Did Thomas doubt more than we do? And what does this teach us about our doubts?
Before Jesus died, Thomas proved he was ready to die to follow Jesus, "Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." Jn. 11:14-16. Everyone thinks about the famous verses when Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the grave, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." Jn. 20:24-25. However, we must remember that Thomas continued meeting with the disciples after this event. They met daily in prayer. He did not abandon them. Why did God place these verses in the Bible?
Because He knows we need to deal with our doubts if we are going to learn to follow Him and that all of us have doubts. Even the eleven disciples had doubts when they met Jesus on the mountain just before He ascended into heaven, "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted." Matt. 28:17. As did David, when he faced adversity, "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?" Ps. 13:1-2. And, Jeremiah, when he grew weary of the mocking, "O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily." Jer. 20:7-8. And, Habakkuk, when the people of Israel stubbornly defied God, "O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!" Hab. 1:2. And, John the Baptist, when he was in prison, "Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Matt. 11:2-3. And, Peter when Jesus was arrested, "And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew." Mk 14:30-31.
We must be honest with ourselves; we will all doubt occasionally. When hardships come, like sickness, the death of a loved one, the sharp tongue of a skeptic, or financial difficulties. These times of doubt should lead us to the Bible, so we can push through the hard times to the goodness and mercy God has prepared. Doubts are like the winds that strengthen the growing tree. Pushing through our doubts, as Thomas did, strengthens us, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Ps. 23:4-6.
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