In a Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown is talking with Lucy as they walk home on the last day of school. Charlie Brown says to Lucy: “Lucy, I got straight A’s. isn’t that great!”
Lucy in her typical fashion shoots down poor Charlie Brown and says: I don’t believe you Charlie Brown. Unless you show me your report card, I cannot believe you.”
1) DOUBTING THOMAS
John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
- The disciple Thomas wanted absolute proof that Jesus was alive after the crucifixion.
- Grief had gripped his soul as he had watched his beloved Master die on the cross.
- As Jesus died, hope had died within Thomas.
- In Thomas’ heart, nothing was left but the stark reality of his problem.
- Fear gripped Thomas after the crucifixion and He went into hiding all alone.
- In a self-imposed solitary confinement, Thomas nursed his grief, his guilt, his anger, his despair and his confusion.
- Because he was so wrapped up in his own problems, Thomas missed the first appearance of the Lord to the disciples.
- When the ecstatic disciples found Thomas and told him that Jesus was alive, Thomas was not in the mood to believe them.
- John 20:25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
2) THE “THOMAS” IN ALL OF US
- Life constantly challenges us with new information and discoveries: it seems that the older we get, the more we realize how little we really know.
- When we are young, it seems so easy to put everything into perspective and decide what is good and bad and what is right and wrong.
- As we get older things are not so clear-cut. Sometimes there are gray areas which we don’t know if it is right or wrong.
- Not only do doubts and questions plague us in our daily life, they often harass us in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Doubts are usually far away when life is good and blessings are flowing: but when hard times come, doubts seem to come with them.
- When we pray for healing and continue to get sick – doubts can come…
- When we pray for help and yet help doesn’t arrive – doubts can come…
- When we witness and teach Bible studies, yet no one believe – doubts can come…
- When we suffer a terrible tragedy in our family – doubts can come…
3) CONQUERING THE “THOMAS” IN US
What can we do when doubts invade our mind and questions plague our thoughts – what can we do to get beyond our doubts?
- A) BE HONEST WITH YOUR DOUBTS.
- It is only when we stop faking and start facing them that we can grow in deeper faith.
- B) ALLOW CHRIST TO GET INVOLVED
- Jesus knew that Thomas still had a “little faith”, but he was beyond human help . . . so Jesus came to help Thomas Himself!
- When Jesus appeared again to the disciples in the upper room, He went directly to Thomas, as if he was the only disciple there.
- John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
- C) PRAY FOR INCREASED FAITH
- Mark 9:24 “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
4) TURNING DOUBT INTO CONFIDENCE
- When problems hit and doubts begin to invade your mind, surrender the situation to God in faith, then get ready: beyond your doubts is a faith greater than you have ever possessed before!
- Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
- Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
- Psalm 56:9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
- Psalm 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
- John 9:23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
- John 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
- 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
CONCLUSION: I’VE GOT CONFIDENCE (Andrea Crouch)
When trouble is in my way
I can’t tell the night from day
I toss from side to side
Like a ship on a raging tide
I don’t worry and I don’t fret
God has never failed me yet
Troubles comin’ from time to time
But that’s all right,
’cause I’m not the worrying kind
Because I, I’ve got confidence,
God is gonna see me through
No matter what the case may be
I know He’s gonna fix it for me