Stop Doubting and Believe

Scripture Reading: John 20:24-31

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), 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!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

All of us have our struggles with doubt at one time or another. We doubt if we are a good enough parent or spouse. We doubt whether or not we express our love enough to our friends, our neighbors, or even our own family. And some of us even doubt if we are good enough to be called followers of Christ.

Some pastors today focus too much on those negative aspects and not enough on God’s love and grace towards his children. Sometimes we do need to be told that we are not leading the kind of life that we should be. However, we all need to hear that we do have some worth in our daily walk with God. Our Heavenly Father created us, so He knows that we are far from perfect. Our creator wants us to start each day with a clean slate so that He can work through us, in order to carry out His will in this world.

I have been awake several times this week in the middle of the night and that is the absolute worst time for doubts to set in. Everything seems so dark and hopeless in the early morning hours and that’s when my doubts begin to play mind games with me. You know those voices that are saying, you aren’t smart enough, or good enough, or capable enough to do what God is calling you to do. You might as well just give up and resign yourself to the fact that God can’t possibly use someone who is weak like you. In times like this, I have to remind myself that this voice is the evil one, that is whispering in my ear. Satan will do everything he can, to cause us to doubt how much our God loves us and cares for us.

John’s gospel gives us the story of the original doubting Thomas. This disciple had been with Jesus throughout his ministry and he had seen up close the many miracles that Jesus had performed. So why did Thomas made such a harsh statement saying, “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 it”?  I believe that Satan was whispering in his ear, causing him to doubt what his eyes had witnessed throughout Jesus’ ministry. For Thomas, he had to see Jesus, and his hands, and his side, in order to believe.

Jesus reminds us today to also stop doubting and believe. When that voice of doubt comes to you and tells you that you are not good enough, or smart enough, or capable enough to be used by God, just tell the evil one that all things are possible if you only believe. Stop doubting yourself and stop doubting God’s awesome power and just believe and put your faith and trust in your creator, redeemer, and sustainer. You and I are God’s creation and He loves each and every one of us, in spite of our failures. God invites you to start today with a clean slate. Thanks be to God!

 

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