John 20: 27-29 “Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.” Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”
Doubt has an interesting way of sneaking into my life in area’s that I definitely do not want it to take up residence in. It scares me to realize that doubt can seem to come and go whenever it pleases. Doubt, in my eyes, is the same thing as fear or anxiety–it takes control over my thought life and eats at the core of my heart.
As I reflect on myself I wonder, what has doubt done to you?
Does it cause you to distrust or dislike your own self?
Or to be scared to adventure into new things that you know are part of your destiny?
Maybe it has you stuck in a life that you don’t want to be in.
Or worried that you will never be good enough…
Or maybe it’s all of them.
Whatever it is, I think we can all admit that doubt sucks. Absolutely sucks. There’s no way around that one. However, doubt is just another thing that is “of this world” so to speak– it comes from the devil and his insecurities about his eternal hell-filled destiny–but in all honesty, it has no real power over us when we live with the Truth. When we take a second to really step back and think about the areas that doubt has dug its way into our lives, it’s probably safe to say that that little (or big) guy has had his way in multiple areas. But within that self-realization comes the opportunity to connect all of the doubt-filled moments with what the Truth really is–the Truth that we don’t have to live the way doubt wants us to. We don’t have to shake in our boots and let doubt win. Because of Christ we have the power to banish doubt from our lives–that’s the Truth (big t). It’s always a choice for us to choose: whether or not doubt will rule our lives. Sometimes that choice seems near impossible, but it’s always there. Just as Jesus told Thomas, “Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer”, we have the same opportunity to choose. Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to choose if he was going to believe or not. Granted, Thomas had Jesus’ resurrected self standing right in front of him, which probably made it easier to have the faith to actually trust Jesus because he could literally see the holes in His hand and in His side, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have that same faith that Thomas did when he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
All the more, Christ promised that those who “believe without seeing” (that’s us!) “are blessed.” We are already blessed when we have faith to believe in Jesus.
Imagine it, every time we feel afraid or worried or doubtful about how something is going to work out, we get to turn to the truth that Jesus did die to save each of us and that He does have holes in His hands and side to prove His sacrifice and that He DID INDEED conquer the world (our doubt and all).
–Simply stated, having faith in who Jesus truly is removes doubt.–
But sometimes it’s not simple. When chaos seems to be the only thing that is real each day, how can faith be a thing? When the destiny I know God has planned for me doesn’t seem to be working out, faith is the last thing I cling to. When we fall, yet again, into the sin that we are trying so hard to fight… well, faith is a hard thing to find amidst that kind of shame.
And yet those are the times that our faith needs to be the strongest.
So how do we have the faith that overcomes this doubt?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!..Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Do not have anxiety or doubt about ANYTHING–that’s a command from God. He is telling us–no, He is declaring to us not to have any doubt. Therefore, when we have doubt we go against His eternal plan. But, He isn’t leaving us to figure it out on our own. No way. He tells us that through everything (yes, everything) we must pray to Him. And in that prayer we get to rejoice and thank Him for all that He has done. Thank Him even in the midst of the “bad” things? Well yes, the seemingly bad times are when we get to rejoice the most because they produce endurance, and endurance produces hope and faith, which are useful in all areas of life. Through these constant, thankful prayers where we give all of our requests–the worries, the turmoils, the joys, the chaos, the victory’s, the distraction, the hope– to God, His unexplainable peace comes to guard our minds and hearts, which are, in fact, the places that doubt likes to exist the most. And because of this peace, our doubt gives way to an unexplainable, yet attainable faith that is certainly capable of standing up against even the strongest doubt. After all, it is from God, the Creator of everything, and it has power because it is in Christ Jesus, the conqueror of this fallen world.
But again it’s a choice. It’s always a choice. To believe that God is greater than our worries. To have faith even when everything is falling apart. To trust that everything will work out for our good.
I believe doubt is an obstacle that we have to face every day, multiple times a day if you are like me, but that it is part of life. Because we live (physically) in a fallen world we are subject to the pain that the world causes. Jesus never promised a secure life when His grace gave us the opportunity to follow Him. But that doesn’t mean we have to conform to the world. Paul writes in Colossians 3, “¹ So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. ² Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. ³ For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.” By the nature of it, following Jesus means we die to our old (doubt-filled) self and fix our eyes on Jesus and the power that He has over the destruction in this world. We no longer have to give in to doubt but now we get to choose to believe that our faith in Jesus is true and His grace is enough.
Look up. Be a believer.