Summary: This message is part of a series through the book of John, and helps to normalize our doubt and teaches believers and nonbelievers alike how to deal with it from a Biblical standpoint
Dealing with Doubt
-This is a very familiar passage of scripture
-Thomas gets a really bad rap over this. Even people outside of the church know what it means to be a doubting Thomas. It even earned Thomas a place in the Webster Dictionary on-line. Under doubting Thomas it says one who questions, a disbeliever, a skeptic
-In the church we have made the word “doubt” a dirty word something to be ashamed of
“The shame is not that people have doubts but that they are ashamed of them.” because the reality is everyone of us here have at one time or another had to deal with the issue of doubt in our Christian life
Lee Strobel, a converted Atheist who was converted after studying the evidence of Christanity says in his book titled the “the Case for Christ” Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in their heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”
For many Christians, merely having doubts of any kind can be scary. They wonder whether their questions disqualify them being a follower of Christ. They feel insecure because they’re not sure whether it’s permissible to express uncertainty about God, Jesus, or the Bible. So they keep their questions to themselves−and inside, unanswered, they grow and fester and loom until they eventually succeed in choking out their faith…. At the same time, many Christians have a completely different perspective. They believe that having doubts isn’t evidence of the absence of faith; on the contrary, they consider them to be the very essence of faith itself.”
Thomas gets a bad rap because he didn't let his doubt destroy him, instead he acted on his doubt and sought out the evidence and his doubt actually made his faith that much stronger
We don't know a lot about Thomas, He was one of the twelve disciples chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ
Luk 6:12 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luk 6:13 And when it was day, he called [unto him] his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
Luk 6:14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Luk 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
Thomas had a strong faith. When Jesus was going to the tomb of Lazarus Thomas at that point in his walk with Christ was willing to stick right with the Lord and even go and die with him if necessary
Jhn 11:14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died,
Jhn 11:15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
Jhn 11:16 So Thomas, called the Twin, [fn] said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
Even Jesus said don't believe if someone says over here
When Jesus talked to his disciples about his death and resurrection and going to heaven it was Thomas who spoke up and wanted to know where Jesus was going and how to get there
Jhn 14:5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
Jhn 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Even though we don't know a lot about Jesus we can conclude from these passages that Thomas only had this one bout with doubt and he dealt with it. Other times he had a strong faith. Yet we have chosen to identify him with his doubt which is why we call him doubting Thomas. Biblically his title should be believing Thomas or Thomas the believer
I've said all that to simply let you know that it is normal and okay to have doubts from time to time, It is not anything to be ashamed about.
Even John the baptist struggled with doubt
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he
Jhn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Yet when John was in prison and about to be killed he sent his own followers out to find Jesus and ask him a question