We must DOUBT our DOUBTS & BELIEVE our BELIEFS
November 5 Bible Reading: John Chapters 19-21
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:26-29)
The above scriptural passage records an incident where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection and declared peace upon them. The specific purpose of Jesus appearing to all His disciples (that included Thomas this time) was to dispel the skepticism of Thomas who had categorically stated to the other disciples: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (v. 25b). Also, Jesus wanted to provide hope and peace to the distraught minds of His disciples who had a hard time believing that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead as He had promised them earlier.
The doubting Thomas could not just believe the words of the other disciples who had declared to him earlier: "We have seen the Lord" (v. 25a), and the fact that Jesus was alive in His resurrected body. How Jesus dealt gently and patiently with His faithless disciple! After Jesus had appeared to Thomas and showed the evidence of his resurrection, Thomas exclaimed that Jesus was both his Lord and his God (v. 28). These words from Thomas form the climax to John’s gospel and summarize its theme. John’s purpose, to demonstrate the deity of Christ, climaxes in this confession of Thomas!
Unlike Thomas, though we cannot see Jesus physically through our eyes and sense His presence, we should totally believe in our hearts that Jesus is ‘both Lord and God’. Jesus has proclaimed that we are blessed (v. 29) when we believe in the deity of Jesus even though we cannot see Him with our mortal eyes or, sense His presence or, scientifically prove that He is truly God incarnate.
Someone has once said that we must doubt our doubts and believe our beliefs when it comes to the veracity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must have faith in our hearts, defined as follows: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1). Through faith we do not see the evidence of things, particularly concerning the truth of the gospel. However, "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). In our daily activities, we may have experiences that can build our faith or, that which causes us to temporarily doubt our beliefs. When we have these doubts, we should ask God to a deeper understanding of His reality!
It will be extremely helpful if we are able to react at least as the father of the sick child in the following incident: Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:23-24) If we are seriously harboring any kind of skepticism or unbelief in our hearts, let us sincerely ask God to strengthen our faith in Him and dispel all unbelief that Satan tries to sow into our hearts every hour of every day.
Today, let us rise above our mediocre sight-living and truly believe in God’s Word that has become an ancient tale to a skeptical populace today. If God says a thing, we honor Him by believing it; but we dishonor Him by demanding additional evidence. We should believe simply because He said it and because He cannot lie or be mistaken. When our faith falters, let us not ask for signs like Thomas. Instead, let us open His Word and allow Him to reassure us through His Word. God’s Word is the best evidence that we have in our hands today!