March 28, 2008

A Battle With Doubt

John 20:24-31

“Put your finger here … Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
John 20:27


I will never forget a man in one of my congregations who had a difficult time believing in God because of all the suffering in the world. Maybe you have the same kind of doubt. Maybe while you’ve been reading these meditations, you haven’t been able to shake this nagging question: Is all of this true?

Some time ago I sat with someone who had prayed often for his alcoholic son, and yet there was no change in the son’s life. That father said, “I am in a spiritual desert. Where is God?”

Thomas almost missed Easter because of his doubt and unbelief. That earned him a nickname that we still use today: “Doubting Thomas.” A special appearance by Christ was needed to move Thomas to faith.

What about you? When Thomas finally believed, Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Is that you? If you struggle with doubt, remember how John closes this passage: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

Here’s some additional advice for people who have never met the risen Christ and yet seek a strong faith: Read the Bible; it tells us all that we need to believe.

Jesus, I am so grateful that you brought Thomas to faith in you. May my confession be the same as his: “My Lord and my God!” In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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