Time for another excerpt from the upcoming book, “Today Is….A Gift From God.” Today’s devotional is from January 12.
a good day to deal with doubt.
“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” John 20:27 NLT
How strong is your faith? How confident is your belief? Publicly, you may proclaim that your faith is unshakeable; that your belief is without reservation. Privately, there may be times when a shadow of doubt crosses your heart as a cloud sometimes crosses in front of the sun, blocking its light and its warmth.
The disciple Thomas not only needed to see Jesus’ wounds, he needed to feel them for himself before he was completely ready to believe that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.
Simon Peter’s faith was strong enough to trust Christ and step out of the boat onto the water. “‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:29 NLT).
His fear created doubts that caused him to start sinking making him cry out to Jesus for help. His doubts would surface again when Jesus was taken into custody and Peter denied three times that he even knew who Christ was, just as Jesus said he would. “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, Peter – this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.'” (Matthew 26:34 NLT).
God does not condemn us for our moments of human weakness that result in doubt provided we use our struggle with it to strengthen our faith. Since we are merely human, we should not allow it to shatter us if we have an occasional moment of doubt. It is during these times that we must rely on the Word of God to help us reach out and ‘touch the wounds of Jesus’ for ourselves and find the wisdom to strengthen our belief.
The apostle Thomas became known as ‘Doubting’ Thomas. He went on to become one of Christ’s most fervent apostles, traveling to India and founding the first Christian church there in A. D. 52 in the town of Parur, which is located on the southeastern coast in the state of Kerala. Ultimately, Thomas traveled farther than any of the other apostles including the indefatigable Paul who traveled much of the area bordering the northern and eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Simon Peter was originally Simon the fisherman. Jesus changed his name to Peter which meant ‘rock’. In describing Peter, He said “…upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18 NLT).
Peter did, indeed, become a ‘rock’ for Christ: He was the first to invite non-Jews to join the early church; he became the recognized leader among Jesus’ disciples; he was one of Jesus’ inner group of three; he went on to write 1 Peter and 2 Peter.
So. Do you sometimes have doubts? If you do, then you are in very good company. Use the Word of God to overcome your doubts, strengthen your faith, and do great things for the glory of God!