By Aaron Jeffires / FB: AJeffries1
Doubt has been on my mind a lot lately. Doubt can handicap a person who is getting ready to conquer a great quest. Some say it can even kill our joy. I must admit, as I write this, I am struggling with it.
I am a Christian who is not afraid to tell you he has doubts about life. I have seen miracles. For example, my wife was told she’d never be able to have children, but God worked that out. I have seen people come back from sickness completely healed. I have seen members of my church being pushed in a wheelchair to them walking out on their own two feet.
However, I, Aaron Jeffries, have doubts! Having just been through “Holy Week” as some call it, I am in a weird place. I haven’t really begun to think about the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. It’s not that I’m doubting Him -- I am nothing without Him -- but my mind is thinking of someone else, someone whom we affectionately call “Doubting Thomas.”
He was not present when the risen Jesus first appeared to the disciples. When told by the others, "We have seen the Lord," Thomas replied that he would not believe it unless he could actually see and touch Jesus' wounds.
Jesus later presented himself to the apostles and invited Thomas to inspect his wounds -- telling him to believe. Thomas did believe, however Jesus told him that those who have not seen and yet have believed are blessed.
Although it is not used in the Bible, the nickname "Doubting Thomas" was given to this disciple because of his disbelief about the resurrection. It is worth noting that Jesus did not scold Thomas for his doubt. In fact, Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds and see for himself. So, in my humble opinion, Thomas gets a bad reputation.
Yes, he doubted, but he had a pretty good reason to doubt. He walked with Jesus, he ministered with Jesus, he was taught by Jesus, watched Jesus get arrested, ran for his life -- just like everyone else I might add. Traditionally, he is said to have traveled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling as far as India.
According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, India in 52 AD and baptized several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis. After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places.
Sounds to me “doubting Thomas” did a lot of good for the Kingdom of God, but is yet remembered for his doubts in Scripture. So here’s a challenge for you and for myself. Let us not be a stumbling block to other believers who have doubts.
What if Jesus told Thomas he could have no place in the kingdom because of doubt? Could you imagine what tradition would say now if Jesus had scolded Thomas for doubting and banned him from the Kingdom?
Some people are hindered greatly by doubt, some see it as a springboard to life, and others see it as an obstacle to be overcome. The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past, so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present.
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago” (Psalm 77:11).
In order for us to have faith in God, we must study to know what He has said. Once we have an understanding of what God has done in the past, what He has promised us for the present, and what we can expect from Him in the future, we are able to act in faith instead of doubt.
Aaron Jeffries lives in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. Married to His beautiful wife Kristen Jeffries, and has been blessed with two amazing little boys. Join Him as He writes about life and our amazing Heavenly Father." He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook.