28.5 John – Doubts

What a blessing Thomas is to the church, to all believers and to all who will become believers.  In some area of our life, we are all Thomas.

God, I know you are in charge, but please show me.  God, I know you are sovereign but things seem pretty messed up from my perspective.  God, I know you will not give me more than I can stand up under, but I’m past my limit.

Thomas did not deny Jesus.  He didn’t even deny the other disciples.  He just said, I need to see it.  And, on the first day of the next week, Jesus appears and lets him see.  Now, think about this, Jesus was under no obligation to show Thomas.  He was under no obligation to treat this man differently than any other man of any other time.  He didn’t owe Thomas.  But, He loved Thomas.  He knew Thomas and He wanted Thomas to believe.

Jesus knows us.  Jesus loves us.  Jesus wants us, too, to believe.  This story is so moving to us because we all can related to Thomas.  As the father said to Jesus in Mark 9:4, “Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”.  We all have areas of doubt.  These aren’t even over Jesus or heaven, but doubts about how God can love us in the midst of our sin, how He can love His church in the midst of its brokenness, how He can use someone like me to witness to others much less to lead or teach.  We have doubts that don’t begin with who He is but begin with who we are.  So did Thomas.  I need to see.  I need to touch.  Then I will believe.

And, just like Thomas, Jesus comes to each of us as well.  Jesus is not the truth because we believe.  We believe because He is the truth.

What are the doubts that create shadows in your life?  The things that you hold back from God or putting fully in His hands?  The things that you want to trust, but you seem to not be able to let go.  The wrongs that have been done to you but you haven’t been able to forgive?

When you let go of you doubts, notice that isn’t overcome them, but let go of them and entrust them to Jesus, then your belief is made stronger and then you find peace.  Not only that but you receive a special blessing from Jesus.  Blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe.

A pastor once said he felt sorrow for the members of his church who did not attend service.  It wasn’t because of the songs and definitely not for the sermon, but to him, it was because they closed every service with a benediction, a blessing.  Blessings are really big deals in the bible.  Why would anyone purposefully miss out on receiving a blessing?  Don’t miss out on the one from Jesus because you want to hold on to doubt instead.

My Answers:

12.
S: Dedicated to Jesus (willing to die for Him) – W: very tied to the physical world, focus on life/death, physically knowing the way Jesus was going to the Father, need to see, hear and touch to believe.

I often don’t see the spiritual implications because of a focus on the physical

13.
Jesus knew what he had said and showed up to him (personally but with others present behind locked doors), told him to put your finger here, see my hands… stop doubting and believe – Thomas responded “My Lord and my God”

14.
Caused me to ask, what do I not believe?  How does doubt hinder my belief.  “help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:4

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