Honest Christians will always admit they have questions about their faith. That’s simply the nature of life in a fallen world. Why does God allow me to suffer? Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? Why did God allow my loved one to die?
We live in a world that makes us ask hard questions.
The Easter season, while a time of celebration for Christians, is also a time when many face doubts. The Resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith, but coming back to life after death is simply not the way the world works. It is an affront to what we understand about human life.
The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He realized this. One of my favorite stories related to His resurrection is the story of doubting Thomas in John 20.
On the day Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to the disciples. For some reason, Thomas wasn’t there with them. The others saw their resurrected Lord and rejoiced. Thomas missed out.
So when Peter and John and the other disciples began telling Thomas about seeing Jesus, Thomas was suspicious. He said, “I don’t believe you. And I won’t believe unless I see Him and experience it for myself.” That’s why we call him “Doubting Thomas.”
I’m pretty sure you and I would have reacted the same way.
Jesus didn’t condemn Thomas for his unbelief. Eight days later, He appeared before the disciples again—including Thomas. He allowed the disciple to touch His hands and side, and Thomas finally believed.
He resolved his uncertainty about Jesus and went on to preach the Gospel in India, where eventually he died for his faith.
Though a man of great faith, Thomas’ faith began with doubt—just like Abraham, Moses, King David, and Peter.
I want you to understand two important truths about doubt:
First, doubt is not the same as unbelief. Doubt is honest. It says “I cannot believe, but I’m trying.” Unbelief is obstinate. It says “I will not believe.”
We all doubt, but the presence of doubt doesn’t mean we are unbelievers. It just says we are struggling to see the light despite the darkness in our past, in our lives today, and in the world around us.
Second, Jesus is always gracious to doubters. He showed grace to Thomas while he was resolving his doubts. He showed grace to Peter when he sank beneath the water on the Sea of Galilee. He will show grace to you, too. God is not offended by your doubts or troubled by them at all. He is sympathetic to them.
Remember, doubt—in and of itself—is not sin. It only becomes sin when it causes us to disobey God.
So what will resolve your doubts? Thomas dealt with his doubts by seeing Jesus face-to-face and touching His side. We resolve our doubts through God’s Word and by taking a step of faith.
Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the action we take that overcomes it. Many times in my life I have been a doubter. But even then, I made my mind up to act in faith. I refused to stay in a place of indecision. I chose God, believed His Word, and took the next step.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll experience God. Your doubt becomes overcoming faith. You become like Thomas—an honest doubter who comes to faith, and whom God uses to do great things.
Learn how to resolve your doubts and experience God. Watch “How to Overcome Your Doubts” with Jimmy Evans.
ABOUT JIMMY EVANS
Jimmy Evans is founder and CEO of MarriageToday and co-host of MarriageToday with Jimmy & Karen, the marriage ministry and broadcast television program that airs to millions of households each week and in over 200 countries.