Faith and Doubt
Thomas had heard the warnings… false Christ’s and false prophets would emerge. Jesus had often spoken of wolves hidden among the sheep, dressed up like one of them. He had told how liars, thieves, destroyers would make efforts to sneak into the camp, there to wreck havoc.
Thomas would have none of that. Though some of his company had fallen asleep in Gethsemane, Thomas vowed to himself that he, if indeed he alone, would stand faithful and stay alert. Now they said the thoroughly dead Jesus, the Jesus whom he’d seen die, gasp his last and say “It is finished!” – that Jesus whose blood-soaked body flopped lifeless over the centurion’s shoulders when he pried the spikes from his limp ankles and wrists… that Jesus, so they said had been seen alive!
The women had started it… then the two on the road… now the whole band of them say he came to them, here, in this very room, while Thomas himself had been out.
Were all the ten duped now? Stay on the safe side, thought Thomas. Doubt until proven wrong. Proven wrong. He told them frankly, “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.” (John 20:25). Thomas would do his Lord proud. Thomas would not just believe any old gossip. Thomas wanted proof!
Doubt. When we’re in the midst of it it seems like the wise thing, the cautious and right thing. But when we come out of it, when faith and the promises of God prove themselves trustworthy, we see doubt for what it was. “Oh you of little faith,” Jesus bemoaned when His disciples failed to show faith (Matt. 8:26; 14:31). Jesus always sees doubt for what it is: faithlessness.
But believer take heart! “When there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith either.” (Paul Tournier, as quoted in Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God)
Faith is like courage. As courage rises above fear to act courageously, so faith rises above doubt to act faithfully.
To diminish your doubt, feed your faith. Fill your mind with the promises of God by reading Scripture. Fill your spirit with the Spirit of God through continual prayer. Fill your experience with the workings of God by taking bigger steps of faith. Reach out. Pray. Do not be presumptuous but do the will of God as He makes it known to you. Do the will of God in areas you may never have ventured into before.
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