In the Gospel of John there is a profound lesson on faith. The story is found in John 20:24-31. To summarize, Jesus has been crucified and rumor has it that HE has actually risen from the dead. After all, Mary said she saw him and he actually spoke to her. Peter and John checked out the tomb and it was empty with the grave clothes curiously laid aside. Could this really be so?
Has Jesus risen from the dead?
The door was locked as the 10 gathered together and it would be safe to say that these guys were nervous, if not downright scared, of what might happen next. Suddenly Jesus is right in front of them! They are delirious with joy as Jesus breathes on them and says receive the Holy Spirit and tells them that- as HE was sent from the Father- now HE is sending them!
What an experience. How supernatural. However, Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared and here is where things get interesting starting with verse 25: 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.”
I am sure after he said this, there was not an intellectual conversation. They were practically coming out of their skin, jumping up and down and telling Thomas what happened. But he will not budge. Now notice this: 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again...
1 week! One whole week of these guys telling Thomas what happened. “Hey T-Diddy, (Thomas also known as Didymus) are you saying that all 10 of us are delusional? Are we in mass hysteria?” Day after day, try as they may to reason with him, he “will not” believe.
10 excitable Jewish disciples cannot convince him. He must see before he will believe.
I don’t know about you but that is pretty convicting. In fact what Thomas said doesn’t even require faith- this is sense knowledge faith. Notice that Thomas has made a conscience choice. “Unless I see... I will not believe “. Tommy is limiting what can be, only by what he can see, touch, hear, taste and smell. Our 5 senses.
Thankfully Jesus has mercy on Tom. John 20 says: Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 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.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus said, “STOP DOUBTING”- make the choice- stop it! Jesus said to do this! Start doubting your doubts. Why do we always assume the worst? Why do we gravitate to the negative?
Doubt your doubts! Feed your faith! Don’t speak doubt, speak faith! We CAN control our thoughts and our speech. I am not saying to be in denial. I am saying, “I will CHOOSE to believe!”
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.
We have to see it -before we can see it!
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
When do I believe? After I have it or before I have it? Believe that I HAVE received-When? When I pray. Not when I feel it, not when I see it, not when I can touch, hear, smell.
Notice John 20 again.
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Make the choice. Stop doubting. See it -before you see it. Let the language of faith be on our lips by being thankful and grateful, and worshipful. This torments the devil, and this will keep our spirit strong and in faith. The question is, am I being a Thomas? Sometimes, yes. But I am determined to let faith in Jesus dominate my life, and not my human instincts!
Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Prov.3:5)