Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Jn. 20:29 (NASB)
Would you like to be remembered as “Doubting” Debbie, Ella, or John? We remember Jesus’ disciple Thomas that way. Thankfully Thomas moved from doubt to faith. His story reminds me I can too.
Thomas was absent when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection. Thomas rejoins the group and finds them jubilantly declaring, “Jesus is alive!” Thomas says, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe,” (Jn. 20:25).
Have you ever struggled to believe what you can’t see? I have. I’ve prayed for guidance and then doubted my decision when things weren’t looking like I thought they would. I’ve questioned my ability to hear God instead of trusting His ability to lead me when I don’t see where I’m going. I’ve wondered if my work matters when I don’t see results. I understand Thomas’s desire to see.
The disciples didn’t condemn Thomas for his doubts, and Thomas was with them when Jesus appeared the second time. Because Thomas didn’t pretend to believe, but was honest about his skepticism, Jesus answered Thomas’s concerns. When believers don’t condemn strugglers but share why they believe, doubters see Jesus and find renewed faith.
However, demanding to see before we will believe can harm us and lead to sin. Thomas suffered while he doubted. In the wilderness, the Israelites became restless when Moses disappeared to meet with God. Not having a visible leader exposed their shaky faith and prompted them to choose a golden idol over the living God who had rescued them from Egypt. Their foolishness stunned me—until I realized I too am tempted to erect substitutes for God that I can measure and see.
In what areas of your life are you demanding something you can see before you will believe God is for you? Finances, health, relationships, family, or career? If you are being faithful to your part in the various areas of your life, how much more can you can trust God to fulfill His role?
If you are experiencing doubts in an area:
- Don’t run from them. Be honest and express them to the Father and a trusted believer
- Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to His assurances
- Be open to seeing things from a different perspective
- Record daily evidences of God, no matter how small they seem at the moment
- Ask God for the grace to experience a change of will, mind, and emotions
Those who believe without having to see experience the perpetual peace and joy abiding faith brings. If, however, you identify with Thomas because something has rocked your faith, bring your honest doubts to Jesus. Jesus opened Thomas’s eyes of faith. He wants to do the same for you.
Deborah W. Wilson
Bible Study for Women
Ladies, I’ll be leading two studies on Give Yourself a Break. One in Cary and one in Zebulon. Click here for more information.