Have you ever had doubts? I know there are many things in life that are accompanied by doubt. “Will I be or am I a good parent?” “Does ______ really love me?” “Is this the job opportunity I am supposed to take?” “Did I make the right decision?” These are all doubts that most of us understand. They all seem to revolve around major decisions in life. Most churches reach out to people in times of these struggles hoping to direct them to seek God. We are comfortable with these types of doubt.
However, it seems that when it comes to doubts about the faith, we may criticize some for their struggles or tell them they just need to have more faith. It reminds me of the way we treat Thomas, the disciple. You have heard of him, but probably by the name of doubting Thomas. In John 20:25 he makes a statement that follows him into the current day, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” That one statement of doubt branded him for life.
I want to share one other passage where Thomas is mentioned and makes a profound statement of faithful devotion. In John 11, Jesus gets word that Lazarus has died. In order to travel back to see the family, and ultimately bring Lazarus back to life, Jesus has to return to Judea where the Jews want to kill Jesus. The disciples did not want him to go. However, in this familiar account we have an unfamiliar statement made by Thomas, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” What a faithful statement by the man known as doubting Thomas.
Everyone has doubts, even the faithful. In fact, doubts can show a spiritual struggle that gives birth to greater faith. It is okay to have questions and it is okay to ask them. Faithful Thomas doubted the resurrection of Christ and many faithful Christians have doubts about their faith, the Bible, God, and the church at times. I want to encourage you to keep the faith and seek God for the answers.
You may never find answers to some of your questions and there may be things you have to accept by faith and faith alone. This is a reality, but if you seek God and look in the right places, many of the questions that have been avoided by some in the church, have been answered by others. Keep searching, keep asking, and keep wanting to know more.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 7/12/16.