By nature, we all have a bit of “Thomas” in us. You remember how Thomas doubted the disciples when they told him they had seen the resurrected Lord Jesus? There was a simple reason for his doubt; what Thomas believed in died on the cross, and his heart was absolutely crushed under the weight of losing his Lord. He simply refused to risk having his heart broken even more by believing without seeing.
I think Thomas gets a bad rap when he is remembered as “Doubting Thomas.” Recall that it was Thomas who took the lead when Jesus was leaving for Judea to raise Lazarus from the dead; “Let us also go,” Thomas said to the disciples, “that we may die with [Jesus]” (John 11:16). Also remember that Thomas made one of the greatest professions of faith ever uttered by man:
Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.” 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!” 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.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
You and I are faced with circumstances that test our faith on a regular basis. Those circumstances confront us with two choices: trust or doubt. Trust and doubt simply cannot coexist. When doubt enters in, faith flees. When faith is firm, doubt disappears.
Satan loves it when we doubt. Doubt is the key that unlocks the doorway leading to all sorts of debilitating emotions, like fear, worry, anger, and apathy. Before long, doubt will carry us to a place we don’t want to be in and don’t even know how we got there. But this is not for you!
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.
Make no mistake, Abraham was not perfect in his belief. He obviously doubted God when he tried to pass his wife off as his sister to save his own skin—not once, but twice. You and I are like Abraham: everything we do, we do imperfectly.
But here is the critical question: What marks your life most: doubt or trust?
Peter doubted Jesus when he denied Him three times on the night Jesus was betrayed. Later, we read in the book of Acts that Peter struggled with doubt again, and was rebuked by Paul when Peter refused to eat with Gentiles for fear of offending Jewish believers (Galatians 2:11-12). But Peter’s life was marked not by doubt, but by trust. Tradition tells us that when he was crucified for proclaiming his Christian faith, he asked his executioners to nail him to the cross upside-down, stating that he was not worthy to die in the same way as his Lord.
So . . . where in your life are you dealing with doubt right now—personally or professionally? Wherever doubt is disrupting your forward progress in life, take it to your Lord in prayer and marinate in His Word. Don’t think anything strange is happening to you when doubt comes knocking on your door; it happens to all of us! The key is to identify doubt and deal with it; don’t let it take root! Use all the means of grace God has given to you—godly friends, church attendance, prayer, daily devotion, service, fasting, etc.—to dispel your doubt and build your belief.
The better view you have of your Lord—like the one Thomas had the night Jesus showed up—the less you will doubt and the more you will trust!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!