the cost… then renege on the commitment.
We should live honestly and with an open mind. Oh yes, there will be moments when we doubt, there will be times when we feel that we cannot stay on the straight and narrow. How do we keep growing amid those difficulties? By not placing our salvation in the things we can see and touch. By questioning and probing that which we do not understand, not blindly accepting the popular worldly wisdom which fools humanity into thinking that a loving God would never send people to hell.
All of us fight our way through doubts to firm up our convictions, we do not want to be part of the group who give up and run. There is nothing wrong when doubts come our way. Remember Thomas… he was slow to be sure, slow to surrender; but once Thomas surrendered, it was complete. His faith in Christ never wavered… You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13… (NIV) To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done… All The Best in the New Year!!
Would you pray this prayer with me…? “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have peace in my heart. I really want that peace, joy, and happiness that I long for. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will bring Honor to Your Name.” Amen