We often associate faith with perfection and not with words like doubt, weakness or uncertainty. I have a conviction that faith is for real people like you and me, and that means faith is for people with real questions, real doubts and real uncertainties. How do you respond when you don’t understand why God allowed something? How do you respond when it just feels like you have no more faith left in you?
One of Jesus’ disciples Thomas, also openly struggled with his doubts about who Jesus was. Thomas was a person who was torn – he loved Jesus, left everything in his former life to follow Him, witnessed many of Jesus’ miracles, yet he still had this lingering doubt. Where did this doubt come from? He was hurt, confused and disappointed after Jesus’ death, and he was a person who craved physical evidence as described in John 20:24 – 31.
Thomas was pursuing a sign from God that would ‘fix everything.’ This has shipwrecked a lot of Christians who progressively get more desperate for a sign than for God Himself, and open themselves up to any kind of teaching. In verse 26 and 27, Jesus appeared to Thomas and invited him to look at His wounds from the cross. At this point Thomas had no more need for this evidence and simple cried “My Lord, my God!” acknowledging Jesus as God. This was the turning point for Thomas, the moment he really met God despite walking with Him for several years. The extraordinary thing is Jesus’ response to Thomas’ doubts. Jesus doesn’t rebuke him but instead goes looking for him and reaches out to him. It gives us a real insight to the graciousness of God.
Don’t allow your doubts to hold you back from a life of faith. None of us have perfect faith and God knows that. Instead embrace them, and allow God to slowly turn those questions of doubt into convictions of faith.