A post-Easter message on doubt.

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Thoughts on God
Tags: ,

realtyWhen Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and presented Himself to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t there. When the disciples told Thomas that they’d seen Jesus, Thomas didn’t believe them.

As described in John 20, Thomas told them he wouldn’t believe it unless he saw Jesus and experienced Jesus for himself. He doubted. That’s why we know him as Doubting Thomas.

He didn’t stay a doubter, of course. Jesus appeared to him, allowed him to touch His hands and side—at which point Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!”—and Thomas ended up taking the Gospel to India, where he was eventually martyred.

It’s easy to focus on Thomas’ doubts, but we need to realize that all the disciples doubted. Luke 24 says they were frightened when Jesus first appeared to them in a room. Matthew 28 says that they doubted him when he appeared to them on a mountaintop in Galilee.

The disciples were there. They saw Jesus, touched Jesus, and still doubted. Doubt is something all humans do.

When the Bible uses the word translated doubt, it literally means “two ways.” It means double vision—that we can see belief and trust on one hand, and we can see the other way, too. We hesitate. We can’t make up our minds.

Do you know that many famous characters in the Bible doubted? Abraham, the father of the faith, doubted when God told him he’d have children. Moses doubted God. David doubted God. Peter doubted God when he tried to walk on water.

This Post-Easter Monday, here are three things I want you to know about doubt.

First, doubt is honest. It is different from unbelief. Doubt is saying, “I cannot believe.” Unbelief is a refusal to believe. Doubt means we are trying to find a place of faith—we are looking for the light—but we are struggling. On the other hand, unbelief is contentment with darkness.

The second thing you must know is that Jesus is always gracious to doubters. If you are dealing with doubt, God is not your enemy but your friend. Jesus was not hostile to Peter, nor to Thomas. He did not reject them because of their doubts.

Please know that Jesus can handle your sincere doubts. He is sympathetic to them. He is not offended or troubled by them at all.

Thirdly, realize that doubt, in and of itself, is not sin. It only becomes sin when it causes us to disobey God—especially long-term.

If you have doubts this Post-Easter Monday, make up your mind that your doubts are not going to define your life. Don’t let doubt become something that keeps you from doing what God wants you do to in your life.

Give your doubts to God and ask Him to help you resolve them. Continue to pursue Him. Continue to read and obey His word. Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes from hearing the message… through the word about Christ.” That means you can trust God’s word to resolve your doubt. Not skeptics, not experts who oppose God, but God’s word.

This Post-Easter, I hope you choose God despite your doubt. Refuse to be overcome by your questions and hesitations and turn toward God. When you do, He can take your overcoming doubt and turn it into overcoming faith.

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