April 23, 2021

John 20:27-29

Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

When I was first learning about God in college I struggled with significant doubts. Did God even exist at all?  How could I know for sure? I read books and materials on Christian apologetics and tried to find clear answers to all my questions. I thought that once I gathered enough evidence, once I heard enough reasonable answers, then this sort of “confident belief” would magically descend upon me like a cloud. I would then walk forth in great faith, living joyously doubt-free for the rest of my life. 

I was wrong about that!

While logic and evidence certainly help when it comes to belief, ultimately belief is really a choice. Our hyper-rational world highly values reason and proof (and yes, they certainly have their place when it comes to thinking through questions). But in the end, belief is a matter of our will. We choose to believe if something is true or not.  

I heard of an evangelist once who decisively defeated an atheist in a debate. As they shook hands afterward, the atheist admitted he’d been soundly beaten. The evangelist then asked him, “So are you going to become a Christian now?” to which the atheist quickly replied, “Absolutely not!” 

I’ve always thought Jesus was very generous with Thomas. He actually offered to let Thomas stick his hand into Jesus’ side! Back in college I often wished God would do something amazing like that for me, so then I wouldn’t struggle with doubts about Him anymore. But over time I came to understand that even a miracle like that wouldn’t have helped me back then – I would have simply found another reason to doubt. I didn’t really comprehend it that way, but that’s what I was choosing to do.

Are you struggling with doubts in some way this week? Ask yourself honestly, what would it take for you to choose to believe and trust God today? Take your doubts before your Heavenly Father and ask Him to provide the strength to trust Him!

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